The Burns Library Welcomes You Back to Campus!

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!

Bookplates from the Cuala Press Printed Materials Collection, Burns Library

Photograph by Gary Wayne Gilbert. Pictured here are bookplates from the Cuala Press Printed Materials Collection at the Burns Library. These are some of the many unique archival items that you can look at in the Burns Library Reading Room.

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.

The entrance to the Burns Library is located on the North side of the Bapst building - the side of the building that faces Commonwealth Avenue.

The entrance to the Burns Library is located on the North side of the Bapst building – the side of the building that faces Commonwealth Avenue.

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.

Students from Professor Stacey Barone's Spring 2010 "Introduction to Professional Nursing" class examine letters written by Florence Nightingale as part of an extra credit assignment.

Students from Professor Stacey Barone’s Spring 2010 “Introduction to Professional Nursing” class examine letters written by Florence Nightingale as part of an extra credit assignment.

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 (burnsref@bc.edu) or simply drop by when you have a chance.

  •  Justine Sundaram, Reference Librarian/Bibliographer, Burns Library

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.
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One Response to The Burns Library Welcomes You Back to Campus!

  1. Robert Stanton says:

    Thanks so much for this friendly post, Justine. I’m very grateful to you for the help you’ve given my students over the years. Two years ago when I first taught Intro to British Literature and Culture, I thought it would be a fun idea to see what was on the required English curriculum 100 years ago, so I checked out Sub Turri for 1908. Great fun – now it’s part of my introductory lecture!

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