Retired Seton Hall University Librarian and Assistant Professor, Richard E. Stern recently donated a significant collection of African art and artifacts to the University. Stern acquired the objects when he was a volunteer in the Peace Corps in Liberia from 1969 to 1970. The donation includes more than sixty-five pieces of cloth – some hand-dyed by Stern – using traditional methods and natural materials such as indigo and cola nuts. Many pieces were hand-woven, including a small selection of Kente cloth from Ghana. Other hand-crafted objects include wooden masks and sculptures, cast metal figurines and beaded necklaces. “This donation is significant for Seton Hall University. The objects illuminate world cultures and artistic traditions unique to West Africa, while embodying the donor’s personal relationships to the people he met and places he traveled during his Peace Corps service. Stern’s personal recollections about the objects and the people connected with them are being preserved, providing a crucial layer of context for the collection. We could not be more appreciative.” stated Gallery Director Jeanne Brasile.
The collection amplifies the university’s Diversity Initiatives which celebrate a rich tapestry of global ideas and perspectives. Stern’s generous donation will expand Seton Hall’s collections overall, while augmenting existing collections of African art and artifacts including sculptures, paintings, photographs and prints. Presently, Collections Manager Laura Hapke is preparing the objects for exhibition by cataloguing each item and creating a safe storage environment for each, thereby ensuring access to this unique collection for generations of students, faculty, researchers and scholars.
The Walsh Gallery cares for and interprets Seton Hall University’s collections of material culture. In addition to the African art and artifacts the university collections include The Wang Fangyu Collection of Asian Art which spans over 3,500 years of cultural traditions from China, Japan, the Philippines, Korea, India and Vietnam; The Seton Hall University Museum of Anthropology and Archaeology which includes objects from North American cultures including the Leni Lenape, Paiute, Zuni, Pomo and Tlingit peoples as well as objects from South America, Asia and Europe; and The D’Argenio Collection of Coins and Antiquities which includes coins from ancient Etruscan, Greek, Roman and Byzantine cultures. Appointments to see the collections can be made by completing this form. A sampling of our collections can be viewed on Google Arts and Culture. The Walsh Gallery is open 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday—Friday and is located on the first floor of the Walsh Library. The gallery is free and open to the public.
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.
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.
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.
The Walsh Gallery presents “Out of the Vault,” an exhibition of objects that illuminate important moments in Seton Hall’s history. The exhibition situates the viewer with the founding of Seton Hall College in 1856 by James Roosevelt Bayley, the first Bishop of the Diocese of Newark and nephew of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton – the first American born saint and the university’s namesake. The exhibition then jumps 75 years to Seton Hall’s Diamond Jubilee Anniversary in 1931. Objects from this period include a gold embroidered brocade vestment, historic commencement photographs, and a hand-written inscription from President McLaughlin to Bishop Walsh written on a yearbook page. “Out of the Vault” also explores the 700th Anniversary of poet Dante Alighieri’s birth in 1961 with paintings by Professor of Art Anthony Triano, engravings by William Blake and a rare text of Dante’s “La Vita Nuova” translated by celebrated artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti.
The Walsh Gallery and Department of Archives and Special Collections care for and interpret the objects in the university’s collections. This exhibition is one of the many ways the departments preserve the university’s history via material culture and research. Other collections include The Wang Fangyu Collection of Asian Art which includes objects spanning over 3,500 years from China, Japan, the Philippines, Korea, India and Vietnam; The Seton Hall University Museum of Anthropology and Archaeology which includes objects from North American cultures including the Leni Lenape, Paiute, Zuni, Pomo and Tlingit peoples as well as objects from South American, Asian, European and African cultures; and The D’Argenio Collection of Coins and Antiquities which includes coins from ancient Etruscan, Greek, Roman and Byzantine cultures. The collections are available to students, faculty and scholars for research and scholarly purposes. Appointments to see the collections can be made by completing this form or a portion of our collections can be viewed on Google Arts and Culture.
The Walsh Gallery is open 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday—Friday.
Brianna LoSardo is the Archivist of the Archdiocese of Newark, responsible for maintaining the collections of the Archdiocese and helping researchers working with the collections. Brianna got her start at Seton Hall, and in this role she still works closely with the Archives and Walsh Gallery team, as well as faculty researchers. These amazing collections are some of the oldest and most interesting materials at Seton Hall, including the records of Bishop Bayley, founder of Seton Hall, and many unique vestments and artifacts in addition to paper records.
1. How long have you been working at the library? 7 years total, 2 in my current position
2. What was the last book you read that you really enjoyed? Piranesi by Susanna Clarke – I could not put it down!
3. What are you watching these days? Great British Baking Show
4. Print book or ebook? Ebook
5. What superpower would you want? The ability to teleport.
6. Are you a morning person or a night owl? Night owl
The Monsignor Field Archives and Special Collections Center is the official repository for the records of the national organization that supports the United Nations, UNA-USA.
Over the past year, a student at New York University’s Archives and Public History Program, Quin de la Rosa, has been working to process the collection – organizing the contents and creating a detailed finding aid that will allow researchers from around the country to discover what materials are held here. The collection contains records from all the chapters around the country and the records of the activities of the organization itself.
Since the United States has been a strong supporter of the United Nations, the UNA-USA received significant attention from U.N. leadership, as this photograph, showing Kofi Annan, who had just been inaugurated as Secretary-General of the United Nations, meeting with UNA-USA President Bill Luers, on Feburary 17, 1999 (MSS 52, Records of the UNA-USA, Box 28, Folder 35).
The dark days of December are punctuated by the celebration of religious and cultural holidays, and festivals worldwide. At Seton Hall University there are a many ways to celebrate throughout this month. One of our most anticipated traditions is the annual Christmas tree lighting which takes place this year at 6pm on Monday, December 6th on the University Green. Christmas at The Hall includes concerts, charitable events, a cabaret and trips to Christmas markets. Check the calendar of events to see how you can participate.
The image to the left depicts the birth of Christ, celebrated each at Christmas.
This time of year is when Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights, is celebrated. The Jewish holiday commemorates the rededication of the temple in Jerusalem at the beginning of the Maccabean revolt against the Seleucid Empire the 2nd century BCE. This year Hanukkah is celebrated November 28th through December 6th. The hanukkiah, depicted to the right, is lit nightly to celebrate the eight nights of Hanukkah.
The ninth candle is known as the shamash, or helper candle, since it is used to light the other eight candles. The laws of the holiday forbid using the light of the hanukkiah for practical purposes, reserving it to celebrate the miracle.
Geeta Jayanti, the birthday of Bhagavad Gita, the sacred text of the Hindus, is celebrated this year on December 14th. It is a major festival that commemorates the preaching of Gita to Arjuna, a young warrior, and Krishna, a god acting as Arjuna’s charioteer. The image above depicts Arjuna’s moment of doubt about his role in the impending battle against adversaries who are also his cousins.
The festival is celebrated mainly in Kurukshetra, Haryana, India – a pilgrimage site believed to be the place where Krishna recited Bhagavad Gita to Arjuna. Sadhus (holy men), pilgrims from across the country, and many foreigners visit Kurukshetra for Gita Jayanti.
Kwanzaa, a seven-day celebration of African American culture is observed annually from December 26 through January 1. The name Kwanzaa is taken from the Swahili phrase “matunda ya kwanza,” meaning first fruits. Each evening during Kwanzaa, a candle is lit on the kinara, a traditional candleholder, to honor seven principles: Umoja (Unity), Kujichagulia (Self-determination), Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility), Ujamaa (Cooperative economics), Nia (Purpose), Kuumba (Creativity) and Imani (Faith). The English-Swahili phrasebook below is open to a page with the translations for many foods that might be eaten during this time.
While this blog post is not exhaustive in scope, it is indicative of the diverse fabric of the community in which Seton Hall University resides as well as the rich heritage of our students, faculty and staff. The images above are but a small sampling of the variety of cultures, traditions and religions represented in the collections cared for by the Walsh Gallery and Special Collections at Seton Hall University. Students, faculty and researchers may make appointments to view materials. 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
Seton Hall has traditionally been noted for its detailed liberal arts curriculum but has also hosted a number of other major programs across the academic spectrum. Within the natural sciences, the field of Chemistry has been an integral part of the educational offerings for the student body. This year marks the 160th anniversary of the first documented course offered at Seton Hall College eventually led to increased expansion to a full-fledged program known as the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the present time.
The study of Chemistry by general definition found in various primers definition chain of qualities involved with this natural science focuses primarily on the investigation of the properties and behavior connected to matter. This includes the deeper study of elements and compounds involving the reactive behavior of atoms, ions, and molecules in particular.
During the first years of Seton Hall on the South Orange campus, the Chemistry class option was listed within the earliest Seton Hall College Catalog(ue)s/Bulletins under the “Mathematical Course” banner was by all indicators a required course. Between the 1860s-90s, an introductory Chemistry class was offered to enrolled students during the First Term of the Sophomore year at the school and held on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays during a particular semester. The first text-books used included popular works for their time: “First Principles of Chemistry, For the Use of Colleges and Schools,” by Benjamin Silliman (Philadelphia: T. Bliss & Co., 1866) and later, A Class-Book of Chemistry: On the Basis of the New System, by Edward Livingston Youmans (New York: Appleton, 1857) as foundational works to this discipline.
Moving into the twentieth century, a more specific insight to Chemistry and its place in the Setonia curriculum can be gleaned from the following description of study from the pages of the Seton Hall College Catalogue of 1921-22. This passage from one hundred years ago provides a detailed look at what was involved in the requirements associated with class participation at that time . . .
“SCIENCE. CHEMISTRY – The aims of the course are: (1) to offer all students an opportunity to become acquainted with the facts of modern chemistry and the special forms of reasoning and method applied to those practical sciences which have their basis in chemistry; (2) to fill out the general training of undergraduates; and (3) to prepare the student for later advanced work in the sciences. Special stress is therefore laid on thoroughness of preparation, and the symmetrical development of the student’s knowledge. The elements of inorganic chemistry are taught by lectures, laboratory illustrations nad experiments, and recitations from notes and from a general text-book. Through the scope of the course is essentially fitted to the purposes in view, yet the method of treatment, particularly in the matter of lecture presentation, offers many special advantages to the student. He must learn how to synopsize and generalize a lecture, he must know how to trace its drift and link its lessons with the matter already learned, ad must see its import, as well, in relation to the work yet to be done. The notebook counts for examination results, and a pass-mark cannot be won without it. The course occupies the entire Sophomore year. Its study is obligatory on all B Sc. degree students and for such others as can offer for it no satisfactory equivalent . . . The following is a brief outline of the course: Oxygen; hydrogen; water and hydrogen dioxide; the atomic theory; molecular and atomic wights; chemical calculations; nitrogen; the atmosphere; solutions; acids; bases; salts; neutralization; valence; compounds of nitrogen; sulphur and its compounds; the periodic law; the chlorine group. Carbon and its simpler compounds; flames the phosphorus group; silicon; titanium; baron; the metals; the alkaline-earth group; copper; mercury; silver; tin and lead; manganese; gold and the platinum group; some simpler organic compounds.”
Moving forward over the last several decades, scores of Setonia students have either majored in Chemistry or taken a version as an elective or in some other context. Among the lasting testament to this study are lasting course descriptions, papers, and other landmarks across campus. This includes McNulty Hall (now known as the Science Center) featuring the legendary “Atom Wall” relief built during the 1950s has been the host to countless lectures and lab experiments by faculty and students alike to further the knowledge of Chemistry-centered inquiry.
A continuum of supporting the need and advance of those wishing to explore advanced study expanded in large measure when Chemistry became the first University-wide doctoral program established by University during the mid-1960s. A number of Master’s Theses were produced by 1964 and the first PhD degrees earned that year led to published Dissertations released the following year. Specific examples can be found within the Seton Hall University Libraries Catalog by searching via the following link – https://library.shu.edu/library/books within the search term: “Chemistry” and choosing to search within the category of: “Thesis, Dissertation” resources and focusing upon a specific year or year-range.
Renovations to the Science Center, publications arising from Chemistry faculty, and other developments in the new Millennium have provided a success story for those connected to the study and success of this field of endeavor. In documenting the trajectory and evolution of the history within the holdings found at the Monsignor William Noé Field Archives & Special Collections Center there are various resources including various articles in school publications, vertical file content, prospectus booklets, departmental notes along with various faculty notes, and a specific historical textbook collection that shows examples of college-level print aids published mainly from the 1920s-70s. Our Rare Book holdings also contain centuries-old titles and have been consulted by the Seton Hall community over the years including some of the oldest titles found in our catalog . . .
Historical Text-Books and Rare Book classified Chemistry works can be found by limiting your search to “Archives and Special Collections” when locating the following site – https://library.shu.edu/library/books Additional resources both historical and contemporary can be found by searching for wider Chemistry resources via the University Libraries Homepage – https://library.shu.edu/home and Chemistry-based Library Guide constructed by Dr. Lisa Rose-Wiles found here – https://library.shu.edu/chemistry
For more specific information on Chemistry and Natural Science-centered resources and any other aspect of University History and/or Rare Books we are glad to assist your research efforts. Contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at: (973) 275-2378.
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!