Special Collections


An Exhibition of Botanical Specimens from the Mary Garden at St. John’s
February 13 – March 5, 2014
St. Augustine Hall 4th Floor
St. John’s University

Sacred Botany; Seed, Leaf, Flower in the Healing ArtsHidden within the pages of illuminated manuscripts, books of hours and breviaries, intricately illustrated botanical specimens have formed an integral part of medieval manuscripts and religious iconography and later, the Renaissance aesthetics. They illustrate botanical symbolism and its Christian orientation and enhance the visual beauty of a work on paper.

For Mariology students (THEO 3215) of Prof. Andrea Florendo as cross-curricular Mary Gardeners, they constitute intriguing footnotes to the larger but related subjects of art, botany & theology. Their Academic Service- Learning and participation in Learning Communities events lead in part to artistic documentation and record-keeping of botanical specimens from the Mary Garden at St. John’s habitat, and preserved in a herbarium at St. Albert’s Hall for research purposes. Several works from the Library’s Special Collections showcase images of plants that are used to sustain not only the body, but the mind and spirit as well.

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Alfred PolitzThis collection documents the career of Alfred Politz, founder of the market research company Alfred Politz Research Incorporated (ARPI). He was known especially for developing new techniques in polling and opinion analysis. The collection includes biographical and autobiographical information, correspondence, speeches, news clippings, articles, research studies and other published and unpublished material written by, or about, Alfred Politz and ARPI.

This collection is available for research (by appointment only) at the St. John’s University Archives and Special Collections. Please see our location, hours and contact info.

A finding aid for the Alfred Politz Papers is available on our Special Collections website.

American League for an Undivided Ireland, Anti-Partition Bulletin

These records document the activities of the American League for an Undivided Ireland, founded in 1947. The aim of the organization was to make every possible effort to abolish the partition of Ireland. The members of the organization tried to influence U.S. foreign policy in relation to the desired unification of Ireland. Primarily correspondence, but also includes a certificate of incorporation, Irish and U.S. publications, speakers’ notes, news clippings, membership lists, printed Congressional papers, press releases, and mailing lists. Correspondents include Frank Aiken, Tom Barry, Emmanuel Celler, John A. Costello, Eamon de Valera, Everett Dirksen, Jacob Javits, Paul O’Dwyer, Henry Cabot Lodge, Charles Rice and Joseph Scott.

This collection is available for research (by appointment only) at the St. John’s University Archives and Special Collections. Please see our location, hours and contact info.

A finding aid for the Records of the American League for an Undivided Ireland  is available on our Special Collections website.

 

Original Leaves from Famous Books

Armenian 1121 A_1

Armenian Manuscript Bible, 1121 A.D. One Leaf. Original Leaves from Famous Bibles, 1121 A.D. – 1935 A.D. Collection assembled by Otto F. Ege. St. John’s University Archives and Special Collections.

1122 A.D. – 1935 A.D.

and

Original Leaves from Famous Bibles

1115 A.D. – 1935 A.D.

Selections from collections assembled by Otto F. Ege

 
On view September 18 – October 11, 2013
 
St. John’s University Libraries
St. Augustine Hall, 3rd Floor
 
For more information or to conduct research with these collections,
please contact the University Archives and Special Collections
at archives@stjohns.edu or 718-990-1465.

St. John the Baptist Church

St. John the Baptist church, c. 1930 (Image from St. John’s University Archives)

The original St. John the Baptist church was built in 1868 on the plot of land in Brooklyn purchased by the Vincentians where St. John’s College would eventually open in 1870. This small wooden church quickly became too small for the needs of the parish. The cornerstone to the new St. John’s the Baptist church was laid in 1888. It was designed by the famed architect Patrick C. Keely and was based on Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. It took six years to build the stone structure, which was finally dedicated in 1894. Located at 75 Lewis Avenue in Brooklyn, the building still serves the parish of St. John the Baptist.

Exhibition on View April 24 – May 14, 2013rare book title page

St. Augustine Hall, 3rd Floor

Physical books are both texts and artifacts; objects that indicate distinct histories of design, production and use.  Printed works reflect the technologies of paper and parchment making, type casting and printing, and binding – each recording historical developments in book production. They also give clues to past ownership and readership through book plates, inscriptions, marginalia and the occasional ephemera tucked inside their pages (clippings, letters, pressed flowers, etc.). It may well be that the future of the physical book is in peril, replaced by electronic and digitized versions. But books as artifacts of the past will continue to impart other meanings beyond the textual content. 

The twelve books on exhibition – dating from the sixteenth to the early twentieth centuries – were examined and described by graduate students in the Library and Information Science and Public History programs at St. John’s University. The class on special collections librarianship and the history of books and printing was taught by archivist and special collections librarian, Dr. Blythe Roveland-Brenton. The co-curators are: Audrey Belanger, Katie Daniels, Nicole Husbands, Egita Johnson, David McMahon, Janay Meertens-Deans, Kendra Meyer, Christina Orozco, Melissa Perlzweig, Laura Smith, Matthew Weidemann, and Porscha Williams.

Interested in these or other rare books from the University Libraries Special Collections department? Contact us at archives@stjohns.edu to make an appointment.

Celebrating the 150th Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation

Manumission Letter, 1784, St. John's University Special Collections

Manumission letter written by Joshua Pigman and James Argent of Frederick County State Maryland freeing two slaves, James and Frances, once they turn 21 years old. May 22, 1784.

St. Augustine Hall, 3rd Floor

February 15 – March 15, 2013

Co-curated by Megan Margino and Sharell Walker

The St. John’s University Special Collections presents an exhibition commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation. Within Special Collections are a variety of primary and secondary documents related to slavery, the Civil War, and the Emancipation Proclamation. Included in this display are reproductions of original documents in Special Collections such as hand-written letters and documents from people such as Vice President Hannibal Hamlin and other notable figures of the era. There are also rare and first edition books that contain unique perspectives on the historical events leading up to the Emancipation Proclamation.

These documents are available for research by appointment in the University Archives and Special Collections. To make an appointment, please call (718) 990-1465 or email archives@stjohns.edu.

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