Research with Special Collections follows a different process than you may be used to. It is important to know that special collections - specialize! Rather than having a broad array of resources like the main library, special collections focuses on areas in which Seton Hall has particular interest: the history of our own university, of our Archdiocese, of our region, and of the immigrant groups who have made their home here. We also have some special collections created by faculty members who donated their collections to the university to make them available for future generations, such as the Archeology and Anthropology collection, the Asian Art collection, the Valente Italian history collection, and more.
Begin by searching through our collections to see if we have materials of interest to you. Archival resources can be found in our archives catalogue, and Gallery/museum collections can be found on our Google Arts & Culture page.
If this sparks questions - perhaps you see something similar to what you want, but not the exact thing you were hoping to find - please make an appointment with one of our specialists. They may have a way to help you, even if what you want isn't immediately available. Archives and museums have many more objects than they can make available on public facing portals, either because of copyright restrictions that may require materials to be withheld from general public view, or the fact that there are always many more materials in archives and museums than are currently described. It takes months if not years to make newly acquired materials available, so there may be materials that are still in the processing stage that we can share with you.
Once you know that what you want is here, and you know the exact description of the collection materials you want to see (accession number for museum objects, or collection, box, and folder number for archival materials), please make an appointment to see the materials in the reading room at the link at the bottom of the page. Since these materials are unique and irreplaceable, there are more restrictions to viewing them than for a regular library book. And of course, they cannot be checked out. Please see the rules for research with special collections below, and make an appointment in the reading room when you're ready.
We're looking forward to supporting you in discovering the many amazing materials in our collections!
Before you make your first appointment to see materials in the reading room, here are some guidelines for research visits. Your assistance in maintaining these standards of care will ensure these materials are available for generations to come.
1. You will be asked to produce a photo ID on signing into the Reading Room.
2. Laptops, notebooks and pencils (no ink) are permitted in the reading room. All other items must be placed in the secure coat area.
3. Food and drink are prohibited in the reading room.
4. Wifi and outlets are available in the reading room.
5. 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. Museum staff will handle all artwork and artifacts.
6. 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.
7. Access to certain items may be limited due to condition or other reasons established by the staff. Researchers may be required to wear gloves (provided), use a book cradle for fragile books, or be assisted by staff when handling certain types of materials.
8. A hand-held camera is permitted to make images for personal use. Use of flash, special lighting, and extra equipment is prohibited. SPC/Walsh Gallery reserves the right to prohibit the photographing of any of its holdings.
9. For items that cannot be easily imaged with a personal camera, or images for publication, you may request a high quality image to made by staff using this form. Copyright clearances are the responsibility of the researcher.
10. Researchers who do not follow these procedures for handling materials will be asked to leave.