Author Archives: John J. Burns Library of Rare Books and Special Collections at Boston College

About John J. Burns Library of Rare Books and Special Collections at Boston College

The University’s special collections, including the University’s Archives, are housed in the Honorable John J. Burns Library, located in the Bapst Library Building, north entrance. Burns Library staff work with students and faculty to support learning and teaching at Boston College, offering access to unique primary sources through instruction sessions, exhibits, and programming. The Burns Library also serves the research needs of external scholars, hosting researchers from around the globe interested in using the collections. The Burns Library is home to more than 200,000 volumes and over 700 manuscript collections, including holdings of music, photographic materials, art and artifacts, and ephemera. Though its collections cover virtually the entire spectrum of human knowledge, the Burns Library has achieved international recognition in several specific areas of research, most notably: Irish studies; British Catholic authors; Jesuitica; Fine printing; Catholic liturgy and life in America, 1925-1975; Boston history; the Caribbean, especially Jamaica; Nursing; and Congressional archives.

Exhibitions Update: The Everyman’s Library

A new Burns Library exhibit, The Everyman’s Library: Volumes from the Collections of the John J. Burns Library is now on display in the Margaret E. Ford Tower through December 31, 2014. The Everyman’s Library (EML) was first conceived in 1905 … Continue reading

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George Sandys, the Ethnographer: A Man Before His Time

George Sandys was the seventh and youngest son of Edwin Sandys, archbishop of York for the Church of England. Sandys’ Relation was a seminal work at the time, detailing the culture of the Ottoman Empire as well as the ecumenical … Continue reading

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Exhibitions Update: Commitment to Craftsmanship

  A new Burns Library exhibit, Commitment to Craftsmanship:  Conservation Bookbindings by Mark Esser, is now on display through January 16, 2015.   This exhibit is designed to introduce Boston College students to bookbinding and book conservation, explores the training Mark … Continue reading

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Michael H. Leary Letters

Being called upon to help decipher bad handwriting is an occupational hazard for the staff of the Burns Library, home to hundreds of linear feet of correspondence written by thousands of individuals – political and religious leaders, literary figures, bank … Continue reading

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History Students Create Maps Exhibit with Burns Library Books

Maps are all around us. A map of campus orients the visitor to Boston College; an old map of Boston hangs in a gilt frame; and, increasingly, a map on a handheld device points to a coffee spot, a concert … Continue reading

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A Common Cause: David Goldstein and Martha Moore Avery

Over the summer, the archivists at the John J. Burns Library have been processing the papers of David Goldstein and Martha Moore Avery. Goldstein and Avery spent their lives as campaigners, even if what they campaigned for changed dramatically over … Continue reading

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Circle in the Sun

To celebrate the first day of the fall semester and my first day as Burns Librarian, Burns Library staff members gathered last Tuesday for a group photo on the steps of the Ford Tower. It took us a moment to set … Continue reading

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