Did you know that Seton Hall’s rare book collection contains poetry by Native American authors? There is an inscribed copy of one of the early books of the first Native American Poet Laureate of the United States, Joy Harjo, in Walsh Library’s Rare Book collection. The inscription reads “for Penny and Bill, in strength and in beauty.” This refers to William Higginson and his wife, who founded From Here Press in Patterson, New Jersey. Higginson, a specialist in haiku, donated his incredible collection of poetry books to Seton Hall in 2013.
An alto saxophonist and artist as well as poet, Harjo breaks boundaries in many aspects of her work. Influenced by jazz and blues as well as by her Cree heritage and poetic predecessors such as Audre Lorde, Harjo’s poetry reflects on loss, survival, and the limitations of language itself.
November 1 is the annual celebration of All Saints Day which honors all Catholic saints, particularly those with no special feast day of their own. All Saints Day is celebrated worldwide by Roman Catholics as well as other Christian denominations. A feast day commemorates a saint or saints who are remembered on their individual feast days with special services and prayers. Certain feast days include public celebrations and processions. Some saints are celebrated internationally, while others are honored regionally or locally.
All Saints Day was first observed under Pope Boniface IV on May 1, 609 when he dedicated Rome’s Pantheon to the Virgin Mary and the Martyrs. Pope Boniface also instituted All Souls Day, an additional day of prayer and remembrance for the souls of those who have died. Celebrated on November 2, it immediately follows All Saints Day. In the 8th century, Pope Gregory III moved the All Saints Day observance to November 1, though celebrations were local to Rome. Under Pope Gregory IV, All Saints Day became an official worldwide observance for the entirety of the church.
Prior to the 10th century, there was no formalized process for identifying and sanctifying saints. This was addressed by Pope John XV who defined the parameters for sainthood. Previous to Pope John XV, sainthood was often attained through popular public opinion. Today, there are more than 10,000 recognized saints. The Catholic Online website has a comprehensive list of saints, angels and feast days – in addition to a wealth of other Catholic resources. It will give you a sense of the many saints venerated in the Roman Catholic Church, and it is fun to browse. For instance, did you know Saint Bernardino is the patron saint of advertising and communications? Or that Saint Januarius is the patron saint of blood banks, and in Naples, also volcanoes? Seton Hall University’s Walsh Gallery and Archives and Special Collections have a significant number of collections that featuring various Catholic saints. In honor of All Saints Day, we have assembled these images of art and artifacts featuring those who have been canonized.
Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, the University’s namesake, is the patron saint of Catholic schools, widows, and seafarers. She is also the aunt of the university’s founder, The Most Reverend, James Roosevelt Bayley. This image of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton is from a medal designed for the Society of the Preservation of Setonia. This design was made in advance of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton’s canonization which occurred in 1975. This medal design, in addition to numerous other artifacts that illuminate the life and work of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton are currently on display in the Walsh Gallery exhibition “The Treasures of Seton Hall University.” Her feast day is January 4.
Saint Pope John XXIII is one of the most popular popes in the Roman Catholic Church. He ushered in a new era by convening the Second Vatican Council (1962 – 1965), popularly known as Vatican II. This council resulted in sweeping changes throughout the church to address the modern era. Canonized by Pope Francis in April 2014, Saint Pope John XXIII’s feast day is October 11. He is the patron saint of Papal delegates, the Patriarchy of Venice and the Second Vatican Council. Saint John XXIII was also the pope that beatified Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton. Beatification, a precursor to canonization or sainthood, is a declaration of blessedness.
Saint Pope Paul VI was the 262nd pope of the Roman Catholic Church, succeeding John XXIII as pope. He also presided over Vatican II, closing the session in 1965 which resulted in numerous church reforms including the improvement of relations with the Eastern Orthodox and Protestant churches. Saint Pope Paul VI canonized Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton in 1975. He was in turn beatified and canonized by Pope Francis in 2014 and 2018, respectively. His feast day is May 29th.
Saint Martín de Porres (1579 – 1639), a Peruvian born saint ,was associated with the Dominican Order. He was known for caring for the sick, was trained in the healing arts and was also barber. Though he was devoted to the church, at that time his lineage prevented him from taking his vows as the son of an unmarried Spanish nobleman and a mother that was a freed slave of African and Native descent. Like Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, he founded orphanages and was devoted to the cause of education. He is the patron saint of mixed race people, public health workers, public schools, public education, the poor, Peru, innkeepers and barbers as well as lottery winners, racial harmony and social justice. Today, his name graces numerous schools throughout the United States as well as a Catholic University in Lima, Peru.
Saint Kateri Tekakwitha (1656 – 1680), whose feast day falls on July 14th, is the first Native American saint recognized by the Catholic Church. A layperson of Algonquin-Mohawk heritage, she was born in the Mohawk village of Ossernenon which sits on the banks of New York States’ Mohawk River. She was the daughter of Kenneronkwa, a Mohawk chief, and Kahenta, an Algonquin woman who had been captured in a raid, then taken into the Mohawk tribe. In Saint Kateri Tekakwitha’s time, the Mohawks had considerable contact with other tribes, as well as European trappers, traders and missionaries. A resulting outbreak of smallpox took the lives of the Saint Kateri Tekakwitha’s parents and brother. She survived, but with lasting health implications. At the age of 18, after meeting a Jesuit priest, she converted to Catholicism, dying just a few short years later at the age of 24. She was beatified in 1980 by Pope John Paul II, and canonized by Pope Benedict XVI at Saint Peter’s Basilica October 21, 2012. Saint Kateri Tekakwitha is the patron saint of the environment, ecology, those who have lost their parents, people in exile and Native Americans.
A mass in honor of All Saints Day will be held at the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception at Seton Hall University at 11am on November 1.
The images and materials shown here are but a small part of the vast patrimony available to students, faculty and researchers. For access to this or other objects in our collections, complete a research request form to set up an appointment or contact us at 973-761-9476
Zachary Pelli is the Digital Collections Infrastructure Developer for Walsh Library. He ensures all the Library’s digital projects, from interactive exhibits in Special Collections and the Gallery to remote reference appointments for the liaison librarians, operate smoothly. Additionally, he maintains open source software systems used by the library, giving Zach an opportunity to build new tools as digital library practices evolve. You may also recognize his work from the library website (https://library.shu.edu/home), which he created.
How long have you been working at the library?
Just over 5 years.
What was the last book you read that you really enjoyed?
Currently binging The Stormlight Archive series by Brandon Sanderson (currently halfway through Words of Radiance). I also listen to many podcasts.
Print book or ebook?
Audiobook or podcast. I’m a terribly slow reader.
What is the best way to rest / decompress?
Lift heavy weights or go for a run with a (non-political) podcast. I also enjoy PC gaming when I find the time.
What is something most people don’t know about you?
I am a tribal citizen of Muscogee Nation. There’s not many of us in NJ!
For the 2020-2021 academic year, Walsh Library’s Special Collections and the Gallery has made a coloring book featuring images from the rare book and museum collections. Building on the IHS Library’s “Color our Collections” initiative, over the pandemic the department decided to make printed books so that the community would have a way to take the objects in the collections home with them, even when they could not see them in person.
Coloring can be a meditative experience that allows the mind to rest and reflect, shifting gears from the mode of understanding and deciding to a mode of experiencing and appreciating. In this form the collections can accompany Seton Hall students wherever their day takes them and allow them the time to really get to know what they offer.
Coloring books can be picked up on the first floor of Walsh Library, at the Gallery front desk.
Starting in the Fall semester of 2021, the Archives and Gallery (Special Collections) will operate out of a single reception space at the front desk of Walsh Gallery. Visitors looking for both archival and museum materials, as well as individuals with appointments in the department, or researchers looking for rare books or Archdiocesan materials will come here to be directed to where they need to go.
The Archives Reading Room will remain open by appointment only. Researchers needing to consult with archival documents or view museum objects will be able to make an appointment to see materials. The Archives Reading Room will also continue to host classes incorporating archival materials. Additionally, events centered around Seton Hall’s museum and archives collections may take place in the Reading Room.
Welcome back to campus! We look forward to seeing you during the 2021-2022 academic year!
A beautifully bound medical text containing the research of the pioneering 19th century physicians Drs Corvisart and Auenbrűgger was recently donated to Special Collections at Walsh Library by Anthony Valerio, a writer who used it in the research for a biography he wrote. One of the authors, Dr. Corvisart, was Napoleon I’s private physician. Instead of joining Napoleon I’s campaign to Italy, he stayed behind and translated his predecessor Auenbrűgger’s writings from Latin to French. Auenbrűgger developed the percussive technique of physical examination, which led to the invention of the stethoscope. His father was a merchant, and young Auenbrűgger played with his father’s wine barrels as a boy, which made different sounds according to how he drummed them, inspiring his later discovery. These works – and the stories behind them – inspired Valerio to write his biography depicting a similar medical breakthrough.
Valerio’s book tells the story of the Hungarian physician Ignaz Semmesweis, who did groundbreaking work in obstetrics. In Valerio’s words, “The field of obstetrics, then, was relatively new. In Vienna’s medical school, which Semmelweis attended, it was an elective of a few months. Dr. Skoda, a famed diagnostician and internist, was Semmelweis’s mentor and teacher. Skoda taught Corvisart’s work on the heart. Upon obtaining his medical degree, Semmelweis sought a job with Skoda but one was not open. Semmelweis then trained with famed surgeon Dr. Karl von Rokitansky, who performed all autopsies in the hospital. Semmelweis obtained a degree in surgery and sought a job with Rokindansky. Again, one was not open. But an assistant’s job did open in a relatively new field, obstetrics. Semmelweis took this job at a time when childbed fever was the scourge of Europe, the pandemic of his time, women dying of this terrible disease at alarming rates. Theories were advanced as to its cause and means of prevention. Semmelweis rejected them all. He was determined to find those causes and means of prevention—which journey I attempted to describe in detail in my book. Semmelweis did not know what he was looking for. His approach included his studies of Corvisart on the heart, Skoda’s work on palpitation, Auenbrűgger’s work on the varied sounding of the human body with a stethoscope. Semmelweis read and researched after his daily tour of rounds, in his small room in the Vienna hospital.”
This medical text and the biography it inspired demonstrate that literature can evolve from science, just as scientific advances can be derived from childhood games. Insight and inspiration know no disciplinary boundaries.
To see this book in person, or investigate other Special Collections materials, our Research Appointments page has details on how to proceed.
Seton Hall University – University Libraries (Fall 2021)
Application Deadline: July 15, 2021
Fellowship Period: Fall 2021
Seton Hall University Libraries support excellence in academic and individual work, enable inquiry, foster intellectual and ethical integrity and respect for diverse points of view through user-focused services and robust collections as the intellectual and cultural heart of the University. Walsh Gallery, based in the Library, manages the University’s museum collections, and the Library’s Data Services division assists the University community in managing and presenting their data.
One of Seton Hall University’s most distinguished collections, the D’Argenio Collection of Coins and Antiquities, includes coins of ancient Greece, the Roman Republic, the Roman Empire and Byzantium as well as a small collection of related Byzantine and Etruscan artifacts: oil lamps, game pieces, weights and terra cotta figurines. Donor Ron D’Argenio became interested in ancient coins when taking courses in Greek drama and history as an undergraduate at Fordham University in the 1970’s. In 2001, he generously donated his collection to Seton Hall University in memory of his father, Rinaldo J. D’Argenio, who served in World War II and was awarded a Bronze Star for his valor. Ron D’Argenio is a practicing attorney working in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey. The collection is available for study and research by students and scholars.
Data Services offers consultations to SHU community members assisting them with every stage of a data project from conceptualization, to choosing tools, to data analysis, to sharing results. Find more on the tools supported here: https://library.shu.edu/data-services.
Request for Proposals
The University Libraries seeks fellowship proposals using the Ron D’Argenio Collection as the basis for projects in the following two areas:
Classics, Art History or History : a scholar from one of these fields, a related field or interdisciplinary scholar who would be able to analyze the collection in its historical context and add to our knowledge of the objects.
Data Visualization: a specialist in data visualization, who would be able to create – in conversation with the humanities scholar (above) – an interactive visual representation of the collection that would allow users to explore the objects by interpreting and presenting the data in a number of ways (see all the coins within a certain date range, or all coins from a particular region, for example).
Specialists who have at minimum completed all coursework for the the terminal degree in their area are invited to propose research projects that fall under one or both of the above areas. Preference will go to the strongest applications that are both feasible for this collection and our technology infrastructure. All projects should incorporate the Ron D’Argenio Collection of Coins and Antiquities. The final product for the Classics/Art History/History scholar would take the form of a short (5-7 page) written report interpreting the collection which would additionally be shared with the University community as an article or lecture. The Data Visualization scholar would be responsible for producing a data visualization project which would be publicly presented on the University Libraries website and the process of creation described in an article or lecture. Beyond the duration of the fellowship, the work of both fellows will inform future initiatives with the collection.
Scholars who at minimum have completed all coursework for the terminal degree in their field may apply. Work can be performed remotely for the most part. Access to the collections on site is conducted in a socially distanced environment compliant with all recommendations aimed at stopping the spread of COVID-19. The University Libraries will provide each fellow with access to its library databases and resources, accounts in and support for the data software available, an email address and access to Microsoft Teams software for collaboration and Sharepoint for storage space. Fellows will be expected to give a presentation or write an article on their project to share with the University community by the fall of 2022.
Fellows will be paid a stipend of $2500 for projects that focus on one of the two areas. Half will be paid on award, half on project completion. Applicants may propose a project that incorporates both Classical scholarship and data visualization for a combined $5000 to be disbursed in the same way.
Submit a single pdf including the following components as an email attachment to firstname.lastname@example.org :
an application cover sheet (which includes your name, project title, contact information and a short bio.
a two-page statement (roughly 500 words), describing your research project and its relation to the Ron D’Argenio Collection of Coins and Antiquities, in which you explain how it fits into your past research (if applicable) and future plans.
a curriculum vitae
a recent example of scholarship
Submissions must be received by July 15, 2021. Applicants will be notified by September 1, 2021. Research should take place in the fall of 2021, and the project results (written work or data visualization) completed by May 31, 2022. The lecture or article on the project should take place in the spring or fall of 2022. Please contact Sarah Ponichtera, Assistant Dean of Special Collections and the Gallery at sarah.ponichtera@shu .edu with any questions.
The Walsh Gallery has launched a new exhibit in Google Arts and Culture featuring some of the highlights of Seton Hall’s collection of ceramics. The exhibit draws from Wang Fang-yu’s Asian Art collection, Ron D’Argenio’s collection of Coins and Antiquities, and Herbert Kraft’s Archeology and Anthropology collection to show connections between material cultures widely disparate in both time and place. According to Gallery Director Jeanne Brasile, this exhibit is not only about the formal qualities of the pieces but most importantly how they reveal the technological development of cultures from the Neolithic era to the twentieth century. The wealth of world cultures featured in this exhibit demonstrates the breadth and scope of Seton Hall’s museum collections.
I learned about Monsignor Fahy in the spring semester of 2018. It was at an intergenerational panel discussion at the Walsh Library of former Seton Hall student-activist leaders. The event was organized by the Concerned 44, an activated student group. The panel discussion was a teach-in about the history of protest on Seton Hall’s campus and discussion about the progress of the then student movement. You can follow the Concerned 44 on Instagram. If it weren’t for this panel discussion I would not have learned about President Fahy and I’d still be pronouncing Fahy Hall wrong. As an alumna, I can’t help but be angry that it took this long. I became more interested and invited colleagues into the journey of getting to know Fahy.
Alan Delozier, University Archivist, did the work to uncover the Fahy Inaugural address which is as relevant today as it was 50 years ago. The CORE has integrated the speech as a required reading for the Journey of Transformations course. And this article intends to showcase a digital
communal reading of the text as an activist performance practice. The point of the project is to position the text and its ethos as a cultural imprint on our collective memory. To me, Fahy is a white anti-racist abolitionist ancestor who risked and used his power to benefit others. Social justice is a term we’re hearing a lot. What is it? How do you define it? What does it look like? Everyone will have a different answer. I define it as: righting a wrong. If it doesn’t right a wrong, it is not justice. Not only did Fahy leverage his power to right a wrong with some of the most impactful undertakings of Seton Hall’s history but he acknowledged the problem. Often, we rush to solutions without first doing the self interrogation to name the problem. He used this moment, his inaugural address, when everyone was listening and we’re still listening 50 years later.
The video, this collective recitation, brings many voices together for one message. Faculty and students, separate, but together. It carves a lineage. There are protests now as there were 50 years ago. In the streets and on our campus.
Greg Iannarella offers insight into what moved him to gravitate toward one of the most unwavering parts of Fahy’s speech, “This section always felt really powerful to me. The description, the intentional language, invoking real scenes and real communities, conjuring the people! It’s a moment where he turns the gaze outward and challenges the audience to see what is relevant.”
Participants were encouraged to think about their location as a backdrop. These choices offer additional meaning and subtext. Virtual performance lets us become our own set designers. Brooke Duffy presented her portion outside of a new school. “It is a public elementary school in Teaneck that was recently renamed for Theodora Smiley Lacey, a civil rights activist, ‘living legend.’ The NorthJersey.com website describes, ‘it was because of her efforts that Teaneck became the first city in the United States to voluntarily integrate its public schools.’”
This isn’t the last we’ll hear of Fahy’s address. Jon Radwan describes a new participatory oral history project designed to ensure access, inclusion, and equity in its research process to document and preserve the entirety of this part of the University’s history. “We are confident that the Inaugural Address is only the beginning of learning about Msgr. Fahy’s social justice leadership. Our recent proposal to the New Jersey Council for the Humanities seeks funding for a large scale oral history project. We plan to contact alumni, faculty, and administrators who worked closely with Fahy to record their stories about SHU’s collaboration with Newark activists to launch the Black Studies Center.” To support this project please contact Angela Kariotis and Jon Radwan.
Centering historical figures creates their own mythology. Retrospectives are not without their limitations. But there are so few white allies to look up to for this work. Allies must dig deep, activating themselves, stepping into their consciousness. We can extend the Fahy legacy and course correct. Like 50 years ago, it is a transformative yet fragile time. We must have the will to meet it.
Today a new digital map of Seton Hall was launched by Walsh Library. This site allows users to create rich tours of sites at Seton Hall – or anywhere around the world – contextualizing the places with photographs, text, and even audio and video recordings. The introductory tour builds on an existing set of digitized historic postcards of South Orange and Seton Hall that resided in the Library’s e-Repository. “The postcards were well digitized, and had very detailed, searchable data in the e-Repository. But this format allows for a more interactive way for the community to explore the collection,” according to Sarah Ponichtera, Assistant Dean for Special Collections and the Gallery.
The project took shape when archives staff, along with the rest of the university, suddenly shifted to remote work in the spring and sought ways to connect the campus community with archival collections during this difficult period. Technical Services Archivist Sheridan Sayles researched digital mapping products that might suit Seton Hall, and settled on Curatescape, an open-source product. “Curatescape allows users to connect historic images of sites and objects with their location, essentially weaving in historical stories to the every day places we pass by.” according to Sayles. Over the spring and summer, Sayles and Library Collection Developer Zachary Pelli worked to get the site installed and import the images and data from the e-Repository. With the help of a remote intern from Southern Connecticut State University, Amanda Damon, they populated the site with 53 locations (called stories) that can be connected in tours, found using subject tags, and enriched over time as more content is integrated into the site. Constructing the locations as stories allows for more flexibility – a particularly rich object, such as the stained glass windows in the Chapel, could be its own story even though it is still part of the Chapel location. A story could even be built around a person with a long history on campus.
The Library welcomes suggestions from the community for ways to develop and expand the site. It may be suited for tours developed in courses, adapted to create a virtual tour of campus for those unable to visit in person, or become a center for alumni to contribute their memories of campus. Due to its home in the Monsignor William Noe Field Archives, content contributed to the digital map will be preserved in the University Archives as part of the history of Seton Hall. According to University Archivist Alan Delozier, “within this time of quarantine, the value of this initiative is all the more important for those who cannot visit the school grounds at present, but the long term value of this project will continue to attract attention from students, faculty, and other individual across campus along with external users alike.”