“Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam: Rare Books from the Hill-Davis Jesuit Collection” – Now on Display!

In honor of the Ignatian Year, the Heritage Room is hosting an exhibit titled “Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam: Rare Books from the Hill-Davis Jesuit Collection” during Spring semester. The exhibit will primarily feature books written by Jesuits from the founding of the order in 1540 through its suppression in 1773. The exhibit will be divided into categories reflecting the breadth of Jesuit intellectual and pastoral activities. There will be sections on Ignatius Loyola, the Jesuits as a corporate body, science and technology, humanities, missionary work, the Counter-Reformation, and the suppression of the order among others.

On March 22, we are tentatively planning an exhibit reception with a lecture by Rev. Antoni Ucerler, S.J., Director of the Ricci Institute for Chinese-Western Cultural History at Boston College.  Father Ucerler will speak on the Jesuit’s use of printing technology to further missionary activities in Japan.  The lecture will be co-sponsored by the Friends of Weinberg Library, the Jesuit Center, the Slatterly Center for the Ignatian Humanities and the Schemel Forum.

The exhibit will run through April 24, 2022. For further information contact Special Collections Librarian, Michael Knies at Michael.Knies@Scranton.edu

“Celebrating Past Presidents” Exhibit Now Open!

In honor of Rev. Joseph G. Marina, S.J. becoming The University’s 29th president, Weinberg Library’s Heritage Room will feature an autumn exhibit on the past presidents of The University of Scranton and St. Thomas College. The exhibit, based on research by Professor Emeritus of History Frank Homer and utilizing photographs and documents from the University Archives, will focus on the accomplishments of the past presidents and their impact on the development of the school. 

The exhibit will be on display in the Heritage room until December 17. A reception is being planned but the date is not yet confirmed. For more information, contact Special Collections Librarian Michael Knies at 570-941-6341 or Michael.Knies@scranton.edu.

Exhibit on Display: “Illustrating Scranton: The Drawings of Don Murray”

murray blog banner-1Now through December 9th, the Library’s fifth floor Heritage Room will feature an exhibit on the work of local artist Don Murray. Comprised mainly of pen and ink drawings, the works on view depict the historic architecture and landmark sites of Scranton and the surrounding northeast Pennsylvania landscape. Marked by a sophisticated ability to render architectural detail, Murray’s works demonstrate his technical skill in pen and ink that he acquired through professional training as a draftsman while serving in the Armed Forces in the 1940s. Through the G.I. Bill, Murray was later able to enroll in the Murray School of Art in Scranton where he further refined his artistic ability. Murray’s faithful reproductions of Scranton’s landmarks are considered by many to contribute to the preservation of the city’s architectural heritage.

Don Murray, Municipal Building, pen and ink, 2006

Among the works on view is a pen and ink drawing of the Municipal Building, which has been the seat of municipal government in Scranton since the 1890s. Designed by local architect Edwin L. Walter in 1888, Scranton City Hall borrowed the Victorian Gothic style of the Lackawanna County Courthouse. In 1981, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

Don Murray, Scranton Cultural Center, watercolor and graphite on paper, undated









Also on view is a watercolor painting of the neo-Gothic façade of the Scranton Cultural Center, formerly known as the Masonic Temple. Built in 1927, the Masonic Temple and Scottish Rite Cathedral was designed by architect Raymond Hood, whose best-known works include the Tribune Tower in Chicago and Rockefeller Center in New York City.

Don Murray, Electric City Building, pen and ink, 2009
Don Murray, Albright Memorial Library, pen and ink, 2009


ics techincal drawing_001
Page from an International Correspondence School textbook. Pneumatics analytic geometry. Scranton, Pa: International Textbooks Co., 1950. Print.


For 17 years, Murray served as chief illustrator at the International Correspondence Schools (ICS) in Scranton where he produced technical drawings for instructional texts on a variety of subjects, including mechanical drawing. While unattributed, the mechanical drawing shown here serves as an example of the type of drawing Murray prepared for ICS course books. Later in his professional career, Murray worked on specification drawings for product manuals in the drafting department at Ingersoll Rand.

The exhibit will be on display during normal library hours in the fifth floor Heritage Room through Friday, December 9, 2016. On Tuesday, October 25th at 6pm the Weinberg Memorial Library will host a reception and exhibit talk. This event is free and open to the public.  For more information, please contact Special Collections Librarian, Michael Knies. michael.knies@scranton.edu, (570) 941-6341.







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.


Special Collections in the News

The Handwriting on the Wall by Nate Pedersen

The Library’s Special Collections department has been featured in the news twice this summer.

One of last spring’s Schemel Forum courses, The Bible As a Book, taught by Special Collections Librarian Michael Knies, explored the physical development of the Bible from Hebrew Scroll through Victorian Family Bible.  The course was positively reviewed in an article about upcoming Schemel Forum programming in the June issue of the Northeast Pennsylvania Business Journal.

A photograph of the Zaner-Bloser Penmanship Collection exhibit, images from the collection, and information about the collection were included in an article on penmanship titled “The Handwriting on the Wall” by Nate Pedersen in the summer issue of the magazine, Fine Books & Collections.  Pedersen mentions the variety of materials within collection, which includes “examples of astonishing large-form penmanship, handwriting manuals, professional journals, teaching materials for schools, and printing blocks made from original engrossings.”

Zaner-Bloser in the media

Zaner-Bloser penmanship has made it into the media!   Check out the Saturday, January 22, 2011 edition of the Scranton Times-Tribune here:  http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/the-writing-s-on-the-wall-but-no-one-can-read-it-1.1094003#axzz1BmppKM6P.  The print version includes a photograph of our Special Collections Librarian Michael Knies poring over the handwriting samples in the exhibit on the 5th floor of Weinberg Library, in the Heritage Room.  CBS Sunday Morning had a segment this Sunday entitled “A Farewell to Handwriting” and listed as “Signing Off”.  See the video here:   http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7274694n&tag=contentBody;featuredPost-PE

The Zaner-Bloser collection is the newest collection at the University of Scranton’s Weinberg Library.  For additional information about the collection, see:  http://academic.scranton.edu/department/wml/ARCHIVED/features/fall10s-7.html

The  Zaner-Bloser exhibit can be seen now on the 5th floor of the Weinberg Memorial Library in the Heritage Room.  The exhibit formally opens on Wednesday, February 2nd.

400 Years of the Jesuit Province of Lithuania

The Heritage Room in the Weinberg Library will serve as host for the traveling exhibit “400 Years of the Jesuit Province of Lithuania” from July 16 through August 13. The panel exhibit documents the Jesuit presence in Lithuania from their arrival in 1569. By 1579 the Jesuits had founded the University of Vilnius and by its peak, the province had more than 1000 Jesuits, almost 2 dozen schools, and more than 60 Mission stations. The exhibit documents the suppression of the Jesuits in 1773, their survival through the 19th century, and the reestablishment of the Jesuit school and province in 1923. The effects of World War II and the Iron Curtain are also examined.

The exhibit is being held in conjunction with Lithuanian Heritage Day at the Anthracite Heritage Museum and is being provided by the Baltic Jesuit Advancement Board. Lithuanian authors who were formerly instructors at the University will also be featured: Sister Virginia Vytell, CSC, Dr. Antanas Kucas and Juozas Venchas S.J.

You are most cordially invited to attend the reception for the Exhibit on Saturday, July 31st from 5-7 pm, Heritage Room, 5th Floor, Weinberg Memorial Library, University of Scranton.

Faculty Scholarship Exhibit in Library’s Heritage Room

During the month of May, the Weinberg Memorial Library is hosting its annual Faculty Scholarship Exhibit through Thursday May 27 in the Library’s Heritage Room. The exhibit features books, articles, and conference presentation announcements produced by University of Scranton faculty members since 2008. The exhibit, organized by academic department, provides an overview of the diversity and quality of scholarly accomplishments by the University’s faculty. Please take a few minutes to visit the exhibit.  For further information please contact Michael Knies, Special Collections Librarian, 570-941-6341.

Countdown to the Lincoln Bicentennial

Here at the Weinberg Memorial Library, we’re celebrating Abraham Lincoln’s 200th birthday all month long, even though the big day isn’t until Thursday (February 12th). Yesterday, we opened our display of the national traveling exhibit, “Forever Free: Abraham Lincoln’s Journey to Emancipation,” in the 5th floor Heritage Room.

The exhibit, organized by the Huntington Library and the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, will travel to 63 different libraries in 31 different states.  The Weinberg will be hosting the exhibit through March 22nd – to see it, just head up to the 5th floor anytime during the Library’s regular hours.

Abraham Lincoln's Journey to Emancipation

Want even more Lincoln?  There’s still time to register for this Saturday’s free Symposium and Exhibit Opening Reception.  We’re excited to have three speakers share their knowledge of Lincoln and his time:

Best of all, we’ll be visited by Lincoln actor and historian Jim Getty, who will bring the 16th president “alive” as we celebrate his memory.  To join us on Saturday, just call the Special Collections librarian Michael Knies at 941-6341 to register.  (And check out Michael’s interview in yesterday’s Scranton Times-Tribune!)