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Catholic Studies: Primary Sources and Special Collections
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seminary library books ecclesiasticaThere has been a strong connection between the Department of Catholic Studies and the University Libraries. In September 2012 the Dean of the University Libraries, Dr. John Buschman, and a group of library faculty met with Dr. Ines Angeli Murzaku, Chair of the Department of Catholic Studies, to discuss the possibility of publishing a list of Seton Hall University rare archival primary sources as well as making available other religious-Catholic sources in partner institution libraries to our students, faculty and the Distinguished Visiting Scholars and Scholars in Residence who will be hosted in the Department of Catholic Studies. Due to the dedicated work of our talented library faculty we are proud to present "Catholic Studies: Primary Sources and Special Collections" housed at the Msgr. William Noé Field Archives and Special Collections Center, Walsh Library. These resources are indexed in several LibGuides.

From Catholic manuscript collections to Catholic history, organizations and women religious in the Catholic Church, these LibGuides point researchers to varied collections illuminating Catholicism in the Archdiocese of Newark and throughout Catholic New Jersey. Catholic history in the 19th and 20th centuries offers many avenues of research including Church reports from parishes to the bishops which present, along with parish files, information on the development of the Archdiocese of Newark. In the 20th century an expansive photograph collection of photographer and newspaper publisher Ace Alagna, a White House Press Corps photographer and editor at The Italian Tribune for almost 30 years, details American political life and the Italian-American experience, particularly in Newark.

Papers of all of the bishops/archbishops of the Archdiocese of Newark and many of the priests of the Archdiocese and presidents of Seton Hall University can provide valuable research opportunities into the history of Catholicism in New Jersey. One of the jewels of the collections is the Salt Family Letters. Rev. William Salt (1837-1891), rector of the Seminary from 1873-1890, was a priest of the then Diocese of Newark and faculty both at Seton Hall College and the Immaculate Conception Seminary. Along with letters from Fr. Salt to his sisters relating his experience of witnessing the start of the Civil War in Arkansas, and later his experience of the North American College in Rome, the collection also details life in 19th century New Jersey and New York. The Seton-Jevons collection contains the papers of the Seton family of New York City and the Jevons family of Liverpool, England and New York City. This rare collection amplifies our understanding of the extended family of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Seton Hall University’s namesake.

Catholic organizations such as the Holy Name Societies and the Mt. Carmel Guild which provided "mental, spiritual and physical relief to those on public assistance" can be investigated along with women's organizations such as the service groups Bayley Seton League, the National Council for Catholic Women, and papers on women religious who served in the Archdiocese. The papers of Mary Smith, a prominent figure in Catholic and volunteer works in New Jersey throughout the mid 1900s, document her work with the Catholic Women’s College Club and the Mt. Carmel Guild. Political science scholars will find informative Catholic manuscript collections of Brendan Byrne, governor of New Jersey 1974-1982; Marcus Daly, Director of the Intergovernmental Committee for European Migration (ICEM) under President Eisenhower; Leonard Dreyfus, past Director of Civil Defense; former New Jersey governor Richard J. Hughes, 1968-1972; Matthew J. Rinaldo, former member of the U.S. House of Representatives and Bernard Shanley, former Republican National Committee official and adviser to President Eisenhower.

Additional links are provided to the archives and special collections of other Catholic secondary schools, colleges and universities local to Seton Hall and South Orange. These include Caldwell College, College of St. Elizabeth, Felician College, St. Benedict Preparatory School and St. Peter’s University.

The Department of Catholic Studies faculty, students, distinguished guests and scholars will find rich and rare resources in the Msgr. William Noé Field Archives and Special Collections Center, and other Catholic institutions in the immediate area.

For information about the March 14, 2013 reception, click here »

For more information please contact:
Ines Murzaku
(973) 275-5845


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