Exhibit: Cornerstone of Victory

Cornerstone of Victory Exhibit

Millions of young Americans served in the armed forces from 1941 to 1945, including many students and alumni of The University of Scranton.  To commemorate the 70th anniversary of the formal conclusion of World War II, the Heritage Room is featuring an exhibit as a tribute to all of the men and women, particularly our veteran alumni, who went into harm’s way to serve their nation.  The exhibit will be based on materials from the Helen Gallagher McHugh Special Collections and the University Archives. Although the McHugh Special Collections does not specifically collect material on World War II, a number of collections have relevant material that highlight the impact that this tragic event had on the University, our nation, and the world.

The Abe L. Plotkin Collection is focused on the end of World War II and immediately thereafter. Plotkin, a 1935 graduate, served in the United States military and was a witness to the liberation of the Ohdruf concentration camp. After the war ended, Plotkin assisted survivors of the concentration camp in getting in touch with American relatives. The exhibit will feature photographs and correspondence from his collection.

The recently acquired Passionist Congregation Archives contains Military Chaplain Reports. The Passionists, like other Catholic Church orders and congregations, provided chaplains to perform sacraments and provide counseling to soldiers. The collection contains photographs and reports from the chaplains detailing their day-to-day life and activities.

Gold Star Veterans of WWII
A memorial to alumni and students who were Gold Star Veterans of World War II, which is permanently on display in the foyer of Madonna della Strada Chapel. There is also a second plaque commemorating those who died in Vietnam

The Joseph Polakoff Collection primarily features his editorial writing on Middle Eastern affairs; however, during the 1940s Polakoff, a 1932 graduate, worked for the United States Information Agency, and some of his correspondence relates to World War II activities.

The exhibit will also feature assorted publications collected over the years that relate to the war. The University of Scranton underwent a transition from Christian brothers to Jesuit stewardship in 1942. Besides the change from the Christian brothers to the Jesuits, the University was significantly affected by the war, as were all other institutions of higher learning as young men went to war instead of University.

This exhibit reflects a period of great transition for The University of Scranton and an experience that shaped the character of many of our alumni, the institution, our nation, and the world. Seventy years ago, America rejoiced in the hope for enduring world peace. Through this exhibit, we aim to honor the bravery, honor, strength, and sacrifices of all veterans and those impacted by war.

This exhibit will be on display in the Heritage Room until Sunday, April 26, 2015. For more information, please contact Special Collections Librarian Michael Knies, Michael.Knies@Scranton.edu (570) 941-6341.


Library Exhibit: Highlights from the Helen Gallagher McHugh Special Collections

Highlights Exhibit

Brian E. McHugh ’59 recently announced a planned estate gift to the Weinberg Memorial Library in memory of his mother, Helen Gallagher McHugh. In memory of Mr. McHugh’s mother, the Weinberg Memorial Library’s Special Collections were named the Helen Gallagher McHugh Special Collections. Mrs. McHugh was born in Kingston and resided in Plymouth.

In honor of the naming and dedication, the Library is currently hosting an exhibit with a small and selective sample of the Helen Gallagher McHugh Special Collections. Most of this material has been assembled since 1996, starting with the acquisition of the Joseph Polakoff Papers followed by the Joseph McDade Congressional Papers Collection. Although the Library had a small rare book collection, including four mostly complete medieval manuscripts and a handful of books printed prior to 1500, the collection has been significantly expanded through the creation of the Hill-Davis Jesuit Collection with initial funding from the Rousseau Memorial Fund and subsequent funding from the Jesuit Community. Other items have been acquired through the generosity of the Friends of the Weinberg Memorial Library, as well as through donations and purchases.

This exhibit is concentrating on the Helen Gallagher McHugh Special Collections. The department also contains the University Archives, which are not featured in this exhibit. Material from the University Archives was featured last year in an exhibit celebrating the 125th anniversary of the University. Archival material is regularly featured in Heritage Room exhibits and a significant amount is available online in the Library’s Digital Collections.

The exhibit is on display in the Library’s fifth floor Heritage Room until September 25. For more information about the exhibit, please contact Special Collections Librarian Michael Knies. michael.knies@scranton.edu    (570) 941-6341