Trina Padilla de Sanz: A Woman Ahead of Her Time

Trina Padilla de Sanz: A Woman Ahead of Her Time
by Carly Miller, curator

Currently on display through September 20th at the Msgr. William Noé Field Archives & Special Collections Reading Room are items from the Trina Padilla de Sanz papers (Mss 0020). The exhibit showcases published works by the Puerto Rican writer, poet, composer, and social activist Trina Padilla de Sanz (1864-1957).

Portrait of La Hija del Caribe, 1956.
Portrait of La Hija del Caribe, 1956.

Writing as La Hija del Caribe, Padilla de Sanz was a prominent literary figure in the twentieth century, penning numerous articles, poems, and essays on a wide variety of topics such as history, literature, poetry, music, politics and culture. In a period when expectations for women were mostly confined to the domestic sphere, Padilla de Sanz represents an important deviation from the norm. Breaking free of society’s narrow view of a woman’s place in the world, Padilla de Sanz was an outspoken, unrelenting voice for change.
This exhibit focuses on one very prominent aspect of La Hija’s writings: her activism. She focused on progressive topics such as women’s rights, the preservation of the Puerto Rican culture and identity, and protection and compassion for those most often marginalized and ignored. La Hija’s feminism, patriotism, and drive for social justice are represented in the displayed works. From advocating for compassion on behalf of the incarcerated to calling out the United States for its aggression to highlighting women’s role in wartime, Padilla de Sanz did not shy away from controversial topics.

"Ana Roque de Duprey," a poem by Trina Padilla de Sanz. Undated.
“Ana Roque de Duprey,” a poem by Trina Padilla de Sanz. Undated.

While the exhibit represents only a small portion of her extensive writing career, it fittingly demonstrates the essence of Padilla de Sanz. Her desire to see society improve formed not only the basis of her writings but also of her life. La Hija was actively involved in community affairs so that she could encourage the type of change that she so often wrote about in newspapers and magazines. Not content to sit on the sidelines, Padilla de Sanz unabashedly ignored the societal expectation of women in the twentieth century. Instead, she carved out a diverse and fulfilling career. She was a woman ahead of her time, paving the way for future generations of women and inspiring progress and reform within society.
For more information about this exhibit or to make an appointment to view the Trina Padilla de Sanz papers, please contact 973-761-9476 or

Angling and Hunting Explored through Rare Books opens 6 May 2015

The Msgr. William Noé Field Archives and Special Collections Center, Walsh Library ground floor houses rare books that deal in particular subject areas. This is a small collection dealing with outdoor activities of fishing and hunting. These books are special in many ways from the beautiful leather bindings in some cases, to the signatures of the authors in others.

To begin with two beautiful leather volumes, both on fishing, we have The Compleat Angler by Izaak Watson, an 1876 fac-simile reprint of the first edition published in 1653. The preface says that “This was a book not to be placed in the safe companionship of worthy but unread books…” Rather, it was well used in stream and pond, necessitating this fac-simile reprinting. This volume is printed on “paper of the same shade”, and bound in the same brown leather with “red and blue sprinkling.” It is open to the Angler’s Song on pages 216 and 217. They are the reverse of each other so that one could sing from one side, and another from the other “with the book between them while standing face to face.”

angling song

The other leather bound book, Salmon Fishing on the Grand Cascapedia by Edmund W. Davis, number 7 of 100, was printed for private distribution in 1904 on Imperial Japan paper and sports an emerald silk fly leaf and gold embossed tooling inside the cover board.

Woodcock Shooting by Edmund Davis, number 99 of 100, was printed for private distribution in 1908. It features numerous photographs of peaceful-looking woods where the woodcock can be found, and more numerous shots of bird dogs as well as a lovely engraving of a Woodcock and Young.

The remaining books in this tiny special collection are limited editions dealing with hunting. Three are by Theodore Roosevelt, and two are signed by him.

Books displayed in angling and hunting exhibit

His Outdoor Pastimes of an American Hunter, 1905, recounts hunting cougar, bear, antelope and other wildlife in Colorado, the Rockies and along the Mississippi and Little Missouri rivers between 1901and 1905. A future conservationist whose letter to John Burroughs opens this book, he carefully notes the ranges of these animals and their reduced numbers from the latter part of the 19th Century when he spent 2 years ranching and hunting in S. Dakota to recover from the deaths of his wife and mother on the same day in 1884. The volume is open to a photo of T.R. with his signature on this limited edition, number 222 of 260.

Theodore Roosevelt, Outdoor Pastimes of an American Hunter

African Game Trails, An Account of the Wanderings of an American Hunter-Naturalist by Theodore Roosevelt is number 399 of 500 published in 1910. Volume II of African Game Trails is open to a photograph with the legend in T.R.’s own hand, “My boma when I camped alone.” Boma is a term used to describe a livestock enclosure, stockade, small fort or a district government office used in many parts of the African Great Lakes region.

Finally we have Hunting with the Eskimos by Harry Whitney, a signed limited edition number 141 of 150 from 1910. It boasts many black and white photographs of Eskimo, whaling and hunting musk ox and walrus, and of sled dogs, and is open to a plate of a painting of Aurora Borealis, Smith Sound, Greenland by F. W. Stokes.

This exhibit can be viewed from the hallway between the Walsh Gallery and Msgr. William Noé Field Archives and Special Collections Center during any hour the Library is open. It will run through May 20, 2015.

Seton Hall’s Madison Roots

With the advent of programs like Who Do You Think You Are produced by Lisa Kudrow and Henry Louis Gates’ Finding Your Roots on PBS, genealogy research has become even more popular than before, particularly with more and more resources available online. Did you ever wonder about the genealogical history of Seton Hall?
It may seem when one looks at the campus today as if the college was always here in South Orange. In fact, according to a history of Seton Hall College written in 1895 by then President Rev. William F. Marshall, printed in that year’s catalogue, “When James Roosevelt Bayley [Mother Seton’s nephew] was appointed Bishop of the newly erected See of Newark, New Jersey, October 30th, 1853, he found the diocese poorly supplied with priests and with no Catholic institutions of any kind… save a few scattered churches and chapels.” He decided to establish a college for the education of both secular students and theological students training to be future priests. He and Rev. Bernard J. McQuaid who would one day become both a bishop himself, and the first president of Seton Hall College searched to find a proper location for the college. They settled upon Madame Chegary’s Young Ladies’ Academy in Madison. Madame was relocating her school to New York City, vacating the white frame building that can be seen in a drawing on a sizable map from 1857 that hangs just inside the entrance to the Msgr. William Noé Field Archives and Special Collections Center in the Walsh Library.

Map of Madison, New Jersey
Map of Madison, New Jersey

The inset drawing seen below of the building amid trees with a horse and carriage in the foreground notes the date Sept. 1856 when the first class of students began their studies – all five of them including Leo G. Thebaud, Louis and Alfred Boisaubin of Madison, John Moore of New York City and Peter Meehan of Hoboken.

drawing of Seton Hall College, Madison, Sept. 1856
drawing of Seton Hall College, Madison, Sept. 1856

Rev. Marshall tells us, “Before the end of the month twenty additional names were registered,” clearly showing that this new college was filling a need. Bishop Bayley named the college for his aunt, now St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, who preceded him in converting from the Protestant Episcopal Church to Catholicism, and who was the founder not only of the Sisters of Charity, but also of Catholic education in this country.
Bishop Bayley found traveling to his newly established college from Newark by horse and carriage too time consuming, and by 1859 the college had outgrown the small, white building in Madison. Returning from unsuccessful scouting for a new location along the South Orange and Newark Turnpike, Bishop Bayley spied a white marble villa on his right. A Catholic real estate dealer of Valisburg was commissioned to make the purchase of the Elphinstone Manor which stood where Presidents Hall does now.SHU 1860 Formal transfer was effected on 2 April 1860, and Seton Hall College moved from Madison to South Orange. The College of St. Elizabeth now occupies the site of the original Seton Hall College where the white frame building still stands.
To see the map of Madison, please drop in during our hours, M-F, 9-5. We are the Archive for Seton Hall University and for the Archdiocese of Newark, and have an extensive collection of manuscripts, photographs, rare books and artifacts. If you have a paper or project which requires primary source material on the history of Seton Hall University or the Archdiocese, or you wish to research your family history using local Church records, please make an appointment to come in to confer with our staff and use some of the materials we conserve. Contact   or 973-761-9476.

How Do I Use the Archives?

October is American Archives MonthSo you have an assignment to use the Archives. Where is it located?  How is using the Archives different from using regular library materials?  How do you get going?

First, determine what your assignment asks you to do. Are you to find something specific in the Archives, or are you to choose a topic related to one of our collecting areas and come in to use the materials to research that topic for a paper or presentation in your class?  Basically, we collect materials that maintain the history of Seton Hall University and of the Archdiocese of Newark.  This includes papers of presidents, colleges, schools, departments  and publications of Seton Hall as well as papers of bishops and archbishops, priests, parishes and offices of the Archdiocese.  So could you come in and ask for materials on atomic energy?  No, but you might be interested in student reaction to the dropping of the bomb on Hiroshima, and ask if the Setonian published during WWII and might have covered it.

Could you ask to see books on the American Civil War or the 1916 Rising in Dublin, Ireland? Yes, but first you would want to limit your topics, and search on the Library website for key words that would lead you to books in that specific area.  You might pick a particular battle in the Civil War such as Antietam, or a certain figure in the 1916 Rising like James Connolly.  Search for titles, and any that say Archives, gather the references including title, author and call number.  If you need help with the search process, a reference librarian may be able to help, or contact one of our staff at (973) 761-9476 or

To use the materials you need to make an appointment either in person, by phone or by email. Once we know what materials you need, and when you want to come in, we can get those materials from the vault, and have them ready for you in the Reading Room.  We are open Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm.  Our materials do not circulate, so must be used in our Reading Room on the ground floor of Walsh Library, past the Beck Rooms, opposite the Gallery.  Once here, you will need to store coat, bags and all materials in the front of the room.  You may have paper and pencil [we provide pencils; no ink is allowed in the Archives as it might leave a permanent mark on archival materials.] and/or your laptop with you for taking notes.  Our materials are old and fragile, and must be used with great care.  No food or drink is allowed in the Reading Room.  Cell phones can be used in the hallway outside.  We have a photocopier available; most copies are $.10, payable in cash – we do not have a card reader.  You will be provided with white cotton gloves if you are looking at photographs or negatives.  By prearrangement, you may be allowed to photograph materials with digital camera or phone without flash.

Once you have your topic and a list of resources, make your appointment and begin your research. It’s fun and easy.  We look forward to your visits!

Archives Celebrates October Archives Month

October is American Archives Month

Welcome to Archives Month at the Msgr. William Noé Field Archives and Special Collections Center, ground floor, Walsh Library, opposite the Walsh Gallery.  We are offering three opportunities to get to know us:

Thursday, 16 October @ 3pm

Thursday 23 October @ 5:30pm

Thursday 30 October @ 11am

We will have some objects on display, provide a tour of areas that the public usually does not see: the processing area and the Vault where the materials are stored. And you can enjoy some snacks and ask us questions about our work, and how you can use the Archives.

We collect, preserve, and provide access to materials that maintain the history of Seton Hall University and of the Archdiocese of Newark. We have papers from each of the Presidents of Seton Hall and her schools and departments, many publications of the University, photographs of buildings, events and student activities as well as sports taken for yearbooks.  We also have yearbooks which began as the White and Blue, and became the Galleon when the teams took on the name of Pirates, and Setonian newspapers, both hard copies and microfilm.  [Don’t know what microfilm is?  Come see us!]

We also have papers from the Bishops and Archbishops of the Archdiocese of Newark, priest papers, papers on offices, parishes and ministries, on the Seminary, and on Catholic New Jersey outside the Archdiocese of Newark. In our Manuscript Collections we have papers of some New Jersey governors such as Richard Hughes and Brendan Byrne, and other political figures including Bernard Shanley and Leonard Dreyfuss.  There is a collection on Mother Seton and the Jevons family to which her family was related by marriage, and several collections in Jewish-Christian studies including the Msgr. Oesterreicher and Sr. Rose Thering Collections. We have rare books, mostly from prior to 1875, some from as early as the 15th century, and special collections in Irish literature and history, American Civil War, Arms and Armor, and more.  We also have objects related both to Seton Hall and to the Archdiocese.

Come and learn about our resources and how you can use them to aid your studies or just to satisfy a special interest in a particular topic. We hope to see you in October, during Archives Month.

Professor Connors Lecture, “World War I: A Centennial Perspective,” Wed, Oct. 8, 3 p.m.

Seton Hall University Professor Emeritus Richard Connors will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War I with a lecture Wed., Oct. 8, 3 p.m. in the Walsh Library Archives Reading Room on the South Orange campus. “World War I: A Centennial Perspective,” will explore the military and geopolitical ramifications of the Great War that was supposed to be “the war to end all wars.” The public is invited to the free lecture.
“Historians see World War I as the defining event of the 20th century. It destroyed four empires and marked the end of a Europe-centered world,” said Connors. “What emerged were a new perspective and a new reality – a world society, a global economy, a world politics. When we think of the 20th century – of the U.S. and Japan as world powers, of Hitler, Mussolini and Stalin, of World War II and the Cold War, of Middle East and Balkan crises – the seeds go back to 1914-19.”
In conjunction with his lecture, Connors’ collection of World War I models, maps, books, posters and pictures are on exhibit at the Msgr. William Noé Field Archives and Special Collections Center in the University library.
We are pleased to have Dr. Connors bring his knowledge of World War I to Seton Hall and share his personal collection with us. A natural story-teller, his talk will generate interest in a war which saw “so many people die for so little reason” – a war which changed how wars are fought and how we see our country and our world. “Our personal and cultural perspectives are largely shaped by our history,” he said. “That’s why it is so important to revisit it regularly.”

WWI: A Centennial Exhibition

The first installment of our three-part series commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Great War is now on display in the Msgr. William Noé Field Archives and Special Collections Center, and will remain until 31 October 2014.

This portion of the exhibit is focused on the beginning of the war, including a set of lead figurines depicting the assassination of Archduke Francis Ferdinand, and a diorama of a trench which illustrates the crowded, cramped quarters that were endured by soldiers on the Western Front.

Trench closeup

In addition, there are figurines depicting early French and German uniforms, models of planes used in the war, and figurines depicting Ottoman soldiers during the Gallipoli campaign in 1915.   The objects in the exhibit curated by Brianna LoSardo, Special Collections Assistant, are on loan from former history professor and Provost, Dr. Richard Connors.

Throughout the exhibit we are showcasing rare books from our Archives which contain photographs and illustrations of the war, as well as a collection of poetry written during and about the Great War. Maps and art prints complete the display.

The exhibit can be viewed any time the Walsh Library is open, in the display cases across from Walsh Gallery. It will be followed by the second installment on 1 November 2014.

Archives closes 2 weeks in August for work behind the scenes

During the weeks of August 4-8 and 18-22, 2014 the Archives will be closed to researchers so that we can accomplish some work in the vault that we cannot do when school is in full session in the Fall and Spring semesters. This work will help us to improve our service. We appreciate your understanding and apologize for any inconvenience.

Msgr. William Noé Field Archives and Special Collections Center Commemorates the Centenary of World War I

Teaser exhibit of WWI materials at the Archives and Special Collections Center, case 2.
Teaser exhibit of WWI materials at the Archives and Special Collections Center, case 2.

On 28 June, 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary, and his wife, Duchess Sophia, were assassinated by a Bosnian Serb, setting in motion the events that would erupt into what became known as the Great War, the War to End all Wars, World War I.  As we know, it did not end all war, but as commemorations take place over the next year to remember the 100th anniversary, we will be adding our commemoration by means of an exhibit in the Msgr. William Noé Field Archives and Special Collections Center, ground floor, Walsh Library.

Teaser exhibit of WWI materials at the Archives and Special Collections Center, case 1.
Teaser exhibit of WWI materials at the Archives and Special Collections Center, case 1.

We begin with items that refer to two famous pilots – the Red Baron, Manfred von Richthofen (2 May 1892 – 21 April 1918), and The American Ace of Aces, Eddie Rickenbacker, (October 8, 1890 – July 27, 1973).

Teaser exhibit of WWI materials at the Archives and Special Collections Center.
Teaser exhibit of WWI materials at the Archives and Special Collections Center.

Then in August, we will present three installments over nine months combining models, dioramas, figures and prints with archival material to commemorate the inception of the Great War.

The first installment, running from 1 August through 31 October, 2014, includes figures of the assassinations of the Archduke and his wife, a British trench and armored car, maps of Europe at the beginning of the War and of the Schleiffen Plan, illustrations of French and German uniforms, and figures representing the Galipoli Campaign which began 15 April 1915.  Poems by writers including Clinton Scollard, Katharine Tynan, Rupert Brooke, Josephine Burr, G. K. Chesterton, John Drinkwater, Violet Gillespie, Corporal Malcolm C. Murray and Joyce Kilmer, along with plates from rare volumes of the time, will amplify these exhibits.

Second, from 1 November 2014 to 31 January 2015 we will show models of British, French and German artillery, the Red Baron’s ACE01 Fokker DR1, Eddie Rickenbacker’s Sopwith Camel, as well as other planes, tanks and armored cars paired with archival memories of the time.

Last, from 1 February – 30 April 2015 we will show a map of Europe after the War, British and German foot soldiers, a regimental aid post where care was provided to the wounded, women in the war, T. E. Lawrence and the Arab Revolt, along with poems and depictions of uniforms.

Please come to enjoy the evolution of our exhibit.

Literature as Art exhibit in Special Collections Center, Walsh Library

A new exhibit in the Msgr. William Noé Field Archives and Special Collections Center, Literature as Art, will be available through September 15th. Volumes of world literature published by the Limited Editions Club founded in 1929 by George Macy were beautifully bound and illustrated by artists of the day, in limited number to subscribers.
Attention was paid to the covers, the dust covers as well as to the works and their illustrations. Some are leather bound with embossed designs related to the content. For instance, Daphnis and Chloe by Longus has a golden boss very like a Greek coin with the profiles of the title characters. The Man without a Country by Edward Everett Hale sports an embossed outline of the map of North America while Stephen Crane’s The Red Badge of Courage depicts a Union and a Confederate soldier contending over a flag. Other interesting cover concepts include the water silk cover of Samuel Butler’s Erewohn and the bold red and black theme exemplifying Stendhal’s The Red and the Black. The Coverley Papers taken from Addison and Steele’s The Spectator of 1711-1712 is clothed in flowered chintz while Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights wears illustrations of her famous characters, Heathcliff and Cathy, and her own portrait.
Sometimes themes from the book have been used in the cover and dust cover designs as the running penguin motif imprinted on Anatole France’s Penguin Island. In the case of Gargantua & Pantagruel by Rabelais, a mural takes shape across the bindings of the five volumes when they are beside each other in the dust cover. Another period binding technique is the use of marbleized paper. Often used to line the inside cover of a volume, it was used on the dust cover for William Makespeace Thackeray’s The Rose and the Ring and on Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The House of the Seven Gables.
Illustrations take the form of pen and ink drawings, wood cut block prints, lithographs or watercolor paintings. Not only do these limited editions provide the subscriber with hours of reading from the canon of Western Literature, they preserve work of regional, period artists and craftsmanship in the production of books rarely seen today in an age when books are often published electronically without any physical form at all. These sumptuous volumes can be seen on the ground floor of Walsh Library, opposite Walsh Gallery whenever the Library is open.