Dear Boston College Faculty & Students,
I hope you have had a wonderful summer. I look forward to working with you during the upcoming academic year!
I know that you’ll be very busy this semester, but you can now keep in touch with the Burns Library by subscribing to this blog, which will feature weekly posts on a wide variety of books, archives, manuscripts, exhibits, events and ongoing projects. You might also want to find our page on Facebook to read our daily status updates or view our online photo albums. We also have a photostream on Flickr.
Whether you need to find a primary source for your paper or just want to stroll around and look at the building’s beautiful stained glass windows, don’t forget to take advantage of our Wednesday evening and Saturday hours, which will begin during the week of September 7th. We are open from 9 a.m. until 8 p.m. on Wednesdays and 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Saturdays (9 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, Closed Sunday). Please check the Boston College Libraries hours page for holiday hours.
One of the most frequently asked questions here in the Burns Library Reading Room is “What kind of things do you have at this library?” The John J. Burns Library of Rare Books and Special Collections is best known for its collections in Irish history, literature and music, its holdings of nineteenth and twentieth century British and British Catholic Authors, its Jesuitana Collection, which includes more than 2,500 volumes published by or about members of the Society of Jesus prior to the order’s suppression in 1773, the unique Williams Ethnological Collection, which features maps, books, prints and manuscripts dealing with the Caribbean, with materials ranging in date from 1508 – 1935 and its Liturgy and Life Collection, established by the Boston College theologian and liturgical specialist William J. Leonard, S.J. in 1978 to document the liturgical movement in the American Catholic Church from 1925 to the introduction of the Second Vatican Council’s reforms. The Burns Library also houses the University Archives of Boston College, which include items like the Sub Turri’s or Boston College yearbooks (the first Sub Turri from 1913 in now available on Flickr), campus publications and faculty papers. These materials may not be checked out but they are available for your use in the Burns Library Reading Room.
I regularly help Boston College professors and students use Burns materials in their classes and research papers. Visiting Burns and looking at our materials can be an extra credit option (read this article about an assignment done by a nursing class last spring) or an ongoing part of the class.
I also assist authors who do research with our collections for their books, e.g. Marjorie Wunsch and Glenna Lang used the Jane Jacobs Papers for their book Genius of Common Sense, and Father Raymond Schroth did research with the Drinan Papers for his forthcoming (November 2010) biography of Congressman and Jesuit priest Father Robert Drinan.
I am very interested in finding new and innovative ways to use primary sources in teaching and research, so please contact me if you have ideas about how you’d like to use Burns materials in your class. Feel free to call the Burns Library Reading Room at 617-552-4861, send me an e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) or simply drop by when you have a chance.
- Justine Sundaram, Reference Librarian/Bibliographer, Burns Library