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Special Collections at Seton Hall University

Catholic Church History Archival Materials

The Center collects materials that document the history of the Roman Catholic Church in New Jersey, the United States, and the world, and has materials dating from the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries. The following is a partial list of archival collections in this area, organized chronologically or by topic, and will be added to as more collections are processed. Click on the link to the individual sub-page for a list of the archival collections describing Church history in that time period or topic. Clicking on the title of the collection will take you to the finding aid for this collection; unless otherwise indicated, materials in these collections are not digitally available.

18th Century Catholic Church History Archival Materials

The Center collects materials that document the history of the Roman Catholic Church in New Jersey, the United States, and the world in the 18th century. The following is a partial list of archival collections in this area, and will be added to as more collections are processed. Clicking on the title of the collection will take you to the finding aid for this collection; unless otherwise indicated, materials in these collections are not digitally available.

  • Louis Sonntag military logbook, 1855-1876, (bulk 1855), Mss 0033
    Louis (or Aloisio) Sonntag lived in the 19th century and was likely a member of the Papal Zouaves, the military force of the Papal States. The Louis Sonntag military logbook is a single volume that appears to chronicle information about a Papal State regiment abroad, written in German, Italian, French, and English.
    1 item, approximately 45 pages.

19th Century Catholic Church History Archival Materials

The Center collects materials that document the history of the Roman Catholic Church in New Jersey, the United States, and the world in the 19th century, particularly after the founding of the Diocese of Newark in 1853. The following is a partial list of archival collections in this area, and will be added to as more collections are processed. Clicking on the title of the collection will take you to the finding aid for this collection; unless otherwise indicated, materials in these collections are not digitally available.

  • Archdiocese of Newark Church reports, 1843-1925, ADN 0010.001
    The Diocese of Newark was created in 1853 and was elevated to an Archdiocese in 1937. The Chancery Office required parish priests to submit yearly reports reflecting the financial and spiritual condition of their churches. The Diocese of Newark Church reports include the annual reports of parish priests to the Chancery Office from 1843-1925, which themselves include information on population and sacramental statistics.
    20.0 Linear feet, Approximately 6,000 items.
  • Archdiocese of Newark Parish records, 1856-2012, ADN 0010.005
    The Archdiocese of Newark has 221 parishes. The Archdiocese of Newark Parish records include correspondence, parish histories, parish reports, brochures, and other materials documenting the activities of the parishes and their parishioners. Parishes that have closed have also sent their sacramental records to the Archives. For more information on sacramental records, please see our homepage. Types of records vary across parishes, and there is material from parishes outside the Archdiocese, as well.
    Approximately 100 linear feet.
  • James Roosevelt Bayley papers, 1836-1872, ADN 0002.001
    Papers of James Roosevelt Bayley, the first Bishop of Newark, New Jersey.
    8.0 Linear feet 25 boxes
  • Collection on Pope Pius IX, 1878, Mss 0045
    Pope Pius IX was head of the Roman Catholic Church from 16 June 1846 until his death on 7 February 1878, making him the longest-reigning elected pope in history. The collection on Pope Pius IX consists of two issues of Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper from 1878, commemorating the death of Pope Pius IX.
    2 items.
  • Michael A. Corrigan papers, 1870-1902, ADN 0002.002
    Michael A. Corrigan was the second Bishop of Newark and the third president of Seton Hall College. The Michael A. Corrigan papers primarily consist of materials related to Corrigan's tenure as Bishop.
    4.5 Linear feet , 10 boxes, 1 microfilm reel and 3 bound volumes.
  • Winand Wigger papers, 1864-1919, ADN 0002.003
    Papers and records of Bishop Winand Wigger from his time as Bishop in the Diocese of Newark, New Jersey.
    34.5 Linear feet , 74 boxes/containers

19th Century Catholic Church History Rare Books

The following bibliography represents titles found in our Rare Book holdings collection relating to general or specific aspects of Catholic Church History during the 19th century. These and other volumes are available upon request for reference via the Archives & Special Collections Center.

20th Century Catholic Church History

20th Century Church History Archival Materials

The Center collects materials that document the history of the Roman Catholic Church in New Jersey, the United States, and the world in the 20th century. The following is a partial list of archival collections in this area, and will be added to as more collections are processed. Clicking on the title of the collection will take you to the finding aid for this collection; unless otherwise indicated, materials in these collections are not digitally available.

  • Apostolic Nuncio records of the Archdiocese of Newark, 1950-2000 (bulk 1987-2000), ADN 0031
    The Apostolic Nuncio is the Vatican's ambassador to the United States and as the permanent diplomatic representative of the Holy See has both political and ecclesiastical powers. The Apostolic Nuncio records contain correspondence and general business that the Archdiocese of Newark conducted with the Vatican through the Apostolic Nuncio. The records span the years from 1950 to 2000 that the Archdiocese of Newark was in contact with the Apostolic Nuncio and document the tasks that were completed during those years. These records were assembled by the Archdiocese of Newark.
    3.0 linear feet.
  • Archdiocese of Newark 125th Anniversary records, 1977-1988, ADN 0054
    The Archdiocese of Newark celebrated the 125th anniversary of its founding in 1978. Materials in the Archdiocese of Newark 125th Anniversary records include correspondence and memoranda related to the planning and attendance of celebratory events.
    ½ linear foot, approximately 180 items.
  • Archdiocese of Newark Church reports, 1843-1925, ADN 0010.001
    The Diocese of Newark was created in 1853 and was elevated to an Archdiocese in 1937. The Chancery Office required parish priests to submit yearly reports reflecting the financial and spiritual condition of their churches. The Diocese of Newark Church reports include the annual reports of parish priests to the Chancery Office from 1843-1925, which themselves include information on population and sacramental statistics.
    20.0 Linear feet, Approximately 6,000 items.
  • Archdiocese of Newark Parish records, 1856-2012, ADN 0010.005
    The Archdiocese of Newark has 221 parishes. The Archdiocese of Newark Parish records include correspondence, parish histories, parish reports, brochures, and other materials documenting the activities of the parishes and their parishioners. Parishes that have closed have also sent their sacramental records to the Archives. For more information on sacramental records, please see our homepage. Types of records vary across parishes, and there is material from parishes outside the Archdiocese, as well.
    Approximately 100 linear feet.
  • Bishop's Relief Fund of the Archdiocese of Newark records, 1944-1966, ADN 0009
    The Bishop's Relief Fund refers to Catholic Relief Services, a humanitarian organization founded by the United States Council of Catholic Bishops. Within the Archdiocese of Newark, the director of the Bishop's Relief Fund oversaw an annual collection within the archdiocese, as well as organizing any special collections in response to disasters and calamitous events. The Bishop's Relief Fund of the Archdiocese of Newark records include materials related to the collection of monies for Catholic Relief Services (CRS) within the Archdiocese of Newark.
    3 linear feet.
  • Cause for Frank Parater records, 1913-2003, Mss 0034
    Francis Joseph Parater of Richmond, VA, was determined to enter the priesthood as a diocesan priest and entered the Pontifical North American College in Rome in 1919, where he died in 1920. In 2001 proceedings began in Richmond for the Cause of Beatification and Canonization of the Servant of God, Frank Parater, Seminarian. The Cause for Frank Parater papers primarily consist of materials gathered by the Historical Commission for the Servant of God Frank Parater. Materials relate to the life, activities, and spirituality of Frank Parater, and are largely duplicates of original material held elsewhere.
    0.25 Linear feet, approximately 100 items.
  • Collection on Pope Benedict XVI, 2008, Mss 0047
    Pope Benedict XVI was head of the Roman Catholic Church from 7 May 2005 until his resignation effective 28 February 2013, the first pope to resign since the 15th century. Pope Benedict XVI visited the United States in 2008 and celebrated Mass at Yankee Stadium in New York City. The Collection on Pope Benedict XVI includes materials related to the life and papacy of Pope Benedict XVI. The collection consists of memorabilia from the Pope's visit to the United States in 2008, primarily through a piece of the carpet from Mass celebrated in Yankee Stadium by the Pope.
    1 item.
  • Collection on Pope John Paul II's visits to the United States, 1979-1996 (bulk 1995), Mss 0044
    Pope John Paul II was elected to the papacy of the Roman Catholic Church in October of 1978. In 1995, Pope John Paul II visited Newark, NJ, and East Rutherford, NJ, as well as New York and Baltimore. While in New Jersey, he celebrated Mass at Sacred Heart Cathedral Basilica in Newark. The Collection on Pope John Paul II's visits to the United States describes and shows the build up, events, and aftermath of the Pope's visit. The bulk of the material covers Pope John Paul II's visit to Newark on October 4, 1995, but additional material is included on the Pope's trip to Baltimore on October 8, 1995 and past trips to the United States.
    4.5 linear feet.
  • Collection on Pope Paul VI, 1964, Mss 0046
    Pope Paul VI was head of the Roman Catholic Church from 21 June 1963 until his death on 6 August 1978, presiding over the conclusion of the Second Vatican Council called by his predecessor, Pope John XXIII. The Collection on Pope Paul VI consists of one issues of the New York News magazine dated 16 February 1964 featuring an article about the Pope.
    1 item.
  • Walter W. Curtis papers, 1963-1965, ADN 0003.006
    Walter William Curtis was born on 3 May 1913 in Jersey City, New Jersey. He attended Seton Hall University and Immaculate Conception Seminary, was ordained in 1937, became a professor of moral theology at Immaculate Conception, and was appointed Bishop of Bridgeport (N.Y.) in 1961. Bishop Curtis attended all sessions of the Second Vatican Council in Rome. The Walter W. Curtis papers primarily consist of Bishop Curtis' day-by-day reports on the proceedings of the Second Vatican Council from 1962-1965, which include notes on all major points of discussion during the council and includes Bishop Curtis' perspective on many of these issues. Also included in the collection are two folders of material written by Bishop Curtis regarding the issue of birth control.
    0.5 linear feet, Approximately 400 items.
  • Fratres in Unum newsletters, 1963-1969, ADN 0057
    Quarterly priest publication by priests within the Archdiocese of Newark.
    Approximately 0.4 linear feet.
  • John L. Gerety papers, ADN 0004.009
    John L. Gerety (1916-2000), brother to Archbishop Peter L. Gerety, was an insurance agent and a Lieutenant in World War II before becoming a priest of the Diocese of Trenton in 1957. The John L. Gerety papers include correspondence with family, including Archbishop Gerety, Fr. Gerety's military file and awards, books and personal items, scrapbooks, newsclippings, and photographs.
    7.0 linear feet
    This is a pdf version of a print finding aid, and has not been edited.
  • Legion of Decency of the Archdiocese of Newark records, 1954-1978, ADN 0055
    The Legion of Decency was an organization dedicated to determining the moral content (objectionable or acceptable), according to the view of the Roman Catholic Church, of motion pictures in the United States. The Legion of Decency of the Archdiocese of Newark records primarily consist of index cards with titles and ratings, newsclippings, letters to government officials, records of the Legion's meetings and members, and other documents.
    1.5 linear feet.
  • Liturgical Commission of the Archdiocese of Newark records, 1963-1973, ADN 0047
    The Liturgical Commission of the Archdiocese of Newark was created after the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy was produced by the Second Vatican Council and gave guidance to the priests and lay congregation of the Archdiocese of Newark on changes to the liturgy. The Liturgical Commission of the Archdiocese of Newark records includes materials related to the work of the Liturgical Commission during the 1960s to assist in selecting and incorporating new materials for and into the Liturgy.
    2 linear feet.
  • Justin J. McCarthy papers, 1936-1959, ADN 0003.004
    Justin J. McCarthy was a priest and then auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Newark and Bishop of Camden. The Justin J. McCarthy papers primarily consist of the lecture notes and sermons of Bishop Justin J. McCarthy.
    Approximately 1.5 linear feet.
  • Thomas and Margaret Melady papers, 1959-2010 (bulk 1960-1975), Mss 0072
    Ambassador Thomas P. and Dr. Margaret B. Melady have been involved in diplomatic and international affairs since the 1950s, particularly on the continent of Africa. Ambassador Melady has held multiple diplomatic posts for the United States, including Ambassador to Burundi, Ambassador to Uganda, and Ambassador to the Holy See, and the couple have written multiple books on politics in Africa, including Ten African Heroes: The Sweep of Independence in Black Africa. The Thomas and Margaret Melady papers primarily consist of correspondence related to African political leaders and movements during the 1960s and 1970s. Some materials are in French and Spanish.
    2.5 linear feet, approximately 400 items.
  • John J. O'Connor papers, 1873-1928 (bulk 1900-1927), ADN 0002.004
    John J. O'Connor was born in Newark, NJ in 1855, attended Seton Hall College and the North American College in Rome. He was a priest of the Diocese of Newark, a professor at Seton Hall College, the Vicar General of the Diocese under Bishop Winand Wigger, and became Bishop of the Diocese of Newark upon the death of Bishop Wigger, in 1901. He served as bishop until his death in 1927. The John J. O'Connor papers include the personal and professional papers of Bishop O'Connor, primarily from his time as the Bishop of the Diocese of Newark; these materials include episcopal and legal documents, correspondence, visitation ledgers, and other materials. The collection also includes some professional papers of Bishop O'Connor's Vicar General, Rev. John Sheppard, and his Chancellor, Rev. Thomas Wallace.
    9.5 linear feet.
  • John M. Oesterreicher papers, 1920-2000, Mss 0053
    John M. Oesterreicher was born February 2, 1904 in Stadt-Liebau, Moravia, then a part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, into a Jewish family. He studied theology at the Universities of Graz and Vienna, was ordained to the priesthood in 1927, and In 1953 he founded the Institute for Judeo-Christian Studies at Seton Hall University in South Orange, NJ. The John M. Oesterreicher papers include manuscripts, correspondence and sermons centering on his work in Judeao-Christian Studies and anti-Semitism.
    Approximately 125 linear feet.
  • Office of Research and Planning of the Archdiocese of Newark records, 1975-1989, ADN 0063
    The Office of Research and Planning for the Archdiocese of Newark initiates and maintains program-oriented planning and development to maximize the resources of the Church in Newark. The Office of Research and Planning of the Archdiocese of Newark records include materials related to the beginning of the ORP in 1975 and its activities through the 1970s and 1980s.
    6.5 linear feet.
  • George Shea papers, 1927-1990, ADN 0004.001
    Rev. Monsignor. George W. Shea was born on 27 December 1910 in Newark, New Jersey, and attended Seton Hall University. He was ordained on 29 March 1936, became a Navy chaplain during World War II, and was a Peritus (expert) of the Second Vatican Council, attending all four sessions. He died on 8 July 1990 in Orange, New Jersey. This collection covers the professional areas of Monsignor George W. Shea's life. Research topics with great significance are centered on the Second Vatican Council, one of his longest and most prominent studies.
    Approximately 15 linear feet.
  • Fulton J. Sheen letters to Edith Grissing regarding contributions to the Society for the Propagation of the Faith, 1957-1971, Mss 0059
    Fulton J. Sheen was a popular radio and television host of the Catholic Hour and Life is Worth Living, is considered the first televangelist, and was the director of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith from 1958-1966. The Society of the Propagation of the Faith supports the missions of the Catholic Church around the world. Edith C. Grissing of Montclair, NJ, made substantial contributions to the Society from at least 1957-1970. The Fulton J. Sheen letters to Edith Grissing regarding contributions to the Society of the Propagation of the Faith consist of approximately 40 letters, from 1957-1971, which were written by Fulton Sheen to personally acknowledge and thank Edith Grissing for her financial contributions.
    Approximately 40 items.
  • Kathleen Skrupskis scrapbook on the Second Vatican Council, 1962-1965, Mss 0038
    The Second Vatican Council took place from 11 October 1962 to 8 December 1965 in St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City and is seen to mark a great change in the history of the Church, as the effects of its documents were wide-ranging and far-reaching. The Kathleen Skrupskis scrapbook on the Second Vatican Council consists of one large scrapbook and photocopies of the scrapbook pages containing numerous newsclippings and articles on the events and decisions of the Second Vatican Council.
    (1 scrapbook and 1 set of photocopies of scrapbook)
  • Synod of the Archdiocese of Newark records, 1899-1959, bulk 1941, ADN 0006
    Diocesan synods are called by the bishop of the diocese for the purpose of introducing, deliberating on, and promulgating statutes regarding matters pertaining to the members of the diocese. The Synod of the Archdiocese of Newark records include materials related to the synod called by Archbishop Thomas J. Walsh in 1941.
    0.75 Linear feet , Approximately 150 items.
  • Rose Thering papers, 1944-2005, Mss 0016
    Rose Elizabeth Thering was born on 9 August 1920, entered the Dominican sisterhood at 16 and later became a teacher. She was a lifelong activist dedicated to increasing tolerance and understanding between Christians and Jews, and her work had great impact, from legislation mandating the teaching of the Holocaust in New Jersey schools to documents created at the Second Vatican Council changing the relationship of the Catholic Church with Jewish people. Sister Rose Thering died 6 May 2006. The Rose Thering papers consists of the professional and personal papers of Sister Rose Thering. The collection includes writings, correspondence, speeches, travel information, and subject files.
    Approximately 18.0 linear feet.
  • Vicar for Religious of the Archdiocese of Newark records, 1930-1974 (bulk 1950-1960), ADN 0073
    The Vicar for Religious, historically a member of the clergy or a member of a religious order, serves as the liaison between the Archbishop and the religious orders of the diocese. The Vicar for Religious of the Archdiocese of Newark records primarily consists of correspondence between members of religious orders, primarily the womens' religious orders, and the Archbishop, via the Vicar. The correspondence covers topics including contracts, ceremonies, practices of the religious orders, canonization of the founders of some orders, and other matters.
    Approximately 19 linear feet.
  • James A. Weisbecker papers, 1930s-1960s, ADN 0004.013
    James A. Weisbecker was a priest of the Archdiocese of Newark from the 1930s-1960s. This collection contains his various sermons, newspaper clippings, correspondence, and scrapbooks from the 1930s to the 1960s.
    2.0 linear feet.
  • Mrs. Frank Whitrock scrapbooks on the Second Vatican Council, 1958-1965, ADN 0065
    The Second Vatican Council took place from 11 October 1962 to 8 December 1965 in St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City and is seen to mark a great change in the history of the Church, as the effects of its documents were wide-ranging and far-reaching. The Mrs. Frank Whitrock scrapbooks on the Second Vatican Council consists of ten volumes of scrapbooks containing documents and newspaper articles about the Council.
    Approximately 4 linear feet.
  • Women’s religious orders of the Archdiocese of Newark records, 1968-2012, ADN 0012
    This collection documents the history, activities, and celebrations of many of the women's Religious Orders throughout New Jersey, generally spanning the years from 1968-2012. The collection also contains materials related to some out-of-state orders, particularly in New York, and materials related to Saint Elizabeth Anne Seton and individual sisters of some orders.
    7.0 boxes

20th Century Catholic Church History Rare Books

The following bibliography represents titles found in our Rare Book holdings collection relating to general or specific aspects of Catholic Church History during the 20th century. These and other volumes are available upon request for reference via the Archives & Special Collections Center.

Vatican II Archival Collections

The Center collects materials that document the history of the Roman Catholic Church. The Second Vatican Council was a major ecumenical council and is seen to mark a period of great change in the church, and many of the collections from that time document the events or effects of the Council. The following is a partial list of archival collections in this area, and will be added to as more collections are processed. Clicking on the title of the collection will take you to the finding aid for this collection; unless otherwise indicated, materials in these collections are not digitally available.
 
  • Collection on Pope Paul VI, 1964, Mss 0046
    Pope Paul VI was head of the Roman Catholic Church from 21 June 1963 until his death on 6 August 1978, presiding over the conclusion of the Second Vatican Council called by his predecessor, Pope John XXIII. The Collection on Pope Paul VI consists of one issues of the New York News magazine dated 16 February 1964 featuring an article about the Pope.
    1 item.
  • Walter W. Curtis papers, 1963-1965, ADN 0003.006
    Walter William Curtis was born on 3 May 1913 in Jersey City, New Jersey. He attended Seton Hall University and Immaculate Conception Seminary, was ordained in 1937, became a professor of moral theology at Immaculate Conception, and was appointed Bishop of Bridgeport (N.Y.) in 1961. Bishop Curtis attended all sessions of the Second Vatican Council in Rome. The Walter W. Curtis papers primarily consist of Bishop Curtis' day-by-day reports on the proceedings of the Second Vatican Council from 1962-1965, which include notes on all major points of discussion during the council and includes Bishop Curtis' perspective on many of these issues. Also included in the collection are two folders of material written by Bishop Curtis regarding the issue of birth control.
    0.5 linear feet, Approximately 400 items.
  • John H. Koenig papers, 1966-2001, ADN 0004.024
    John H. Koenig was born 24 December 1916. He graduated from Seton Hall college in 1938, was ordained into the priesthood on 30 May 1942 at St. Patrick's Cathedral in Newark, N.J., and served as director of the Archdiocesan Ecumenical Commission. Msgr. Koenig died on 15 August 2004. The John Koenig papers contain the professional papers of Rev. John Koenig from his work in the Archdiocese of Newark and as a parish pastor.
    Approximately 3 linear feet.
  • Liturgical Commission of the Archdiocese of Newark records, 1963-1973, ADN 0047
    The Liturgical Commission of the Archdiocese of Newark was created after the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy was produced by the Second Vatican Council and gave guidance to the priests and lay congregation of the Archdiocese of Newark on changes to the liturgy. The Liturgical Commission of the Archdiocese of Newark records includes materials related to the work of the Liturgical Commission during the 1960s to assist in selecting and incorporating new materials for and into the Liturgy.
    2 linear feet.
  • John M. Oesterreicher papers, 1920-2000, Mss 0053
    In 1953 Msgr. Oesterreicher founded the Institute for Judaeo-Christian Studies at Seton Hall University in South Orange, NJ. Father Oesterreicher and members of the Institute were, in large part, responsible for having the relationship of the Church to the Jewish People made part of the Vatican II agenda. He served as consultor to the Secretariat for Christian Unity during several sessions of the Council and was named an Honorary Prelate in recognition of his work.
  • George Shea papers, 1927-1990, ADN 0004.001
    Rev. Monsignor. George W. Shea was born on 27 December 1910 in Newark, New Jersey, and attended Seton Hall University. He was ordained on 29 March 1936, became a Navy chaplain during World War II, and was a Peritus (expert) of the Second Vatican Council, attending all four sessions. He died on 8 July 1990 in Orange, New Jersey. This collection covers the professional areas of Monsignor George W. Shea's life. Research topics with great significance are centered on the Second Vatican Council, one of his longest and most prominent studies.
    Approximately 15 linear feet.
  • Kathleen Skrupskis scrapbook on the Second Vatican Council, 1962-1965, Mss 0038
    The Second Vatican Council took place from 11 October 1962 to 8 December 1965 in St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City and is seen to mark a great change in the history of the Church, as the effects of its documents were wide-ranging and far-reaching. The Kathleen Skrupskis scrapbook on the Second Vatican Council consists of one large scrapbook and photocopies of the scrapbook pages containing numerous newsclippings and articles on the events and decisions of the Second Vatican Council.
    (1 scrapbook and 1 set of photocopies of scrapbook)
  • Mrs. Frank Whitrock scrapbooks on the Second Vatican Council, 1958-1965, ADN 0065
    The Second Vatican Council took place from 11 October 1962 to 8 December 1965 in St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City and is seen to mark a great change in the history of the Church, as the effects of its documents were wide-ranging and far-reaching. The Mrs. Frank Whitrock scrapbooks on the Second Vatican Council consists of ten volumes of scrapbooks containing documents and newspaper articles about the Council.
    Approximately 4 linear feet.
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