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Photo via Jacqueline Deppe.

Meet Jackie Deppe, the archivist keeping the Setonian's history in order

Gray boxes stacked in two separate piles on the large conference table in the Seton Hall Archives and Special Collections Center. One side had boxes filled with fragile Setonian newspapers, turning yellow with age, still containing the creases from where they used to be folded. The other side had boxes also filled with old yellow-brown Setonian newspapers, but these were different. These papers were in pristine condition, neatly tucked in individual labeled folders with not a single crease in sight.

These processed Setonian papers are only a fraction of the hundreds tucked away in the corner of the archive’s vault. Each box is labeled with the dates of the papers and the collection numbers. The person in charge of keeping all these Setonian papers in order is Technical Services Archivist Jacquelyn “Jackie” Deppe.

The 2017 Seton Hall alum became a student worker for the archives in 2014, according to Deppe. She said she later became the special collections assistant and was assigned the project of preserving Setonian newspapers when she became a full-time employee.

“This project started when I was a special collections assistant while I was a student,” she said. “So, when I became a full-time Seton Hall employee, they were like, ‘Here's all the Seton Hall stuff.’” 

In the beginning, it was no easy feat going through many boxes containing “free-floating” Setonian articles, according to Deppe. She said that she would only need “two nice copies” of each article when going through the boxes. 

“Sometimes there were like eight copies,” she said. “So you have to go through and compare them and keep the best two and you know, discard the rest, which was just a common practice for archives.”

Despite having to work through hundreds of newspaper copies, Deppe said that “it does get easier,” especially after having “worked through everything that was kind of in a very fragile state.”

“It was nice to get through the old ones,” she said. “My biggest worry is like, you know, these are the ones that have been around the longest as opposed to these and the 2000s. So I was really excited whenever we're able to go forward and rehouse more, but very happy that we've got these done and we're now close to the present.”

Deppe said the archives staff are currently working on digitizing copies of the Setonian article that were made into microfilms into computer files, “which has never been done before.”

When handling the newspapers, Deppe cannot resist reading some of the stories from across the decades. 

“I think the 1980s are probably some of my favorites because they were just a very interesting time,” she said. “Everything that was being reported on campus, it was a lot of car break-ins. It was a lot of crime, unfortunately.”

Another story Deppe said she enjoyed reading was when the fences and gates were put up around campus. 

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“The 2000 ones are also really funny 'cause I don't know, I feel like the style they were going for was like a computer, but they printed it out in a way,” she said. “I always get a kick out of the graphic design.”

With the Setonian’s 100th anniversary coming up, Deppe said she finds it amazing how the newspaper had stayed for so long, especially after it stopped printing during World War II and after it was banned for seven weeks in 1964. 

“It's quite amazing to see that the Setonian has stayed this long,” she said. “I've seen many examples of student-run publications that came and went and they're no longer around. It's the one publication that hasn't left.”

Deppe said that she could hand over “rehousing” the articles to her colleague and special collections assistant, Martha Slomczeweski, but she still wants to continue with this project.

“I probably could give it to Martha now to be like, ‘Hey, take over rehousing them.’ And I probably will, but I haven't gotten to that point,” she said. “So then I'll still probably do it because I want to read them.”

Rachel Suazo is the Setonian’s Campus Life copy editor and writes for its News and Campus Life sections. She can be reached at


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