John M. Oesterreicher Books and Journals

The personal library of Mgsr. John M. Oesterreicher is just one aspect of his extensive collection available in the Archives and Special Collection Center. His personal library contained more than 5300 monographs and over 150 journal titles. As of this month all of Msgr. Oesterriecher’s books are available through the Seton Hall University library catalog and a list of journals is available through the collection’s finding aid. These materials date from the early 20th century through his death in 1993, and focus on Catholicism, Judaeo-Christian Studies and anti-Semitism. It includes works in English, German, French and Hebrew.

John M. Oesterreicher presents The Bridge IV to Pope Paul VI
John M. Oesterreicher presents The Bridge IV to Pope Paul VI, from the John M. Oesterreicher papers, Mss 0053. See this and other images from the Oesterreicher collection at the Digital Field Archives and Special Collections Center.

Mgsr. Oesterreicher was born February 2, 1904 in Stadt-Liebau, Moravia, then a part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, into a Jewish family. He studied theology at the Universities of Graz and Vienna, was ordained to the priesthood in 1927, and in 1953 he founded the Institute for Judaeo-Christian Studies at Seton Hall University in South Orange, NJ. He served as consultor to the Secretariat for Christian Unity during several sessions of the Second Vatican Council and was named an Honorary Prelate in recognition of his work. Msgr. Oesterreicher was a prolific author, publishing several books, an underground journal in Germany in the 1930s, many pamphlets, and numerous articles. He passed away in 1993.

Contributed by Len Iannaccone.

NJCHC Spring 2013 Conference Announcement…

Have You Ever Wanted to Learn More About What Goes into Making a Book and Meet Local Authors in the Process? Then We Have a Program for You!

Please join the New Jersey Catholic Historical Commission and friends on Saturday, April 13th from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Motherhouse located on the campus of Caldwell College, located in Caldwell, New Jersey for a conference entitled…

“The Art of the Printed Word – Historical Book Creation, From Prayer to Preparation to Publication.”

This program will serve as a showcase the recent publication of Catholic history oriented books, periodicals, and other print resources, but is also designed to show each the steps that go into making a book from idea, research options, the importance of writing and how to achieve a finished product. Speakers will present short talks on their work and will also welcome questions in relation to their expertise.  Noted authors including Father Augustine Curley, Carl Ganz, Father Michael Krull, Monsignor Raymond Kupke, Sister Margherita Marchione, Tom McCabe, Brian Regan, Greg Tobin, and others will be present to talk about their experiences and tell you more about the publication process. A major portion of this day will also be devoted for those interested in sharing their own research and interact with the speakers in more depth.

Those doing any type of publishing whether it be institutional and/or parish histories, articles, newsletters, and other specialized volumes are encouraged to attend.

Registration is now open. The cost for the day is $20.00 (students $10.00) per person and this includes a continental breakfast, lunch, and conference materials. You can register at the door, but advance notice is appreciated. To reserve a space and/or for more information please contact Alan DeLozier via e-mail: Alan.Delozier@shu.edu, or by phone at: (973) 275-2378.

Irish Studies, Scrúdaigh & Special Collections…

Taighde a thionscnamh.  March is widely recognized as the time when the feast of St. Patrick is celebrated, but it has also been specially designated as Irish history month.  In the spirit of learning not only about the patron saint of Ireland, but more extensively about the history, culture, arts, spirituality, language, literature, and other aspects about, and emanating from Éire we encourage your research curiosity to flow here in the Archives & Special Collections Center.  We welcome you to explore our primary source print materials along with a wide range of book titles from our McManus, Murphy, and Concannon collections among other specialized holdings available for review.

Please consult our Irish Studies LibGuide for more information about the wider value of na Gaeil experience and locating relevant materials through our various resource catalogs.  This site provides a central gateway to further inquiry.

We look forward to working with you and fostering a true “foghlaim” (learning) experience.  Go raibh maith agat!

New Exhibit at Archives, Walsh Library

The Msgr. William Noé Field Archives and Special Collections Center has installed a new exhibit in the cases facing the Walsh Gallery. Comprising recent acquisitions of objects in the Archdiocese of Newark collections, varied pieces related to bishops, priests and parishes illustrate the rich and varied history of the Catholic Archdiocese for which Seton Hall is the University.

Cardinal McCarrick box
Glass box with Cardinal McCarrick’s coat of arms

In the bishops’ case there are pogs commemorating Pope John Paul II’s visit to New York and New Jersey in 1995 along with a scarf and medals for the Jubilee year 2000 under Archbishop, now Theodore Cardinal McCarrick. There is also a glass box celebrating his 25th anniversary of episcopal ordination when he became a bishop. Archbishop Emeritus Peter Leo Gerety who this past summer celebrated his 100th birthday making him the oldest bishop in the Western Hemisphere received the Humanitarian of the Year Award from the Sr. Rose Thering Endowment in 2000 which can be seen along with several pins and buttons from St. Patrick’s Day parades, Cathedral masses and related to the Holy Name Society and the World Trade Center.

The second case contains materials related more to priests and parishes from Rev. J. A. McHale’s police chaplain’s badge and identification to playing cards observing the Sesquicentennial [150th Anniversary] of Holy Trinity Parish, Hackensack and a T-shirt honoring the annual Feast of St. Gerard celebrated by the parish of St. Lucy, Newark.

The exhibit can be seen any time the Walsh Library is open from the hallway between the Walsh Gallery and the Msgr. William Noé Field Archives and Special Collections Center on the ground floor of the Walsh Library. For hours please visit the Library’s home page.

Catholic Studies: Primary Sources & Special Collections LibGuide

In collaboration with the Department of Catholic Studies and University Libraries, Catholic Studies: Primary Sources and Special Collections, featuring archival resources housed in the Monsignor William Noé Field Archives & Special Collections Center, has been created to inform the community about our unique primary source offerings that focus upon Catholicism in its varied forms.  Like other LibGuides that are designed to help individuals navigate their way through a particular subject area, this guide provides students, faculty, and others with research leads through a series of abstracts, site links, and relevant information boxes.

Catholic Studies LibGuide

The major feature of this particular LibGuide is providing detailed lists of finding aids created by Professor Tracy M. Jackson (who also co-edits this site), grouped by subject, that describe unique manuscript collections housed within our Center.  Those related to the Catholic Church can be found under designated heading tabs including: Catholic New Jersey; Catholic Church History, 19th Century; Catholic Church History, 20th Century; Women in the Catholic Church; and Catholic Organizations. Collections belonging to the parent organizations of the Center are listed under University Archives Collections and Archdiocese of Newark Collections.  In addition to these, the personal and professional papers of various Catholic political legislators including former New Jersey Governors Richard Hughes and Brendan Byrne along with notable figures such as Bernard Shanley, Matthew Rinaldo, Marcus Daly and Leonard Dreyfus are also well represented.

This guide also highlights collections and materials held outside of the Center. Special sections highlighting unique bibles found at the Immaculate Conception Seminary, rare book holding descriptions and traditional reference guides such as almanacs, directories, and encyclopedia citations held in Walsh Library are provided for context.  Information leads connecting to local research centers and libraries featuring other Catholic based resource materials can also be found via this site.

A companion guide, Catholic Studies, produced by Professor Anthony E. Lee gives information about general research in Catholic Studies. Or visit our other LibGuides specifically related to Archives & Special Collections.

Archives and Special Collections LibGuides

To help make our collections more accessible, the Monsignor William Noé Field Archives & Special Collections Center has two LibGuides designed to assist researchers and students in finding materials.

Special Collections LibGuide
Special Collections LibGuide

LibGuides are collections of resources put together by librarians and library staff. A LibGuide is a handy way to gather together information about a particular subject by providing links to library databases, links to outside websites, lists of books or materials, how-to instructions, videos, RSS feeds, and even documents for download. Librarians at Seton Hall have created LibGuides on areas of study, how to conduct research, using the library, and many useful topics for students and members of the SHU community.

The Center’s LibGuides are geared to assist students and researchers in conducting primary source research. The Special Collections at Seton Hall University LibGuide is our newest and most extensive LibGuide. This guide groups our collections by topic and provides a brief description of each one, and includes information on archival collections, rare book collections, and other materials that are not housed in the Archives and Special Collections Center on the first floor of Walsh Library. In order to assist students and other users with finding as much material that may be relevant to their research as possible, this guide also includes descriptions of materials that may not have any other online descriptions yet, such as unprocessed archival collections, and materials at other Seton Hall locations, such as the Rodino Law Library in Newark. To further assist researchers, a tab called Forms and Policies includes information useful to those who wish to conduct research at the Center, or to request services. This guide is still being developed, and more information on materials and collections at Seton Hall will be added, along with information on how to conduct primary source research and how to access digital materials.

The Finding Aids LibGuide includes links to all current online finding aids, and is updated as soon as a new finding aid is posted. This LibGuide is primarily for providing quick access to finding aids and may be most useful for those researchers who are somewhat familiar with our collections or who want to know which finding aids are available online.

150th Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation: Civil War materials in the Archives and Special Collections Center

150 years ago, the country was deeply embroiled in war. The American Civil War began when seven Southern states (South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas) seceded from the Union. After fighting began in April of 1861, four more Southern states (Virginia, Arkansas, Tennessee, and North Carolina) joined the Confederate States of America in fighting the United States of America, leading to the bloodiest conflict in American history. The issue of slavery was at the heart of Southern secession, driving questions of states’ rights verses federal rights and the vast economic differences between North and South. Ultimately, the 1860 election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States on a platform that emphasized abolitionist politics literally divided the nation.

On 22 September 1862, Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing enslaved people in the Confederate States. This did not officially end slavery by law (the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution did that, in 1865), but it was an important first step that emphasized ending slavery as a goal of the war and freed enslaved people in the Confederacy as the Union Army advanced. After four horrific years of fighting, Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered to Union General Ulysses S. Grant on 9 April, 1865. The war ended and the Confederacy dissolved; slavery had ended. But there yet remained a long struggle for economic recovery in the South, and although slavery was now officially over, African Americans were denied equal rights and the protection of the law in most of the country. Issues of civil rights and race relations, as well as how this nation governs itself, continue to be debated, and the events and politics of the Civil War still shape our world today.

In the Monsignor William Noe Field Archives and Special Collections Center, we have several collections that deal directly or indirectly with the history of the Civil War. Highlighted below are Rare Book materials, the Seton Jevons family papers, the Salt family letters, and the Confederate States of America Treasury bond.

Four book collections, totaling almost 2,500 volumes, focus on secondary sources analyzing and interpreting the conflict, its causes, its characters, and its impact. The Reverent Pierce Byrne Civil War collection, the Gerald Murphy Civil War collection, and the Schoch Family Civil War collection include numerous books on a wide variety of Civil War topics, while the Julius C. Landeheim Lincoln collection includes books and print materials on the 16th President.

Several note-worthy books from the period immediately following the war are in these collections, including John Abbott’s The history of the Civil War in America and Joel Headley’s The great rebellion; a history of the civil war in the United States, both published in 1866. The Byrne collection includes multiple issues of Harper’s Weekly, which gave detailed accounts of the battles and events of the war, often accompanied by woodcut illustrations. The Gerald Murphy collection includes a medal bearing the likeness of Ulysses S. Grant and a facsimile of the original document commonly known as the Treaty of Appomattox, written by Ulysses S. Grant on 9 April 1865 and detailing the terms of the surrender of Robert E. Lee. The Landeheim collection includes early Lincoln biographies by Ward Lamon, Life of Abraham Lincoln from 1872, and William Henry Herndon and Jesse William Weik, Herndon’s Lincoln from 1889.

The Seton Jevons family papers is an extensive collection of archival material including family letters discussing the Civil War and its impact. Two Seton brothers, William Seton, Jr. and Henry Seton, both grand-children of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, fought in the Civil War on the Union side. William Seton, Jr. was a captain in the 4th New York Volunteers and Henry was also a captain. The collection includes correspondence between William Seton, Jr. and his parents and sisters during the war, as well as letters between two members of the Jevons family, Thomas and William, who lived in England at the time. Thomas Jevons later married Isabel Seton, sister to William Jr. and Henry and another grandchild of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton. In the correspondence of the Seton brothers, William Jr. and Henry, there are notes and letters from enlisted men and fellow officers requesting leave or discussing business, as well as from each other and family members. William Jr. was injured in combat in 1862, and several letters refer to the effects of this injury. The Jevons brothers, William Stanley and Thomas, were living in England but wrote frequently to each other and discussed the events in America as news of the day. They had differing opinions on the possible outcome of the war, and neither seemed to think very highly of the United States government in general: William S. wrote in a letter dated 5 August 1861, possibly reacting to news of the Battle of Bull Run, “I had no doubt and do not now doubt that the North have the physical power sufficient to win ultimately, but it might take ten years or so, something in the style of English wars, and you may judge what chance there is of Yankees remaining of one mind for 10 years.” Six months later, on 12 February 1862, Henry wrote, “… though I think that we have hardly realized what a blow the rebellion is to the Northerners, yet I cannot but believe it is a lesson that will do them immense good, and that instead of one immoral badly governed country, we may within the next fifty years have two tolerably respectable communities.” While they both turned out to be incorrect in the details of their predictions, their opinions offer unique insight into foreign perspectives on the war. Several of these letters are in the process of being digitized, while some images from the collection are already online, including this photograph that includes Thomas E. Jevons and Isabel Seton Jevons.

A newly processed collection of family letters, the Salt family letters, gives a different first-hand look at life during the Civil War. William Salt, Jr. was teaching school in an Army fort in Arkansas at the outbreak of the conflict, and he wrote his sister to describe the events surrounding the transfer of the fort from Union to Confederate control. We know that Salt, a New York native who later became Father William Salt, a teacher and administrator at Seton Hall College, was conscripted into the Confederate Army and served for some time before making his way home to family in New York on foot; the collection of letters does not directly document this period of his life, but the letters describing Arkansas at the start of the war are detailed. Other members of the family, living primarily in New York at the time, discuss life continuing on despite the conflict, and mention in passing history-altering events. A cousin of the Salts, Elinor Gustin, comments at the end of one letter full of family updates, including where several male relatives are stationed: “These are awful times, who of us ever expected to see such a state of affairs in our once glorious country.” She then mentions the “great excitement” caused by the Emancipation Proclamation before calmly reminding her cousin to write back. Several of these letters (but by no means all) have been digitized, and while the majority of the collection dates from the post-war years, these first-hand accounts of life during the war paint sharply different pictures of North and South.

Another unique item dating from the Civil War is the Confederate Treasury bond, discovered at Seton Hall in 2003. The bond was issued by the Confederate Treasury in February 1864, one of the last group of bonds to be issued by the increasingly desperate Confederate government as it attempted everything possible to continue funding a war that was going very badly. Issued for $1,000, the bond was for a period of thirty years and would have allowed the collection of thirty dollars ($30) in interest every six months. Interestingly, the first two interest coupons are missing, suggesting that whoever purchased the bond was living in the South at the time. The exact provenance of the bond is unknown, but was discovered in a safe in the Office of the President; given that it seems extremely unlikely that the President of Seton Hall College (Reverend Bernard J. McQuaid was President from 1859-1868) would or could have purchased the bond, it was most likely stored there for safe-keeping years later, before the Archives were formed, and then forgotten. This item has not yet been digitized.

Of course, even the items listed here have more information to share, and there is plenty of additional material to explore in the Archives. After 150 years, there is still a great deal to learn about and from the Civil War and how it has shaped our nation. To start your exploration, email us, call us, or make an appointment to view materials in person. And don’t forget to check out the ever-growing Digital Archives and Special Collections Center!

Introducing the Digital Field Archives and Special Collections Center

The Monsignor William Noe Field Archives and Special Collections Center is pleased to announce a new digital collection: the Digital Field Archives and Special Collections Center. This broad new collection of digital objects will include representative images from a number of our Manuscript, Seton Hall University, and Archdiocese of Newark collections. As part of the A&SCC’s efforts to provide more digital images and items from a wider range of collections, this digital collection will be added to regularly with diverse items representing many individuals, families, communities, subjects, and historical periods that can be found in the materials here on the first floor of Walsh Library.

Currently included in the Digital Field A&SCC are items from the Seton Jevons family papers (Mss 0005 finding aid), the Salt family letters (Mss 0035 finding aid), and the W. Paul Stillman papers (Mss 0011 finding aid). These materials include family letters, photographs, a telegram, and an envelope advertising Merchant’s Gargling Oil Liniment, a topical treatment “for man or beast” in use during the 19th century. Soon to be added to the Digital Field A&SCC will be business correspondence and early 20th century records of men’s and women’s Catholic organizations, as well as additional materials to be selected as new collections are processed.

From the collection homepage, you can search for specific items or keywords in the search bar at the top of the page, or click Browse All to view all items currently available in the collection. Be sure to bookmark the Digital Field Archives and Special Collections site, or subscribe to the RSS for regular updates as new items are added!

Our Online Finding Aids Get a Face Lift

Here at the Monsignor William Noé Field Archives & Special Collections Center we have many wonderful archival collections containing a vast assemblage of historical artifacts, images, documents, and information. As part of our continuing efforts to make these resources more easily and readily available, we are working hard on making the descriptions of these materials easier to find and use. Finding aids for archival collections, the basic descriptions of and guides to the materials in collections, are now available as standalone web pages, available from our Online Finding Aids page.

The Online Finding Aids page will have a continually updated list of all the collection finding aids currently available as webpages, listed by the collection number and grouped by Manuscript Collections, Seton Hall University Collections, and Archdiocese of Newark Collections. To view the finding aid for a given collection, simply click on the link in the collection title. The finding aid for that collection will include information about the creator(s) of the collection, the types of materials the collection includes, and subjects covered by the collection. Use the navigation menu on the left side of the page for easier use of the finding aid, or use the command Control F to search for keywords.

Previously, our online finding aids were available through our Digital Collections site, via the Archives and Special Collections Finding Aids page. These finding aids will continue to be available, until they too can be updated.

Because finding aids are descriptions of the materials, they do not include digitized materials; to view the collections and materials described on this site, come visit the Archives and Special Collections Center in person (see our homepage for more information), or explore our Digital Collections. And keep an eye on this site for further developments!

Historic Archdiocesan Artifacts on Exhibit in Archives & Special Collections Center

Two recent acquisitions have provided artifacts currently on public view in the Msgr. William Noé Field Archives & Special Collections Center, first floor, Walsh Library, Seton Hall University.  The old St. Peter’s German Church, Belmont Avenue, Newark, supplied many items that afford a view of pre-Vatican II worship.  There are two memorial patens, still used in the service of Holy Communion, along with two intinction cups.  Hosts would have been placed in the bowls, and wine in the cup within the bowl, so the priest could dip the host into the wine before placing it on the tongue of the communicant.  There is a stole, worn with priestly vestments during mass and a maniple which would have been worn over the priest’s left arm while serving mass.  Reflecting the placement of the altar at the back wall of the sanctuary before Vatican II moved the altar forward, so the priest would face the congregation during mass, there are two altar cards.  These were framed Latin script which would be hung on the wall beside the altar for the priest to read during the service.  The Sacerdos Infundit vinum would have been read as the wine was poured into the communion vessels.  At the end of mass, the “Last Gospel”, the Initium Sancti Evangelii Secundum Joannem, John I:1-14, would be read.  These two altar cards offer a glimpse of the fine German woodwork throughout St. Peter’s church in these intricately carved frames with running ivy leaf forms.  An example of an illuminated Communion certificate from 1895 complements the German woodwork of the frames.  Completing the items used in serving mass is a silver tray [damaged by water] and one of its two cruets.  The silver handle and top of the cut glass cruet with grape leaf motif show that this one was for wine, where the one for water is missing.  Accompanying these sacramental items are two fine examples of parish life.  The tabernacle crucifix was presented to Rev. A. Stecher on the occasion of the 25th Anniversary Jubilee of the church building in 1897.  The Altar Rosary Society Banner from 1922, handpainted and embroidered on silk, completes the collection.

Altar Rosary Society Banner
Altar Rosary Society Banner

In the other case are the time capsule, a rectangular tin box from the cornerstone of the Chancery building on Mulberry Street, Newark.  Though the time capsule was sealed, moisture was still able to seep into the box as can be seen in the decay of the lining of the box which contained the bronze Immculate Conception Seminary medal fom 1927 with Bishop O’Connor on the reverse, and on the remains of his calling card which was with the medal in the box.  A protrait of Bishop Thomas J. Walsh who became Archbishop in 1937 when the Diocese of Newark was elevated to Archdiocese, also shows some decay.  Two newspapers, The Catholic News and The Paterson Evening News, were folded in an envelope, and weathered quite well to show an illustration and articles about the dedication of the building.  Along with a history of the church, several coins and stamps were placed in the capsule.  They include two Washington stamps, a one cent and a 3 cent, along with a two cent postage due stamp.  Accompanying a silver Pius X medal, are several coins including a1907 quarter, a 1923 Buffalo nickel, a 1925 Liberty dime and a 1901 Liberty nickel.

The Msgr. William Noé Field Archives and Special Collections Center is open Monday through Friday, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.  Research appointments are available.  Please call 973-761-9476 or 973-275-2378.  The exhibit, curated by Leonard Iannaccone and Kate Dodds, can be viewed from the hallway between the Archives and Walsh Gallery when the Library is open and will be up through May 21, 2012.