With the calendar pointing to late October, reading trends this time of year often focus on tales of mystery and mayhem connected with the observance of Halloween. Counted among the most famous authors who represent this time of year so vividly is Edgar Allan Poe (1809-49). Among his varied literary accomplishments, Poe is often credited with being the first to create and popularize the genre of science fiction. Many of his stories touched on the darker side of human nature, but his writing style was unique and captured the public imagination. Within an academic context, the short stories penned by Poe are still assigned by many professors as required reading for their students to study and learn from in turn.
Inside the Archives & Special Collections are different historical anthologies and special edition volumes that capture the written legacy of Poe in greater detail. Included are the following titles under his authorship: Eurkea, Marginalia; A Chapter on Autobiography (Boston: L.C. Page, 1884); Poetical Works With Original Memoir (New York: J.S. Redfield, 1858); Poems and Essays (Boston: L.C. Page, 1884); Prose Tales (Boston: L.C. Page, 1884); and Tales of Mystery and Imagination (New York: Brentano’s, 1923) among other works of scholarship that have endured the test of time.
These and other works by Poe and different authors who specialize in suspense and other genres can be found through within our collection. For more information about Edgar Allan Poe, Rare Book holdings, and research opportunities please feel free to contact us to arrange an appointment via e-mail: <email@example.com> or by phone at: (973) 275-2378.
With March upon us an increased interest in learning about the culture, history, individuals, events, and traditions associated with the Irish experience is both evident and welcome! However, when it comes to finding resources related to both Éire proper and Irish-America alike we offer year-round opportunities to study a wide-range of subject areas related to, and inspired by Ireland proper.
The Archives & Special Collections Center at Seton Hall University features a group of printed volumes from the collection of Irish literary figure and noted book collector Michael Joseph (Meagher) MacManus (1888-1951) who wrote various nationalist-themed books and worked as editor of the Irish Press from 1931 until his death two decades later. This library includes over 3,000 titles dating from the seventeenth century to the present day and covers several different aspects of Irish and Irish-American life including culture, geography, literature, politics, biography, history and religion. Nearly all editions are printed in either English or Irish (Gaelach). The core of this collection consists of acquisitions secured by MacManus during his lifetime, but arrangements have been made to add latter day works to what has become a continuously expanding bibliography.
Another collection donated by Rita Murphy (1912-2003), achieved status as one of the first female graduates of Seton Hall in 1937, prior to becoming a long-time director of the Irish Institute at Seton Hall during the 1950s and 1960s. She also hosted a weekly Irish Music Program on W-S-O-U FM, South Orange and frequently appeared on local television. Her collection of nearly 1,000 titles are complimented by other important works donated by prominent donors of Irish titles including the recently acquired Emmet-Tuite Library of volumes focusing on varied aspects of the Irish experience printed between from the 16-19th century, noted New Jersey based journalists Barbara O’Reilly; Jim Lowney and noted advocate Jim McFarland whose bequest centers on focused materials related to political issues in Northern Ireland over the past few decades.
Counted among our major subject collections featuring Irish subject matter include the reference papers of John Concannon (1924-2011) former author, publicist and National Historian of the Ancient Order of Hibernians whose voluminous source material on Ireland and Irish-America is especially detailed with particular emphasis on parades, noted political and military figures. In addition, the Center houses microfilm editions of the National Hibernian Digest (1905-97), Hibernian Journal (1907-69), and Convention Proceedings of the AOH in America (1888-1990). Various materials including ledgers, documents, and other items representing the New Jersey AOH have also found a central place within our collection.
When it comes to family ties and Irish-connected genealogy, the presence of church census data, select religious community information, educational files and various institutional and parish records are also found within this collection. Original and microfilmed nineteenth and early twentieth century sacramental registers from both current or closed parishes and various local cemeteries provide a wealth of data for those conducting genealogical research for their Irish and Irish-American ancestors either on-site or via mail inquiry. Supplementing these distinctive resources are bound or microfilm copies of Catholic Almanacs and Directories dating from 1851 onward.
In terms of manuscript collections individual figures with Irish surnames have also been featured prominently in the organization of archival collections featured at Seton Hall through University connections including such academics and former presidents as Bernard J. McQuaid (1856-1857 and 1859-1867); James H. Corrigan (1876-1888); James F. Mooney (1907-1922); Thomas H. McLaughlin (1922-1933); Francis J. Monaghan (1933-1936); James F. Kelley (1936-1949); John L. McNulty (1949-1959) and John J. Dougherty (1959-1969). Other prominent collections include resource materials from the laity including Congressman Marcus Daly (1908-1969) of Monmouth County, the first Catholic Governor of New Jersey Richard J. Hughes (1909-1992); and Bernard Shanley III (1903-1992), political advisor to President Dwight Eisenhower to name a few.
For more information about these, and other resources, and/or to schedule a research appointment please contact Alan Delozier, University Archivist/Education Coordinator via E-Mail: Alan.Delozier@shu.edu or by Phone: (973) 275-2378
Within the Rare Book Collection of the Seton Hall University Archives & Special Collections Center are a number of volumes from the St. Nicholas Illustrated series. Although no longer published, St. Nicholas was a popular children’s monthly that achieved popularity during the late 19th century.
First published in 1873 by Scribner & Company publishers, this magazine dedicated its pages to featuring quality short stories, poems, and other creative writing examples about a wide-range of topics penned by novice and experienced writers alike including Louisa May Alcott, Mark Twain, and Joel Chandler Harris to name a few. Pieces that saw print were often accompanied by stylized black and white illustrations and wood engravings that complimented the text.
During its peak years, single issues St. Nicholas arrived in mailboxes monthly and achieved an average subscription rate of 100,000 readers. Publishers worked on other ways to attract further readership and show its aesthetic quality throughout its run. This manifested itself through the option of purchasing bound copies for a particular year(s) with a specifically designed cover to better showcase the magazine as shown above.
After seven decades, the magazine ceased operations by 1943 as readership diminished during the war years, but the existing copies that have been preserved offer an illuminating insight into juvenile literature of another age. Additionally, St. Nicholas and its Christmas-centered themes that were written in honor of the holiday and celebrating a wide-range of aspects that touched on everyday life is part of its lasting legacy.
For more information on St. Nicholas Illustrated and our Rare Book collections please contact us at: Archives@shu.edu or by phone at: (973) 275-2378.
On September 17th, 1787, the United States Constitution was approved by delegates to a special convention with the goal of creating a set of reasoned legal standards for those who would be elected to lead and share in the welfare of their new nation. Since its ratification, the Constitution has provided the framework for a democratic form of government that has distinguished domestic leadership and its impact on the American populace over the past 230 years. In more specific terms, the content found in this document outlines the continued aspiration for shared and balanced authority between the three branches of government – executive, judicial, and legislative not only nationally, but also on the state and local level. The original authors were also aware that changes might be needed over time, and to date there have been 27 separate amendments made with the first ten comprising the Bill of Rights and the rest covering different aspects of civil equality.
Since its introduction, the Constitution has not only been a part of secular society since its official release, but from an academic perspective this text has been studied widely and given rise to special courses and independent study that stands alone, or paired with various disciplines from law to sociology to history among others. A major part of this rise in wider interest came after the American Revolution concluded with the need for schools, growing literacy rates, and spread of print media as a means of educational outreach. These incentives helped to create the means of inform the public about legislative developments that impacted upon the citizens of a new and developing country.
The first unveiling of the Constitution to the masses came two days after it was finalized through the efforts of John Dunlap (1747-1812) who was the founding editor of The Pennsylvania Packet and Daily Advertiser, the first daily newspaper in the United States. This milestone gave rise to a series of printed books that offer full-text treatment along with details on the process of different sections were crafted, commentary on the subject matter, and significance of the final content depending upon each individual volume and its particular focus. The examples presented in this exhibit represent not only the first published copy, but also select early nineteenth century works that cover the words of first president George Washington, early amendments, and perspective from the New Jersey delegation representing the third state to officially ratify the Constitution.
Select bibliographic examples and relevant pages from our collection can be found not only within this post, but in the bound volumes located within our collection. These include – The Pennsylvania Packet and Daily Advertiser, No. 2690, 19 September 1787 (Facsimile extract from: Farrar, Frederic B. This common channel to independence: revolution and newspapers, 1759-1789. (Garden City, NY: Farrar Books, 1975); The Federalist, on the new constitution. By Publius. Written in 1788. To which is added, Pacificus, on the proclamation of neutrality. Written in 1793. Likewise, the Federal Constitution, with all the amendments. 2 vols. (New York: George F. Hopkins, at Washington’s Head, 1802); and Eliott, Jonathan. The debates in the several state conventions on the adoption of the Federal Constitution, as recommended by the general convention at Philadelphia, in 1787. Together with the Journal of the Federal Convention, Luther Martin’s letter, Yate’s minutes, Congressional opinions, Virginia and Kentucky resolutions of ’98-’99, and other illustrations of the Constitution / collected and revised from contemporary publications by Jonathan Elliot. Published under the sanction of Congress. (Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott Co., 1836)
In addition to these aforementioned works, further information on the United States Constitution and resources related to this subject area are accessible via the University Libraries through the following link –
Counted among the earliest and most influential volumes found in our Rare Book Collection is the Douai-Rheims Bible which is the English language translation of scripture designed specifically for Catholic readership from the original Latin Vulgate that was created by theologian and historian Eusebius Sophronius Hieronymus, or Jerome (345-420 AD), the present day patron saint of translators and librarians.
The enduring title for this work comes from the geographical connections to the adapted work hosted by the English University at Douai (Northern France) and Reims, France where the Old Testament and New Testament were evaluated from the translations made by St. Jerome centuries earlier. The first mass published volume was created in 1582 which featured the New Testament proper. This served as a prelude to the companion Old Testament version that was published in two volumes between 1609-10 by the University of Douai. This particular compilation illustrated here encompasses the Books of Genesis to Job (first volume) and transitions to the Psalms, Machabees, and Apocrypha of the Vulgate (second volume) and includes source notes on the translation process via the Hebrew and Greek versions of the Latin Bible.
With a proliferation of Protestant-created bibles including the King James version (1604-11) and many earlier examples from the 16th century, the primary rationale for the creation of the Douai-Rheims Bible centered around the need by Catholics in England to create a clearly legible sacred text as a means of helping to discourage conversion in the face of conversion temptation brought on by Counter-Reformation preachers and to clearly articulate the articles of faith in a vernacular that could be easily understood and interpreted.
This work was first published through the intercession of Lawrence Killam at Douai and the text once it went through the printing press came in a flat case leather binding measuring 6 1/2 x 9 in. Examples of the title page and frontispiece can be found in the illustrations provided. Subsequent reprints and editions have been made of this trailblazing work making it one of the read religious-centered tomes over since its first appearance over 400 years ago. For more information contact Alan Delozier, University Archivist/ Education Coordinator via e-mail: Alan.Delozier@shu.edu or by phone at: (973) 275-2378.
The Archives & Special Collections Center in collaboration with the Digital Humanities Committee recently had conservation work and digitization performed on a 17th century illuminated manuscript Qur’an from the rare book collection. The Qur’an was originally brought from Lebanon by Edwin D. Hardin, who was a missionary stationed at the American University of Beirut from approximately 1900 to 1915. It first came to Seton Hall in 2003 when it was featured in a Walsh Gallery exhibition entitled The Beauty of Sacred Texts: Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Institute of Judeo-Christian Studies. The lender, Mr. Peter Kennedy, had intended to gift the volume to the University and in 2016 donated the Qur’an to the Archives & Special Collections Center.
The Qur’an was sent out for conservation in order to stabilize it for digitization and handling. The volume had undergone some previous repairs and was re-bound sometime during the 18th or 19th century. The envelope flap, which extends from the back cover of the volume and folds up to cover its fore edge, was very weak at the hinges and became detached during the conservator’s examination. The binding was also failing, causing some leaves to loosen and begin to detach. We sent the volume to Etherington Conservation Services in North Carolina, where conservators reattached and reinforced the envelope flap, repaired minor damage to the covers, re-sewed the binding, and re-covered the spine. While the binding was removed, they scanned the pages to create a digital copy of the book.
As a result of this work, this historic Qur’an is stable enough for handling and display, and the digital images can be made available online. This will allow researchers to view the Qur’an’s beautifully illuminated pages and intricate marginal decorations without putting stress on the volume. It will also open up many possibilities for research projects, such as a potential project to decipher and translate the annotations that appear throughout the volume. The digital collection is coming soon!
The commemoration of All Saint’s Day (also known in some quarters as “All Hallows’ Day,” “Hallowmas,” “Feast Of All Saints,” or “Solemnity of All Saints”) recognizes the lives and legacy of saints and martyrs in history and is celebrated not only in the United States, but globally. It is a Christian-based holiday that is observed every year on November 1st among Western Churches and the first Sunday after Pentecost in Eastern Rite Churches. The traditional rituals found to be connected with All Saints’ Day include personal reflection and formal remembrance combined with a religious service to honor those who are recognized for their exceptional piety. Their tales are often recounted in print form and available to future generations to discover.
In our Rare Book Collection, a number of texts on individual saints dating back to the 15th century which are worth reading in a wide-range of languages including Latin, French, German, and others. Among our earliest American published volumes is the work entitled – Christ In His Church: Her Dogmas and Her Saints, With Moral Reflections, Critical Illustrations, and Explanatory Notes (New York: Thomas Kelly, 1875) by noted author Henry Rutter. He provided the context of how the work of saints was instrumental in the overall work of devotion to the Catholic Church with a particular emphasis on female deities including St. Brigid, St. Margaret, St. Cecily, St. Lucy and others. This volume is a prime example of a mid-19th century devotional text that highlights the contributions of saints with their influence on Church teachings.
For more information there are many books, articles, and other resources including the Internet where more information can be found regarding the sainthood and the holiday of All Saints’ Day. The following a few starting works, but not limited to these examples, for those who want to learn more can connect to the following link –
A new exhibit in the Msgr. William Noé Field Archives & Special Collections Center Reading Room highlights materials from our Anti-Catholic Ephemera collection. This small collection dates from 1765-1952. It contains several pamphlets expressing anti-Catholic sentiment and denouncing Catholicism. Although they are not displayed in this exhibit, the collection also includes some materials relating to the Philadelphia Nativist Riots, in which Protestant nativist groups lashed out against Irish Catholic immigrants and burned several Catholic churches. In addition to materials from the Anti-Catholic Ephemera collection, several of the items in the exhibit are from our Rare Books collection.
Anti-Catholicism grew out of the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century, and continues in some forms today. It was most common in countries that were majority-Protestant, such as Great Britain and the United States, and sometimes led to discrimination and violence. Catholics were often derogatorily referred to as “papists” or “Romanists,” and were suspected of remaining loyal to the Vatican rather than their countries. Anti-Catholic sentiment overlapped with movements such as nativism when majority-Protestant countries experienced an influx of Catholic immigrants.
Some of the items featured in this exhibit include “Let’s Test Catholic Loyalty,” a 1952 pamphlet produced by the Knights of Columbus as a response to Anti-Catholicism; Popish idolatry; a discourse delivered in the Chapel of Harvard-College in Cambridge, New-England by Jonathan Mayhew, 1765; and The papists bloody oath of secrecy, and letany of intercession for the carrying on of this present plot by Robert Bolron, printed in London in 1680. This document relates to the “Popish plot” and murder of Sir Edmund Berry Godfrey, an English magistrate whose mysterious death stirred up Anti-Catholic turmoil in England.
For more information about the exhibit or the Anti-Catholic Ephemera collection, stop by the Archives or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or (973)761-9476.
The Msgr. William Noé Field Archives & Special Collections Center recently acquired two new rare books:
Ordo Romanvs De Officio Missae, authored by Georg Cassander (1513-1566), was issued with another of Cassander’s works, Litvrgica de ritv et ordine dominicae coenae celebrandae, and sold as a single volume. Working towards the reunification of Catholics and Protestants, Cassander sought common ground in the teachings of the early Church. In his writings, he draws upon the importance of the immutable texts of the Mass, and references ancient, medieval, and modern writers to state his case.
Pacôme’s description of the Cistercian monastery at La Trappe, Description du plan en relief de l’abbaye de la Trappe, features etched illustrations showing exteriors and interiors of the abbey, scenes of daily life, agriculture, communal meals, and the journey of the exiled James II of England. The description was meant to accompany a sixteen-by-fourteen foot scale model of the monastery, commissioned by the Abbot to be presented to Louis XVIII.
These two volumes of the works of Cicero, which are part of the Tullio Ascarelli collection, are examples of books from the Aldine press. The Aldine press was founded in Venice by Aldus Manutius (Aldo Manuzio, c. 1449-1515). Manutius was educated as a humanist and sought to preserve classical Greek literature by printing many significant Greek works. He also printed notable Latin and Italian authors. Manutius is also known for his contributions to typography. His firm was the first to use italic type, and introduced books in the octavo format, which can be considered as the equivalent of the modern paperback. His goal was to print small, inexpensive books for scholars. Books published by the Aldine press can be identified by the unique printer’s device, which depicts a dolphin and an anchor. After his death, Manutius’ firm was carried on by his son Paulus, followed by his grandson, Aldus.
M.T. Ciceronis epistolarum ad Atticum, ad Brutum was printed in 1513, presumably under the direction of Aldus Manutius. Rhetoricorumad C. Herennium was printed under the direction of Manutius’ son Paulus (Paolo) in 1559.