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Special Collections and Walsh Gallery Collecting Policies

Special Collections (SPC), and Walsh Gallery Collecting Policies

The Monsignor William Noé Field Archives & Special Collections Center (SPC) collects exceptional non-current materials possessing valid research value that are produced by or have a direct connection to Seton Hall University and its educational mission, or unique materials documenting the history of Catholicism in New Jersey and several other subject areas noted below; we also house select materials from our parent organization, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark.

The Walsh Gallery maintains long-term stewardship for the care, research and display of Seton Hall University’s collections of art and artifacts.  Founded in 1994, the gallery’s permanent collection consists of objects that provide a rich and diverse resource of culturally and artistically significant objects that enhance and enrich the mission of the University Libraries and Seton Hall University.  Our collections are available for exhibition, teaching and research.

Both units are committed to a responsible level of collecting by staying within the constraints of available storage space, ability to process material within a reasonable amount of time, and ability to provide for the care and preservation of, and access to, the material. Dispersal or fragmentation of a research collection is inconvenient to researchers and does not enhance the reputation of the institution. Special Collections will try to avoid acquiring material known to be primarily collected by another institution, unless there is a compelling reason to accept the material.  The highest priority is given to original materials in our collecting areas that are not available elsewhere.

SPC Collecting Areas

  • Seton Hall University, 1856 – present (see below also)
  • Archdiocese of Newark, 1853 - present
  • American Catholicism and its antecedents
  • American Civil War
  • Catholic New Jersey, 1600 - present 
  • Ireland and Irish American Studies
  • Italy and Italian American Studies
  • Jewish-Christian Studies
  • New Jersey Social, Political, Cultural and Ethnic Studies
  • Portugal and Portuguese American Studies

University Archives Collecting Areas[1]

  • Board of Regents and Trustees
  • President and Provost
  • Vice Presidents and Academic Deans
  • Records that highlight campus life, i.e. faculty and student diaries and financial ledgers
  • Administrative and faculty or alumni records that are unique
  • Manuscript materials and rare books and volumes bearing ownership markings of a person of importance to the University or to the Archdiocese of Newark. 
  • Self-Study and Accreditation Documentation
  • Annual Reports and budgets
  • University Publications (newsletters, magazines, yearbooks, catalogs, handbooks and related print works) and mission, goals and objectives statements; official policies and histories

SPC Rare Book Collecting Areas

  • SPC maintains a Rare Book collection – largely in the areas covered by the “SPC Collection Focus Areas” noted above.  That is, material in this category largely represents collections already held in Archives and Special Collections. Collections will be maintained at their current level and enhanced primarily by gifts, and rarely, purchases
  • Rate titles of local interest by/about faculty, alumni, administrators, and others connected with Seton Hall University and/or the Archdiocese of Newark and Catholic New Jersey will be collected.  Similar non-rare items will reside in the main collection.

Types of Materials the SPC Does Not Accept

The SPC reserves the right to refuse any item(s) from a donor regardless of format that does not fit into our collection scope, is of questionable condition (badly deteriorated or containing mold or parasites), is of uncertain provenance, or that we do not have the ability to house adequately. 

  • Plaques, trophies, garments and other 3 dimensional objects unless integrally related to our collecting scope
  • Material appropriate to the main library collection
  • Photocopies & reproductions
  • Duplicates unless they are in superior condition
  • Research notes unless as a sub-unit of a collection of related primary material
  • Government documents
  • Autographs with no historical significance 
  • Audio/visual formats like magnetic tape, cassettes, VHS or film unless integral to our collecting scope
  • Files documenting routine activities such as room scheduling, travel logistics, etc.
  • General memoranda except for one record copy from issuing office
  • Forms and routine financial documents such as vouchers, receipts and cancelled checks
  • Publications that were retained for reference purposes

Walsh Gallery Collections Areas

  • The Seton Hall University Museum of Anthropology and Archaeology collections, established in 1960 by Bishop John Dougherty, consists of over 12,000 pieces of material culture collected by New Jersey Archaeologist and Professor Emeritus, Herbert C. Kraft (1927 - 2000).  The collection includes examples of material culture of Native North Americans, particularly the Lenni Lenape people, including basketry, pottery, textiles and a rare example of a petroglyph found in Walpack Township in Sussex County. 
  • The Wang Fang-Yu Collection of Asian Art, named for and compiled by the Seton Hall University Professor of Chinese and prominent collector of art, Wang Fang-Yu (1913 - 1997).  This collection consists of over 300 examples of art from China and Japan dating from the 15th through 19th centuries including porcelains, bronze figurines and vessels, painted silk scrolls and wood block prints. 
  • Print Collections from the 20th century including such notable artists as Salvador Dalí, Georges Rouault, Victor Vasarely, Louis Lozowick, Käthe Kollwitz, Georges Braques, Pablo Picasso, Jean Cocteau, Jack Savitsky and Frank Stella.
  • 17th and 18th century European engravings of religious and historical subjects, and historical figures
  • Modern and Contemporary paintings by artists such as Alex Katz, Jack Savitsky, W. Carl Burger, Alberto Ulloa, Don Miller, Carroll N. Jones III, Nahum Tschacbasov and Henry Gasser.  Additions to this collection must demonstrate a clear historical, cultural or aesthetic relationship to works already in this collection, adding significantly to an understanding or appreciation to these works.  Or, additions to this collection must possess a clear connection to the University’s history and mission, while demonstrating a clear relationship to works in our collections of engravings, prints and photographs.
  • Modern and contemporary American and European photography including works by Lucien Clergue, Ralph Gibson, Donna Ferrato, Pete Turner, Sally Gall and Tom Baril.
  • The D’Argenio Collection of Greco-Roman and Byzantine antiquities and coins dating from the 5th to 1st centuries B.C.E.

Walsh Gallery Criteria for Collecting

The guiding principles in acquiring art and artifacts for inclusion in our collections is to add to our major areas of representation with objects of substantive quality and merit.  In adding to our collections, we are looking for objects that strengthen or fill gaps in our existing collections.  We seek original works.  In the case of art, editions or multiples are interpreted as originals.  We avoid collecting objects which require extensive conservation or for which we cannot provide optimal storage and display environments.  Objects considered for our collections must not have undergone extensive restoration or conservation that alters their original value or intent.  New additions to the collection must have a clear historical, cultural or aesthetic relationship to works already in the collection, adding significantly to an understanding or appreciation of these works.

The Walsh Gallery welcomes gifts of art or artifacts that enhance or develop the collections, but we have strict guidelines, protocols and procedures governing these matters.  Donors must possess clear title to the object and they represent it is free of any encumbrances.  The donation must not consist of endangered animal species, ivory, human remains or any other elements that are restricted by law. 

All donations must be approved by an internal committee that includes the Gallery Director, Collections Manager, The Dean of the University Libraries as well as other faculty and staff members, as appropriate.  The Collections Committee makes final decisions upon the acceptance of gifts.  If you wish to donate a work of art or artifact, please see “Walsh Gallery Collections Focus” and “Walsh Gallery Criteria for Collecting” above.  If your potential donation falls into the scope of what we collect, please follow these steps:

  1. Send pictures and information about the object(s) to Gallery Director, Jeanne Brasile at jeanne.brasile@shu.edu.  Be as specific as you can about the title or type of object, its date of creation, dimensions, materials and maker/artist and culture from which it is derived.  It would be helpful to know how you came into possession of this object (purchase, gift, found).
  2. The Director will share and review this information with the Collections Committee at its next regular meeting.
  3. If the Collections Committee is interested, you will be contacted by the Gallery Director.  An appointment will be scheduled to a) view the artwork or b) take it on temporary loan if the committee needs further time to research/assess this potential donation.    
  4. If your object is approved for inclusion in the collections, you will be contacted by the Collections Manager with a Deed of Gift form.  If the object is not already in our possession, we will also make arrangements for delivery.
  5. Acknowledgement of the gift will be sent to the donor after the Deed of Gift is returned and completed in full.

Collection Access and Reading Room Policy

SPC/Walsh Gallery will provide reasonable access for interested parties to all collections, excepting those with certain stipulated restrictions. Exceptions will be imposed on Seton Hall University and Archdiocese of Newark records that are closed to the public as stipulated by law, policy, or the appropriate retention and disposition schedule. 

1. Requests for an appointment should be made in advance. Please contact us at 973-761-9476 or at archives@shu.edu for access to archival materials and special collections and indicate the materials you wish to use.   For access to art and artifacts please contact Collections Manager, Allison Stevens at 973-275-2165 or allison.stevens@shu.edu.  Please verify that materials are available for viewing before arrival.

2. Researchers must complete a Researcher Registration and Agreement Form prior to using materials.  One form of photo ID must be presented upon registration.

3. Researchers must complete a Research Request Form to indicate what materials they are requesting. Reference books, finding aids, and other resources are available in the reading room for consultation, and a member of the Center staff will be available to aid in selecting materials. Researchers are advised to consult online finding aids before their visit to assist in selecting materials, when available. 

4. Laptops, notebooks and pencils (no ink) are permitted in the reading room.  All other items must be placed in the secure coat area. 

5. Food, drink, and the use of phones are prohibited in the reading room.

6. Researchers not affiliated with Seton Hall University will not be able to connect to our wireless Internet using personal laptops.  A computer with Internet access is available in the reading room.

7. Materials must remain in the reading room at all times. Researchers may use one box of archival materials at a time, one folder at a time. Archival materials must be returned in their original order.  Art and artifacts must be viewed one at a time and are available for visual inspection only. 

8. Researchers may be required to wear gloves (provided) when handling certain types of materials.

9. A photocopier and scanner are available for use in the reading room.  Please consult our Reproduction Policy for other information on reproduction.

9. A hand-held camera is permitted.  Use of flash, special lighting, and extra equipment is prohibited.  When taking photographs of pages in a book, the publication must remain in a book cradle at all times.  Not more than 10% of a published work (book, journal, newspaper, etc.) in copyright may be reproduced and not more than 25% of a manuscript or archival collection may be reproduced.  SPC/Walsh Gallery reserves the right to prohibit the photographing of any of its holdings. 

10. Researchers may use one microfilm reel at a time.  A staff member will provide and return each reel.  Microfilm readers are equipped with a printer, and there is a scanner. Pease consult our Reproduction Policy for pricing information. 

11. Researchers will not be able to listen to or view non-digitized audio or film materials in the reading room.  Please see our Reproduction Policy for information on obtaining a copy of such material. 

12. Researchers who do not follow the established procedures for handling materials may be asked to leave.

Copyright

In order to provide access to collections, and to accommodate reproduction requests where possible, donors are strongly encouraged to transfer applicable copyright and ownership to the SPC/Walsh Gallery. It is the responsibility of the donor to know or discover the ownership of materials being considered for transfer. The SPC/Walsh Gallery makes every effort to inform our researchers of fair usage restrictions and responsibilities, but is not liable for infringement of copyright by patrons using our materials.

SPC/Walsh Gallery Procedures for Transfer (In Brief)

The guidelines for preparation, organization, and shipment of materials for donation will be outlined and discussed between the donor and SPC/Walsh Gallery. University offices wishing to transfer records should refer to the Records Management Guide to Transferring Records site.

All external donations must be represented through our Deed of Gift form which includes a description of the materials and of any restrictions attached with the donation. All materials accepted by the SPC/Walsh Gallery are subject to final approval by the Dean of University Libraries, Director of Archives & Special Collections, and designated members of the SPC/Walsh Gallery staff where applicable. A formal agreement and signed Deed of Gift constitutes the final transfer of ownership and associated rights of any donation received by the SPC/Walsh Gallery.

Valuation of Donations

It is the responsibility of the donor to keep accurate records describing the individual items donated and the value of each.  The SPC/Walsh Gallery cannot appraise gifts:  the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requires an independent appraisal if a donor plans to claim a charitable deduction above a certain value.  Donors are encouraged to consult knowledgeable tax experts regarding current IRS regulations in regard to such gifts that are ultimately accepted by the SPC/Walsh Gallery. 

In the rare case where the donor does not wish to take a tax deduction, and there is sufficient evidence or extant expertise among the SPC/Walsh Gallery staff to judge that the donation may be worth $5,000 or more, the Dean of University Libraries will contact University Advancement for their option to have the item(s) appraised at their expense for purposes of stewardship, donation and insurance valuation.

Donations to the SPC/Walsh Gallery will be formally acknowledged in writing. 

Deaccessioning

The final disposition of research materials housed in the SPC/Walsh Gallery is made according to the judgment of the staff in consultation with the Director of Archives & Special Collections/Director of the Walsh Gallery. Procedures for the de-accession or removal of any materials will be administered along the same lines of donation, conducted as a serious and thorough exercise to determine the case for removal.  In such cases, efforts to identify appropriate locations for the materials will be made: for example, to other university special collections, sale, or gift.

 

We do not house any University records that are still in active use. Files that have a particular retention period fall under the jurisdiction of Records Management. Once materials are past the period of active use and have been sent to our facility they cannot be recalled by the originating department, office, or individual and become a permanent part of the Archives & Special Collections holdings.  Records and materials from offices and organization of the Archdiocese of Newark to be housed at the SPC are determined by the Archivist of the Archdiocese of Newark.