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Special Collections at Seton Hall University

Irish American Archival Collections

The Center collects materials that document the history and experience of Irish or Irish Americans in the United States, particularly in New Jersey and/or in the Catholic Church. 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.


  • Ancient Order of Hibernians - New Jersey Collection, MSS 0146
    The Ancient Order of Hibernians, New Jersey Board functions as a benevolent society to promote Irish cultural and humanitarian identity. With our collecting focus in this area, the organization has started donating materials on a regular and continual basis. This collection includes correspondence, organizational materials, and publications related to the activities of the AOH at national, state, and division levels, as well as a collection of materials from other Irish-American organizations. Much of these materials are related to Irish-American immigration and human rights issues.
    2.66 linear feet
  • 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 Comerford Papers, MSS 0148
    This collection includes the personal papers of James Comerford, with an emphasis on his personal life and his work related to writing a memoir of his time spent in the Irish Volunteers (IRA). His experience as a judge in the New York City Criminal Court system is also reflected through his correspondence and academic work.
    2 linear feet 
  • James MacFarland Collection, MSS 0145
    Materials related to the leadership activities of Mr. James MacFarland. The focus includes correspondence and operational materials related to the Ancient Order of Hibernians in New Jersey (Msgr. Crean Division 1 - Trenton), Irish involvement in Northern Ireland, and various projects including the Jeanie Johnston Famine Ship, New Jesey Famine Curriculum, An Gorta Mor (Great Hunger), and various political measures involving Ireland and the United States. Additional topic areas include education, charities, politics, and religious advocacy.
    1.5 linear feet
  • John Concannon and the Ancient Order of Hibernians Collection, MSS 0135
    Personal papers belonging to John Concannon, a New York City-area journalist and member of the Ancient Order of Hibernians and other Irish-American organizations. These papers document both his personal and professional activities and his involvement with a variety of Irish-American organizations, especially the Ancient Order of Hibernians. The nature of these materials is related to Concannon's role as a member or officer of these organizations, or as research done in the service of his writing projects.
    43.25 linear feet
  • Knights of Columbus and Catholic Daughters of America, Montclair, New Jersey Chapters, MSS 0147
    Materials from the Knights of Columbus Council #1277 and the Catholic Daughters of the Americas (CDA) Court Unitas #499, both from Montclair, New Jersey. The Knights of Columbus materials include meeting minutes, financial records and ledgers, correspondence, event programs, membership and insurance rosters, issues of the Montclarion Knight Bulletin, materials from the national Knights of Columbus organization, and photographs. The Catholic Daughters of the Americas materials include correspondence, meeting minutes, event programs, financial records, materials from the national CDA organization, publications from the CDA and National Council of Catholic Women, and photographs.
    10.5 linear feet
  • Stephen Moylan letter to Nathaniel Green, 15 October 1779, Mss 0021
    Stephen Moylan was born in Ireland in 1737, immigrated to Philadelphia, Penn., joined the Continental Army in 1775 and served with George Washington, and was appointed Quartermaster General for the Continental Army in 1776. Nathanael Greene was born in Rhode Island in 17xx, joined the Continental Army in 1775, and was appointed Quartermaster General in 1778, in which post he served until 1780. The Stephen Moylan letter to Nathanael Greene was written 15 October 1779 and is a letter of introduction from Stephen Moylan regarding his brother, John Moylan, who had been appointed to Clothier General, and requests Nathanael Greene's assistance to John Moylan in this office.
    1 page.
  • Rita Murphy papers and phonographs, 1898-2001, Mss 0015
    Papers and phonograph records relating to Rita Murphy's interest in Ireland and Irish culture.
    6.6 linear feet.

Ireland and Irish American Rare Books and Materials

  • Irish Rare Book Collection
    This rare book collection features nearly 2,000 titles, dating from the seventeenth century to the present day, from the collection of Irish literary figure and noted book collector Michael Joseph (Meagher) MacManus (1888-1951), an author and editor of the Irish Press from 1931 until his death two decades later; select papers, photographs and record albums from Rita Murphy (1912-2003), a broadcaster, teacher, and one of the first female graduates of Seton Hall College (Urban Division, 1937), who aired an Irish Music Programme for many ears on WSOU and established and served as Director of the Institute for Irish Culture at Seton Hall University during the 1950s-60s; items from the Concannon book collection.