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Special Collections at Seton Hall University

New Jersey Political Archival Collections

The Center collects materials that document the history of politics, politicians, and political events in New Jersey. 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.


  • Ace Alagna photographic collection, 1944-1998, Mss 0018
    Ace Alagna was a photographer, editor and publisher of the Italian Tribune, and prominent member of the Italian American community in Newark, NJ. The Ace Alagna photographs consist of photographic negatives, prints, videos, and layout sheets from Ace Alagna's career as a photographer and as editor and owner of the newspaper the Italian Tribune.
    40 linear feet, approximately 40,000 items.
  • Brendan Byrne papers, 1960-1982 (bulk 1973-1977), Mss 0007
    Brendan Byrne was the governor of New Jersey from 1974-1982. A native of West Orange, NJ, Brendan Byrne attended Seton Hall University, Princeton University, and Harvard University, and was an attorney and a judge before becoming governor as a Democrat. As governor, he created a legacy that includes the Meadowland Sports Complex, development of the casinos of Atlantic City, dedication to the environment exemplified in the Pinelands Preservation Act, and a commitment to improving public education. The Brendan Byrne papers consist primarily of materials related to Byrne's campaigns for governor of New Jersey in 1973 and 1977, as well as some materials documenting his time as governor and his activities with the Democratic party.
    Approximately 55 linear feet.
  • Jack Chance collection on Wendell Willkie and the 1940 presidential election, 1939-1940, Mss 0023
    The 1940 United States presidential election took place on 5 November 1940; the two main candidates were Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt, the incumbent running for his third term, and Republican Wendell Willkie, a businessman from Indiana. Important issues of the election revolved around the controversy of Roosevelt running for a third term, which no President had ever done, isolationism and the question of American involvement in World War II in Europe, and America's recovery from the Great Depression. The Jack Chance collection on Wendell Willkie and the 1940 presidential campaign consists of newsclippings scrapbooks on the 1940 presidential election and some supplementary materials related to Wendell Willkie.
    1.5 linear feet, 7 items.
  • Collection of 1967 Newark Riots newsclippings, 1967-1987 (bulk 1967-1968), Mss 0037
    The 1967 Newark Riots were a period of violence and civil disturbance in Newark, New Jersey, from 12 July 1967 - 17 July 1967. The Collection of 1967 Newark Riots newsclippings contains photocopied newspaper and journal articles on the riots and their aftermath.
    0.5 Linear feet
  • Father Raúl Comesañas Papers, 1940-2016, MSS 0130
    The Father Raúl Comesañas Papers contain a variety of papers covering the various political, religious, and personal activities of Father Raúl Comesañas of Union City, New Jersey. This collection covers materials related to Father Comesañas’s run for the 13th Congressional district of New Jersey, his work as a Catholic priest in New Jersey, and his work as president of the Union of Cuban Exiles (U.C.E.). There is also a variety of background information related to Fr. Comesañas’s political interests including his role on various boards, his post-secondary education and seminary work, and personal correspondence. There is a significant collection of newspapers, including La Nación Americana, El Clarín, La Tribuna, and Vanguardia Católica all of which Fr. Comesañas had a role in the publication or editing of.
    76.53 linear feet
  • Marcus Daly papers, 1901-1976, Mss 0004
    Marcus Daly taught political science and was nominated by President Eisenhower to be the Director of the Intergovernmental Committee for European Migration (ICEM), at which post he served from 1958-1961. He was also active in New Jersey politics. The Marcus Daly papers contain materials documenting Daly's professional life as Director of the Intergovernmental Committee for European Migration (ICEM), as a politician in New Jersey, and as an educator.
    15.0 linear feet.
  • Leonard Dreyfus papers, 1786-1972 (bulk 1931-1972), Mss 0001
    Leonard Dreyfuss was born in New York in 1886 and moved to Newark in 1914, working for the Newark Sign Company before and during its merger to form the United Advertising Corporation; he was highly active with the New Jersey Civil Defense Advisory Committee during and after the Second World War, and was also active in many civic organizations and activities. The Leonard Dreyfuss papers include materials from Dreyfuss's time involved with Civil Defense, materials related to his business, and a wide variety of personal effects including memorabilia and awards.
    Approximately 15 linear feet.
  • Stephen J. Foley Right to Life papers, 1968-1981, Mss 0069
    Stephen J. Foley is a lawyer involved with the New Jersey Right to Life organization. The Stephen J. Foley Right to Life papers include materaisl created and disseminated by the New Jersey Right to Life organization, including meeting notes, pamphlets and photographs, materials related to the pro-life movement in New Jersey such as newspaper articles, legal materials from court cases related to abortion, and Stephen Foley's notes and correspondence related to his involvement with Right to Life. Some of this material appears to be contemporary to the Supreme Court decision in the case of Roe v. Wade in 1973, and may refer to this case peripherally.
    Approximately 6.0 linear feet.
  • Richard J. Hughes papers, 1956-1979, Mss 0003
    The former Democratic governor of New Jersey and first Catholic elected to this particular office. After his term ended, he was appointed Chief Justice of the State Supreme Court. This collection includes his accumulated private papers, select public documentation, photographs, scrapbooks and related materials.
    Approximately 60 linear feet.
  • Donald M. Payne papers, 1988-2012, Mss 0078
    Donald M. Payne, 1934-2012, was New Jersey’s first African American congressional representative and served as New Jersey’s 10th district representative from 1989-2012. During his time in Congress, Congressman Payne served on a number of important committees and was a leading advocate for education, democracy, and human rights. The Donald M. Payne papers contain the professional papers of Donald M. Payne from his time as U.S. Representative for New Jersey’s 10th congressional district. The collection includes materials related to Congressman Payne’s legislative work, particularly for the House Committee on Education and Labor and the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, as well as on behalf of his district and state.
    Approximately 53 linear feet.
  • Arthur A. Quinn Papers, 1901-1960, MSS 0132
    Arthur A. Quinn was active in the New Jersey political system, including serving on the New Jersey State Assembly and State Senate. Quinn was also President of the New Jersey Federation of Labor and President and founding member of the Union National Bank. This collection includes a mix of newsclippings, original documents and correspondence of Arthur A. Quinn and colleagues, and correspondence of his mother, Jane Quinn.
  • Matthew J. Rinaldo papers, 1972-1992, Mss 0009
    A former Republican member of the United States House of Representatives from the 12th Congressional District. He served on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, House Select Committee on Aging and the Subcommittee on Telecommunications, Consumer Protection and Finance. This collection includes his accumulated private, and select public papers.
    Approximately 45 linear feet.
  • Peter W. Rodino, Jr. Archives
    This collection is located in the Seton Hall University School of Law, Rodino Law Library in Newark, NJ.
    Peter W. Rodino, Jr. served as a Representative for New Jersey's 10th District in the United States Congress for 20 terms, 1949-1989. Documents contained in the collection bear witness to and chronicle American legislative and political history. His legislative legacy includes work in civil rights, immigration, crime, and monopolies and trusts. Rodino served as Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee during the Vice Presidential confirmations of Gerald Ford and Nelson Rockefeller, and the Nixon Impeachment Inquiry. The Archives include personal papers, correspondence, press releases, legislative files, committee records, campaign information, scrapbooks, faculty records and audio-visual materials.
    535.46 linear feet (not including the scrapbook collection)
  • Bernard Shanley papers, 1952-1957, Mss 0002
    Personal papers of Bernard M. Shanley, prominent New Jersey Lawyer, Republican politician, and member o the Eisenhower cabinet. They document his personal as well as his professional activities, from the time he began his career in law until his passing in 1992. They cover his detailed involvement with the federal politics of the 1950’s, as well as his gubernatorial run and time spent as a Republican National Committeeman. It also details his lifelong relationship with the Catholic church, and his relationship with Seton hall University. One of the most prominent features of the collection is Bernard Shanley’s personal diary, that covers from 1951 to 1957, detailing his importance to the 1952 and 1956 election cycles, as well as both Eisenhower Administrations.
    33.5 linear feet