University Archives – Guarini Center For Community Memory
The Hon. Frank J. Guarini Center for Community Memory (GCCM) could not have been possible without the energy and support of Fariborz S. Fatemi, former Chief of Staff to the Congressman, and gifts of time and funding from the Hon. Frank J. Guarini. GCCM is the product of the collective vision and efforts of Dr. Fatemi, and Library and Archives staff. With the support of the University’s Administration, the project moved from vision (2009) to reality (2011).
The Guarini Center houses the Saint Peter’s University Archives, Rare Books and Special Collections, and personal papers of New Jersey U.S. Congressmen Frank J. Guarini (Rep. 1979-1993), Cornelius E. Gallagher (Rep. 1959-1973), and Dominick V. Daniels (Rep. 1959-1977).
While there is much work to be done in the way of processing and organizing the collections, the GCCM was officially dedicated on November 2, 2011, and is open to visitors, scholars, patrons, and the Saint Peter’s University community. Please call for an appointment: Mary Kinahan-Ockay, University Archives and Congressional Collections (201-761-6462; firstname.lastname@example.org), and Daisy DeCoster, Rare Books and Special Collections (201-761-6454; email@example.com).
The University Archives was established in 1988. Fr. John F. Wrynn, S.J., was the first Archivist, working part-time in conjunction with his duties as Professor of History and Superior of the Jesuit Community.
The Archives has a few records dating to the time of the founding of the University, including the institution’s copy of the 1872 New Jersey State Charter, Jesuit journals , student registers, and photographs of the graduating classes of 1897 and 1899; however, most of the documents, images and artifacts are dated after the reopening of the University in 1930. The vast majority of the holdings are more recent, dating from the 1960s to the present.
Common items of permanent value in Archives’ holdings include: official records, papers and publications; certain categories of personal and professional papers of faculty and/or members of the Boards of Trustees or Regents; special collections relating to the history of the University, eminent alumni, and papers or records dealing with the history of the area as they relate to the development of the University.
Items of particular interest include: 1907 College diploma of William J. Durant, historian and author; photographs and correspondence between Rev. Joseph S. Dinneen, S.J., 12th President of Saint Peter’s University, and U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, October 1936; photographs and a signed Michaelmas program from the 1965 visit of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; and personal papers and memorabilia from renowned geneticist George F. Smith, M.D., ’49.
Current holdings amount to approximately 900 cubic feet (c.f.) of permanent materials, and approximately 300 c.f. of unprocessed/ materials in need of screening. There are more than 200 accessions identified in the Archives database.
The Archivist works closely with staff and administrators throughout the University to ensure that only records and materials of a permanent nature are transferred into the Archives. The adaptation of a Record Retention Schedule in 2009 for non-permanent record material has served to avoid the transfer of temporary, disposable materials into the University Archives.
The O’Toole Library houses approximately 2,100 volumes in its Special Collections section. The titles in this collection cover subjects ranging from religion, history (including local history), literature, art, to science and technology. The imprint dates range from the 15th to 21st centuries. Some of the titles are rare, or at least scarce. Other titles are located in the collection due to their size or subject matter (these include very large format and expensive art books on popular subjects such as the Sistine Chapel). There are some out of print titles not particularly valuable or rare but are in the collection because of their fragile condition.