History of the Hall

While most archival requests come from those looking for past class descriptions, Seton Hall’s Walsh Library holds a wide-ranging collection of archives that goes beyond former classes, according to Alan Delozier, University archivist.

The collection ranges from books and newspapers to record albums and video tapes, according to Delozier.

He said one can find author autographed volumes, faculty and alumni penned works, subject specific texts representing Irish-American history and even issues of past student-run publications, such as The Setonian.

Delozier said documentation began when Seton Hall was founded in 1856 in the form of reference works and general catalogues.

Back issues of the White & Blue/Galleon, the student Yearbook, and The Setonian, both which began publication in 1924, can also be found.

Delozier said the oldest archive in the collection is a volume found in the Rare Book Collection which dates from 1473.

There are also items dating from 1853 that represent the foundation of what was then known as the Diocese of Newark, which later became the Archdiocese, and from the first days of Seton Hall College, now known as Seton Hall University.

Documentation, however, continued with a more formal register in the 1970s, when the first concerted effort to set up an institutional archive occurred, Delozier said.

The formation of the New Jersey Catholic Historical Records Commission also had significant influence in the development of the archive collection.

“The creation of the New Jersey Catholic Historical Records Commission in 1976 and the transfer of the archival records from the Archdiocese of Newark to Seton Hall University contributed to this expanded role of historical preservation on campus, which has continued onward through the present day,” Delozier said.

Delozier added that new documents are added to the archives every day.

These new additions include weekly issues of The Setonian, acquisitions made by staff members and generous donations from individuals across campus, alumni and the general public.

Delozier said students who are interested in viewing this archive collection have a number of ways of visiting.

They can either set up an appointment to personally view the resources or they could attend some of the classes, which are regularly hosted by the Library.

According to Delozier, the most frequent research requests, other than those looking for past class descriptions, appear to come from those looking to trace their family roots through the parish records.

Requests also come from other parts of the country and the world.

“We also host a wide range of information requests from across the region, country and world that cover a wide range of topics especially those that relate to Seton Hall, the Archdiocese of Newark and Catholic New Jersey in particular,” Delozier said.

As a result of the vast amount of knowledge the archive collection possesses, Delozier feels that the value of the collection for the community is found in how it can deepen historical inquiry and appreciation.

According to Delozier, the best way to use the archival based resources is “to understand their uniqueness and their extremely high research potential.”

Angelo Montero can be reached at angelo.montero@student.shu.edu.

Author: Staff Writer

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