3D Printing the Past

A black Speedball black press, a gray inking plate, and a Speedball brayer.

Working in the Archives and Special Collections Center, we showcase historically significant print materials to visiting classes who have made these visits part of their curriculum. Implementing a printing demonstration and an opportunity for students and faculty to get involved with the printing process itself will bring a new form of learning into the space and a new way to engage and appreciate the items before them. A Faculty Innovation, or FIG grant, now makes this possible.

Over the years I have had the pleasure of attending Rare Book School out of the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia, which proved to be part of my inspiration for this project. Just this past summer I saw a working reproduction of an eighteenth-century press which is typically given the name of Franklin Printing Press since it is believed that Benjamin Franklin used something similar. I saw the metal moveable type that was laid out, how the ink was applied, how the paper was arranged, and the strength needed to press the paper onto the moveable type. The entire process made me wish I could requisition a press to be built, procure trays of moveable type, have ink balls, quality paper, and ink.

But that would require thousands of dollars, so the question became how can I do this without spending that amount of money? How can I make it portable? And how can I share the results with others?

My project was born. I decided to take one the earliest typefaces to bring back to life by using emerging technology of the 21st century. This project utilizes Photoshop and Illustrator from Adobe Creative Campus in connection with Fusion360 and a Dremel 3D40 printer which uses PLA filament. Additionally, this project uses a Speedball Block Press and brayer along with an inking plate. I will be using the Archives and Special Collections blog to share updates, tips and tricks, successes and failures so that the process can be expanded and even improved upon by others interested in creating a similar project.

While this project is aimed at becoming an interactive component to class visits in the Archives and Special Collections Center for faculty and students, I also get to practice and refine my skills in Photoshop, Illustrator, and 3D modeling while learning about the 3D printing process. And ultimately, I get to take my first steps in faculty scholarship and in crafting a unique learning experience for the community.

As part of this grant, I have been asked how this project can be implemented within the curriculum. Metal moveable type and the printing press, even the digital aspects of this project, relate to many different subject areas as I will outline below but can apply to much more.

Typography and Graphic Design
Since typography is focused on learning about letterforms and words as design elements as well as the historical roots which goes back to Gutenberg this project would be an addition to these learning objectives. As would it be to graphic design where students are focused on creative, conceptual, and practical aspects of graphic design and advertising.

Book History (History of Books)
This project will allow exploration into the process of how books were made focusing on the materiality of the book. It will allow further conversations into materials and even marks of book use and ownership.

Ethics
Much like we have plagiarism policies in place today to discourage the stealing and appropriation of someone else’s work as your own, a similar issue was around during the time of the printing press. Printers would merely obtain a copy of a work that is selling well and print it for themselves.

Education
The printing press led to an increase in books and printed items. Those who wanted books no longer had to rely on scriptoriums to hand-copy books and could now obtain them more easily. With a new influx of books being produced at a rapid pace, educational standards improved. More people learned to read and write while laws were created to ensure people received an education.

Ideology
Did you know Hitler banned Fraktur in a 1941 statement? According to the document the font was believed to have Jewish ties and was therefore banned. While this document was most certainly typed on a typewriter, the idea is the same. The printing press allowed people to share their thoughts more freely and spread their ideologies faster.

3D Technology
This project would not be possible without the use of 3D technology of the 21st century. There are many different applications in which 3D technology can be utilized, not just to replicate typefaces to explore printing press and history but to scan and have objects available for viewing digitally. Furthermore, it allows the development of digital skills in a digital realm where there seems to be very few limitations.

Communications
The printing press revolutionized mass communication. Where the world once relied upon oral traditions and the slow pace of a scriptorium, there was now the printing press which could print multiple pages at a time.

These are just a few examples of how this project can be used to start discussions in different subject areas that are part of the curriculum. And when fully developed and operational, the project in connection with displays of items from the archives and special collections that used a similar process when they were initially created will allow visitors to fully appreciate them.

In an increasingly digital world, materiality still has a foothold that can not be replicated. We can read, we can watch videos, but nothing compares to a live demonstration and exploration into the physical process that sparks conversation beyond our primary impressions.

Stay tuned for the next blog update as the project gets underway!

Time Machines: Meet the Researchers!

The Time Machines project, which supports undergraduate research in Special Collections, is off to a great start.  The sheer diversity of the projects—podcasts, a map of climate change in the Arctic, even a cookbook —showcase just how diverse primary source-based research can be. Read on to learn more about our student researchers, their proposals, and how their projects are going thus far.

Pegi Bracaj

Object of Choice: The Miriam Rooney Papers 

Pegi Bracaj is a political science student with aspirations for a career in law upon graduation. She was drawn to the papers of Miriam Rooney, the founding dean of Seton Hall Law School and the first female dean of a law school in the United States. Pegi decided to expand upon the primary source material by creating a multi-episode podcast series. The first episode will be dedicated to Rooney’s life as based on the archival findings. In later episodes, she plans to “contextualize Miriam Rooney’s accomplishments in the context of the broader legal history, showcasing her influence on subsequent generations of female lawyers”. Through interviews with current female lawyers at Seton Hall Law School, Pegi seeks to connect Miriam Rooney’s life to the ongoing discussion and challenges faced by women in the legal sphere today.

Ashley Skladany

Object of Choice: Collection of 1967 Newark Rebellion Newsclippings 

Ashley focused her project on the 1967 Newark Riots and its impact on the campus through two mediums-an academic paper and a podcast. As a technical producer of the Global Current, the official international affairs podcast of SHU’s School of Diplomacy, Ashley will utilize her skills to record and edit a podcast that interviews individuals who attended the university at the time or who were impacted.

Eman Fatima

Object of Choice: Coin from the Mughal Dynasty ; Coin, ¼ Anna

Eman Fatima spent the first sixteen years of her life in Pakistan and describes her interest in history and decolonization stemming from a lack of substantial education on British colonialism (particularly in South Asian countries) in schools’ curriculum. In wanting to explore how colonialism has molded and continues to mold the identity, culture, and daily life in South Asian society, Eman intends to write an academic paper comparing two coins: one from the Mughal Dynasty, and the other from the 17th century amid British rule over India and Pakistan.

Collin Doyle

Object of Choice: Journal of Roy Fitzsimmons, 1937-1938*

Collin came to the Archives upon hearing that the Archives had recently acquired the journal of Roy Fitzsimmons (SHU class of 1937), a physicist and polar explorer who took said journal on the MacGregor Arctic Expedition from July 1, 1937 – October 4, 1938. The goals of the expedition were to conduct a magnetic survey, collect weather data, photograph the aurora borealis and study its effects upon radio transmission, and to explore the area northwest of Ellesmere Island. Collin intends to create a data visualization project incorporating computer algebra systems such as Mathematica to generate 3D maps, as well as contour plots, of the arctic landscapes explored by Roy Fitzsimmons in the late 1930s, with the goal of highlighting the effects of climate change over the last century. Through this medium, Collin seeks to “breathe life into the journal’s observations” while providing commentary on the urgency of climate change and the threat it poses to our society and planet as a whole.

*Journal is not currently available online but is available to view at the Archives by appointment.

Hope Mahakian

Object of Choice: WWII Ration Books, 1943 

Hope, a History major, has always been interested in the effects of WWII on the American home front. When researching possible items for this project she came across the WWII ration books but was not initially interested in pursuing them. However, after a trip to the Archives and viewing the object for herself, research questions began to emerge–”Who is or was the person that owned them? What were they used for? What do the different stamps mean? Why were some used more than others?” After discovering that all the ration books were owned by women, who were most likely in the same family, Hope decided to take a more personal approach to this project by creating her own cookbook based on the recipes that were created or became more popular due to rationing. In addition, she intends to also create a short video in the style of a 1940s infomercial, complete with filters and wardrobe choices to create the proper aesthetic, where herself and fellow actors cook the recipes themselves. Through both of these mediums Hope intends to convey what rationing looked like and how it differed across different types of families.

Austin DelSontro

Object of Choice: Setonian Newspapers, 1924-2019 

Inspired by the 100th anniversary of The Setonian, Seton Hall’s student run newspaper, Austin approached this project wanting to explore not only how campus life has changed over the course of 100 years, but what has remained the same. Further, Austin’s research will focus on the evolution of writers, the topics covered over the years, and the response to significant cultural/political events over the past 100 years. While Austin’s primary project will be an academic paper, he also intends to supplement a digital component, such as a website or a blog, and use images to illustrate key differences. Austin is also exploring the possibility of creating his own personalized newspaper, inspired by The Setonian itself, to provide a comprehensive overview of his research findings.

Final projects will be shared with the community in April 2024. Stay tuned for more updates—we cannot wait to see how they will turn out!

100 Years of The Setonian

On March 15th, 1924, the first edition of The Setonian was published. In the inaugural article, the author writes about the years-long trials and efforts faced to get the publication off the ground, with the hopes to put forth a periodical that represents the goings on of the student body. “Get behind the paper, and it will live; neglect your duty and it will soon pass into oblivion,” the author implores in the last line to the reader. Now one hundred years later, The Setonian continues to thrive, further and further from oblivion with the inclusion of digital formats. To honor this important anniversary, Special Collections and Gallery have resolved to digitize the entire archives of the newspaper back to this founding issue.  

Starting last semester, the archives began to digitize early additions of The Setonian that are currently only available to view via microfilm. In digitizing these files, they will be able to be accessed by not only Seton Hall students and faculty, but the general public as well. You will be able to follow the progress of the project here, as new digital editions will be linked here as they are published.  They will also be available through the archives regular research portals Archivesspace and Preservica.  

UPDATE: The first 30 years have been digitized! You can access them via Archivesspace here.

Walsh Gallery is dedicating their Fall 2024 exhibition to the centennial of The Setonian.  The Gallery will be collaborating with both the Archives and Setonian staff to tell the story of not only The Setonian, but of Seton Hall itself through the last one hundred years by highlighting historic and cultural events on campus and beyond. 

#ArchivesDeepDive: Exploring the Seton family papers with Professor Sean Harvey

We are thrilled to introduce #ArchivesDeepDive, a recurring series of write ups on the research done within the Msgr. William Noe Archives & Special Collections by our own staff and students, faculty, and members of the general public.

The Archives & Special Collections recently welcomed Professor Sean Harvey into the Reading Room for a sneak preview of our new acquisition of Seton Family Papers.  These new materials were generously donated by the Sisters of Charity of New York.  These papers consist of letters from Elizabeth Ann Seton’s relatives both before and after her lifetime as well as records of the family’s international shipping business, which played such a monumental role in Mother Seton’s life.  The sisters not only took meticulous care of these valuable records but transcribed them so that modern readers can easily decipher the contents of the 18th century script.

Harvey focused on the correspondence of William Seton, father-in-law of our university’s namesake, Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton, and his mother from 1782-83. William Seton was a prominent merchant in New York City during the American Revolution. Like many merchants of this time, Professor Harvey notes that he was a Loyalist, who felt the reason for his own success was the result of a prosperous British Empire and faithfulness to King George III. Seton remained in New York City throughout the war since it remained primarily under British control, but the pending British evacuation after the war “left William Seton exposed, vulnerable to retaliation once patriots took control of the city” Professor Harvey regards. While we do not have his own words, we can see this vulnerable sentiment reflected in letters from his mother, Elizabeth Seton, who writes in December of 1782 “you will have it more in your power than ever to make a large Fortune, as the Americans will be wiser, and more selfish, than to drive Honest industrious People out of their Society.”

As the popular idiom says, history is written by the victors, and a simple exchange between a mother and son provides larger insight on what the American Revolution meant to those who opposed it. In addition, Professor Harvey notes, this correspondence “hints at the resiliency of family ties despite an ocean-wide separation and the disruption of war and revolution”.

There is still much to be explored in the Seton family papers. If you are interested in doing your own research, make an appointment with us here. The Archives & Special Collections is open Mon-Fri from 9am-5pm.

Have an idea for your own #ArchivesDeepDive? Email archives@shu.edu.

National Hispanic Heritage Month

National Hispanic Heritage Month is a celebration and a recognition of contributions to the United States from the Hispanic community. Originated in 1968 under President Lyndon Johnson as a weeklong event, it was expanded to a month in 1988 under President Ronald Reagan, starting September 15 and ending October 15 to coincide with national independence days in several Latin American countries. According to Pew Research, the United States Hispanic population reached 62.5 million in 2021 which would mean the Hispanic community accounts for about 19% of the United States population. Here at Seton Hall University, 21% of the student body is Hispanic along with numerous staff members, administrators, and faculty.

During this month, the Archives and Special Collections Center and the Walsh Gallery would like to showcase collections that highlight Hispanic heritage:

MSS 0130 – Father Raúl Comesañas Papers

The Father Raúl Comesañas Papers is the first bilingual finding aid created by the Archives. These papers document the life, work, and activities of Father Raúl Comesañas, a Roman Catholic priest of the Archdiocese of Newark who was born in Cuba and became a civic advocate for Union City, New Jersey. Below is what the collection contains:

This collection covers materials related to Father Comesañas’s run for the 13th Congressional district of New Jersey, his work as a Catholic priest in New Jersey, and his work as president of the Union of Cuban Exiles (U.C.E.). There is also a variety of background information related to Fr. Comesañas’s political interests including his role on various boards, his post-secondary education and seminary work, and personal correspondence. There is a significant collection of newspapers, including La Nación Americana, El Clarín, La Tribuna, and Vanguardia Católica all of which Fr. Comesañas had a role in the publication or editing of. The remainder of the newspapers in the collection cover news in North New Jersey and is published in English and Spanish.

The collection covers the years 1943, from paperwork and correspondence of Fr. Comesañas’s family prior to arriving in the United States, to 2017, one year before his death.

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Esta colección cubre materiales relacionados a la carrera política para el trece distrito del Congreso de Nueva Jersey, el trabajo como un Padre de la iglesia católica, y el trabajo como presidente de la unión de exiles cubanos (U.C.E.) de Padre Comesañas. También, hay una variedad de información de fondo sobre sus intereses políticos incluyendo su papel en mesas directivas, su educación y trabajo en el seminario, y sus letras personales. Hay una colección significativa de periódicos, incluyendo La Nación Americana, El Clarín, La Tribuna, y Vanguardia Católica, todos en que Padre Comesañas tenía un papel en su publicación o revisión. El resto de los periódicos cubren noticias del norte de Nueva Jersey y se publican en ingles y español.

Los documentos cubren los años de 1943, con documentos de la familia de Padre Comesañas antes de mudarse al Estados Unidos, al 2017, un año antes de la muerte de Padre Comesañas.

Make sure to check out this digital exhibit!

MSS 0020 – Trina Padilla de Sanz papers

The Trina Padilla de Sanz papers covers the writings and correspondence of Trinidad (Trina) Padilla de Sanz, a Puerto Rican poet, suffragist, and composer, known as “La Hija del Caribe” in honor of her father José Gualberto Padilla, a prominent medic, poet, and political activist known as “El Caribe”. Below is what the collection contains:

The Trina Padilla de Sanz papers date from 1845 to 1968, with the majority of records dating from 1902 to 1957, and document the life and literary career of Puerto Rican poet, writer, suffragist, and composer Trina Padilla de Sanz. The collection consists mostly of correspondence, original manuscripts, and printed works and also contains a small number of photographs and family papers.

The collection is arranged into three series: “I. Correspondence, 1845-1957 (Bulk: 1902-1957)”, “II. Writings, 1910-1966 (Bulk: 1910-1956)”, and “III. Personal and family papers, 1905-1968”.

Series “I. Correspondence” dates from 1845 to 1957, with the majority of correspondence dating from 1902 to 1957, and consists of correspondence with friends, family, and notable musicians, poets, politicians, and writers of her day. Prominent correspondents include, but are not limited to: Luis Llorens Torres, a well-respected Puerto Rican poet, playwright, and politician; Luis Muñoz Marin, the first democratically elected governor of Puerto Rico; Cayetano Coll y Toste, an esteemed Puerto Rican historian and writer; José de Diego y Martinez, a statesman and journalist known as the “Father of the Puerto Rican Independence Movement”; Gabriela Mistral, the first Latin American to win the Nobel Prize in Literature; Manuel Fernandez Juncos, a Spanish journalist and poet who wrote the lyrics to Puerto Rico’s official anthem “La Borinqueña”; Braulio Dueño Colón, co-writer of the song series “Canciones Escolares” and lauded as one of Puerto Rico’s greatest composers; and Lola Rodriguez de Tio, the first Puerto Rican-born poetess to achieve widespread acclaim throughout Latin America. Other noteworthy correspondence includes a letter penned by José Gualberto Padilla, known as “El Caribe”, in 1845 and correspondence between La Hija and her son, Angel A. Sanz Padilla, and daughter, Amalia “Malín” Sanz Padilla. This series is arranged alphabetically by correspondent.

Series “II. Writings” dates from 1910 to 1966, with the majority of writings dating from 1910-1956, and consists of articles, essays, poems, short stories, and open letters in both manuscript and printed formats. The series also contains newspaper and magazine clippings of La Hija’s work, writing fragments, and a small number of articles published after her death. Featured in this series are La Hija’s published works in several prominent Puerto Rican magazines, includingAlma Latina,Condor Blanco,Heraldo de la Mujer, andPuerto Rico Ilustrado. This series is arranged alphabetically by title.

Series “III. Personal and family papers” dates from 1905 to 1968 and contains newspaper and magazine clippings related to La Hija and her family, writings about La Hija, photographs, keepsakes and ephemera, a scrapbook documenting La Hija’s musical career, and a small number of papers belonging to her son, Angel A. Sanz Padilla. This series is arranged alphabetically by record type and chronologically thereunder.

This collection will be useful for researchers interested in the social, cultural, political, and economic issues specific to Puerto Rico during the first half of the twentieth century. It provides in-depth insight into a variety of topics of the pressing current events of that era. For researchers focused on the feminist movement, this collection offers insight into the role of women in society, inequality between genders, and domestic affairs. For those interested in the political sphere, La Hija’s writings contain analyses of not only Puerto Rican liberation efforts, but also the dynamic between the country and more powerful foreign influences, specifically the United States. Researchers who wish to study social problems faced by Puerto Rico will find various articles penned by La Hija related to poverty, wealth disparity, divorce, the death penalty, and juvenile delinquency.

Along with the archival collection, there is a small selection of books that belonged to Trina Padilla de Sanz. Included in these books are works by Hispanic authors such as:

Selección de poesías : Alma América, Fiat lux, Oro de Indias y otras poesías by José Santos Chocano

… Essais by Eugenio María de Hostos, translated by Max Daireaux

Las fronteras de la pasión : novela by Alberto Insúa

Make sure to check out this digital exhibit! And some digitized papers from the collection.

The Walsh Gallery holds many objects from all around the world, from places as close as parks within New Jersey to regions that have since been renamed. Here are a select few objects:

Make sure to check out this compiled map with more objects from around the world as well as Google Arts and Culture which has over 217 object photos. And stay tuned for the launch of PastPerfect!

 

If you are interested in using any of these materials as part of your research, please submit a Research Appointment Form.

If you are interested in using these materials as part of a class visit, please archives@shu.edu.

Learning Opportunities in Archives and Special Collections

image of students viewing artifact
Students in Dr. Laura Wangerin’s “VIKINGS!” class discuss a replica of the Gundestrup Cauldron from the university’s collections

The Archives & Special Collections Center at Seton Hall University welcomes the opportunity to collaborate with faculty on crafting enriching educational experiences for their students. Class visits to the archives often spark a sense of awe and curiosity, which encourages students to participate in active learning activities, engage in inspired conversations, and connect the past to the present.

Primary sources, which comprise the bulk of our archives, rare books, and gallery collections, are powerful instruction tools. All students benefit from learning how to find, analyze, interrogate, and reference primary sources. Past class visits have included a range of disciplines, including Viking and Early Latin American history, typography, Catholic studies, and women’s studies. If you’re not sure our collections will have materials related to your subject area, try us! We love finding gems from the collections to support your research and instruction needs.

We welcome our faculty to contact our Public Services Archivist, Quinn Christie, to talk about how we can work together. Email quinn.christie@shu.edu, find her on Teams, or call (973)275-2033.

Irish Immigrant Solidarity in New Jersey, 1870-Present: New Archival Collections

Flyer reading "For the Benefit of Irish Political Prisoners Dependents (An Cumann Cabhrac) -- Help the men who cannot help themselves -- 1st Prize Trip to Ireland, 2nd Prize Color TV, 3rd Prize Waterford Glass -- Drawing at Gaelic Park, New York -- Sun. Nov. 11 1973 -- Internment -- Donation $1.00." Drawing of two hands wearing shackles on either side of the text.

The Monsignor Noe Field Archives and Special Collections Center is pleased to announce the addition of six new archival collections related to the Irish-American experience. Thanks to a generous grant from the New Jersey Historical Commission, we were able to process the following collections that are now available to researchers:

In addition to processing these collections, we have digitized roughly 1,200 files, at just over 9GB of data, primarily from the John Concannon and James Comerford collections.

Irish-American Experience in the 20th Century: Collection Highlights

The correspondence, research files, publications, photographs, and audio-visual materials in these collections provide an inside look at how Irish-American fraternal organizations worked together and separately to wield influence and political pressure on issues of importance to their communities — primarily immigration reform and the Troubles in Northern Ireland. These documents demonstrate how many of these organizations, notably the Ancient Order of Hibernians, maintained close ties with local political and religious leaders in New York and New Jersey.

For the first half of the 20th century, in the absence of larger governmental programs, membership organizations collected dues and shared out their funds to members in need of assistance. The AOH New Jersey and Knights of Columbus collections include ledgers and membership registers that record in granular detail how these organizations provided health insurance and sick benefits to their members.

Grand Marshal Malcolm Wilson walks in St. Patrick's Day Parade down a New York City street, with other men marching behind him wearing sashes.

In addition to serving as advocacy groups, Irish-American organizations provided a sense of community and maintained a full calendar of social events. The New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade is widely documented in the John Concannon collection, as members of the Ancient Order of Hibernians helmed its operation for many decades. The collection includes internal documents, lines of march, invitations, correspondence, and hundreds of photographs.

Digital Exhibits

For an overview of these collections, we invite you to explore two digital exhibits:

 

 

New Collections Available to Scholars in the SHU Archives

One year ago, Seton Hall’s Monsignor William Noé Field Archives and Special Collections Center received two grants: one to process the papers of New Jersey politicians, and one to process the papers of Irish fraternal organizations.  Apprentice archivists were hired and trained by Seton Hall staff, and they got to work organizing boxes of material, deciphering handwriting, and creating custom archival boxes for obsolete media such as LPs and Super-8 videos.

The results are now ready for scholars:

MSS 132 Papers of Arthur A. Quinn, early 20th century labor leader

MSS 003 Papers of Richard Hughes, the first Catholic governor of New Jersey

MSS 002 Papers of Bernard Shanley, Chief of Staff to President Eisenhower

MSS 0135 John Concannon Collection, National Historian of the Ancient Order of the Hibernians

MSS 0145 James MacFarland Collection, past president of the AOH New Jersey State Board

MSS 0146 AOH New Jersey Collection, materials documenting Irish American life sourced from the AOH New Jersey

MSS 0147 Knights of Columbus / Catholic Daughters of the Americas Collection, materials from these fraternal organizations

MSS 0148 James Comerford Papers, papers of a New York City judge who spent time as a volunteer in the IRA

MSS 0150 Gloria Schneider Papers, papers which document the donor’s involvement in numerous Catholic organizations in Northern New Jersey

The archives encourage those interested in these newly available materials to make an appointment to see them in the reading room.  We look forward to seeing scholars use these collections to enrich our understanding of history!

Asian Studies at Seton Hall University – The First Decade, 1951-1959

From its earliest days, Seton Hall has welcomed international students from locations across the globe. During the post-World War II era, the school made a concerted effort to introduce and promote educational initiatives specifically devoted to the Asian experience. These measures have enhanced the intellectual and interactive opportunities for the benefit of countless Setonians over the past several years.

The formal genesis of a venture into learning more about civilizations across the Pacific Ocean led to the creation of the Far Eastern Institute (now known as the Asia Center) at Seton Hall University on October 29, 1951. This date became a major milestone in school history as Monsignor John McNulty, University President hosted various dignitaries from Japan and the Republics of China (Taiwan), Korea, and Vietnam at the South Orange campus to officially christen the Institute. The basis of this alliance was founded on the principles of offering specialized instruction, promoting scholarship, programming opportunities, and the encouragement of cultural exchange with the faculty, student body, and community at large.

Institute of Far Eastern Studies, Inaugural Prospectus Cover Art, 1951

In more formal terms, the principles of this center were outlined in the following manner: “The Institute of Far Eastern Studies was organized to promote better understanding between the American people and the people of the Far East. The academic courses of this Institute will give the student an opportunity to study the cultural, historical, political, economic, religious and social aspects of the Far East. Since the Institute wishes to use every means available to encourage the interchange of Eastern and Western culture, it is engaged in research work, it conducts public lectures and forums, and publishes articles, monographs and books.”

First Board Advisory Board for the Institute of Far Eastern Studies, 1951

The first advisory board featured a distinguished group of officials who directed the incorporation and implementation of programs ultimately adopted by the Institute. This “regency” of trustees included the following individuals: The Reverend John J. Cain, representative of Seton Hall University and the Archdiocese of Newark; The Most Reverend Paul Yu-Pin, Archbishop (later Cardinal) of Nanking; The Honorable John Chang Nyum, Prime Minister of South Korea; The Honorable Kostaro Tanaka, Chief Justice of Japan, who later became President of Tokyo University; The Honorable Ngo Dinh Diem, former Prime Minister of Việtnam who later became President of the Republic; and Dr. John C.H. Wu, Chinese Jurist and Minister of China to the Holy See who also served as a Professor of Law at the Seton Hall University School of Law.

The first noticeable examples of institutional support came in the form of Seton Hall-endorsed research projects that focused upon various aspects of Chinese socio-political life. The major studies that began this trend included one by the Reverend John Niu, who investigated the cultural and social development of the Industrial Bank of China along with the reorganization of Chinese Economics from a Communistic perspective. In addition, Mr. Yeu Yeu Pan, former Commissioner of Education of Shanghai, conducted research on the principles of democracy as explained by selected ancient Chinese writers representing different centuries and schools of thought.

Mr. Ly-Chanh-Du, ’52

 

 

 

 

 

Mr. Francis P. Sing, ’53

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Concurrent with the inauguration of the Institute, the first documented Asian students to graduate from Seton Hall occurred during the early 1950s. Counted among the first alumni were Mr. Ly-Chanh-Du, ’52, a native of Travinh, Việtnam who earned a B.S. in Social Studies while attaining Dean’s List status and participated in the Le Circle Français Society. Mr. Francis P. Sing, ’53 hailed from Sen-Hui, Kit-Yang, Swallow, China, and earned his B.A. in Science and Management.

The creation of a formal and specific Asia-centric curriculum offered through the Institute commenced during the early-mid 1950s and was open to both high school and college students who could register both on a registered or non-matriculated basis. Courses were held at the University College Center campus located at 31 Clinton Street in Newark as part of the greater Seton Hall University Urban Division. Primary class offerings included Culture, History, Philosophy, and Political Science by country (including India and Pakistan) along with elementary through advanced levels of language instruction opportunities in Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese.

In the wake of the growing allure of the Institute, The Reverend R.J. de Jaegher was dispatched by Monsignor McNulty on a goodwill tour of Asia during the late-1950s to meet with various dignitaries to further enhance the program. Counted among his findings included the following highlights . . .

  • The University of Viet-Nam is willing to exchange books, professors, etc., with Seton Hall. President Diem would like to have Father de Jaegher back to Vietnam for important work there as soon as possible.
  • Chiang Fu-Tsun, Director of the Chinese National Central Library, is a Catholic convert, and he is willing to exchange books with Seton Hall. Recently he has sent some valuable books for the Seton Hall Centennial.
  • All the Korean Universities invited me to give lectures and gave me a trunk full of Korean books for our Institute. All those Universities asked for documentation on Seton Hall.
  • Bishop Paul Marie Kinam Ro of Seoul (Korea) has a Holy GHOST MEDICAL College, the only Catholic College in Korea, and Bishop Ro requested me to ask you to have his College affiliated with Seton Hall Medical Center.
  • Father Willem Grootaers – a professor from the Catholic University of Peiping, a great authority on linguistics . . . after receiving a Doctorate at Seton Hall, could be research professor for Seton Hall in Japan and do some work for Seton Hall free of charge.
Msgr. John McNulty, University President poses with the following distinguished visitors during Commencement Exercises at Seton Hall University in 1957. Hon. Kotaro Tanaka, Chief Justice of Japan LL.D.; Hon. Chang Chi-Yun, Minister of Education, Republic of China LL.D.; Hon. John Myun Chang, Vice President of the Republic of China LL.D.

Additional advancements were made as the school continued to thrive into the late 1950s and subsequent decades as Seton Hall University teamed with the United States Department of Education, Health and Welfare to offer scholarships to students who were willing to learn to speak fluent Chinese or Japanese. Along with external support, the administration looked to broaden the program and affiliate it with the Department of Social Studies. This led to other opportunities that would arise in subsequent decades including various research endeavors undertaken by a number of faculty and students, the creation of the Seton Hall University Press which specialized in Chinese language texts, and official student and professor exchanges with individual Chinese colleges and universities among other activities of note.

Additional introductory information on the Institute including faculty and graduates of the school can be found within our online yearbook collection – https://scholarship.shu.edu/yearbooks/

Resources related to the Asian Studies experience are varied  https://archivesspace-library.shu.edu/search?utf8=%E2%9C%93&op%5B%5D=&q%5B%5D=Asia&commit=&field%5B%5D=&from_year%5B%5D=&to_year%5B%5D=  Additional specific subject areas and topics beyond the 1950s alone including program development, faculty profiles, and other aspects of Asian Studies at Seton Hall can be made accessible upon request.

For more information on our resources and to schedule an appointment please contact via e-mail: archives@shu.edu or by phone at: (973) 275-2378.

Selected Bibliography

Asia Center, 50th Anniversary Program. South Orange, NJ: Seton Hall University, 2002.

Far Eastern Institute Prospectus. South Orange, NJ: Seton Hall University, 1951.

“Far Eastern Institute” Files. Office of the President & Chancellor of Seton Hall University: John L. McNulty records Collection, Identifier: SHU-0003-012

“Seton Hall Inaugurates Far Eastern Studies,” The Setonian, 2 November 1951, Vol. XXVI, No. 6, 1-3.

Seton Hall University Catalog(ue) Bulletin, 1956-57. South Orange, NJ: Seton Hall University, 1956.

Pathmakers in New Jersey Politics

exhibit walls behind glass
Pathbreakers in New Jersey Politics on display on the first floor of Walsh Library

Seton Hall cares for fourteen archival collections documenting the careers of New Jersey politicians, illustrating the evolution of this state since its founding in 1787.  In 2021, the National Archives awarded Seton Hall a federal grant to process five of these collections: the papers of Arthur A. Quinn, early twentieth-century pioneer in labor activism, the papers of Bernard Shanley, Chief of Staff to President Eisenhower, Governors Richard Hughes and Brendan Byrne, and first Black Congressman from New Jersey Donald Payne.  After processing, these unique materials will be available to the public, enriching our understanding of the state we live in and the many people who worked to make it better.

Exhibit case featuring photos, writings, inscribed book, political buttons and bound copy of Shanley diary
Exhibit case featuring photos, writings, inscribed book, political buttons and bound copy of Shanley diary

The exhibit includes photographs of these politicians, excerpts from their writings, political buttons issued by their campaigns, and most exciting: the daily diary kept by Bernard Shanley when he was Chief of Staff to President Eisenhower.  The archives has a full copy of the diary now available to researchers, in addition to the bound copy on display.

painting of trees along a riverside, with sun glinting off the water
Edwin Havas
Along the Delaware
35 1/2” x 47 1/2”
oil on canvas
Date Unknown
2011.29.0001
Seton Hall University Permanent Collection

This exhibit is currently on display in the Archives Reading Room and may be viewed when the library is open.  Hanging next to the hallway exhibit is a landscape by Seton Hall professor Edwin Havas, titled “Along the Delaware,” providing a contrast of the natural landscape in which all this political debate took place.

Special Collections and the Gallery acknowledge the support of the National Historic Publications and Records Commission, which generously provided funding for the archival work which made this exhibit possible.

closeup of exhibit text and acknowledgement
Acknowledgement to the National Historic Publications and Records Commission for its support.