Reading Room Log: Featured Sources for Boston College History

The first Boston College yearbook, dated 1913, is available in the Burns Library Reading Room and online via Internet Archive and Flickr.

The first Boston College yearbook, dated 1913, is available in the Burns Library Reading Room and online via Internet Archive and Flickr.

At the beginning of February, Dean Joseph Burns’ capstone class on the history of Boston College visited the Burns Library for a brief introduction to the resources available for doing research about the fascinating history of Boston College.  Since the 150th anniversary of Boston College will be upon us in 2013, I thought I’d take this opportunity to write about some of the wonderful resources available for anyone interested in the history of Boston College. Many published sources for the history of Boston College are available online and in the Burns Library Reading Room.  One of the most popular items, the Boston College Yearbooks or Sub Turri’s are now available online through Internet Archive.  However, if you want to look at the actual yearbooks or need to look at a particular year that is not online, then please visit the Burns Library Reading Room.  Another question that we often hear in the Reading Room is, “When did Boston College first admit women students?”  If you are interested in the history of women at Boston College, you can check out this wonderful video, “Making Our Place:  The History of Women at Boston College” online.  Loretta Higgins’s 1986 thesis, “The Development of Coeducation at Boston College,” is another great source for this topic and is available via the database Dissertations and Theses – Full Text (ProQuest).

If you are interested in ths history of Boston College's stained glass windows, check out Transforming Light by Virginia Chieffo Raguin, Linden Lane Press, 2009.

If you are interested in ths history of Boston College’s stained glass windows, check out Transforming Light by Virginia Chieffo Raguin, Linden Lane Press, 2009.

If you’re interested in the stained glass windows at Boston College, then you’ll enjoy reading Transforming Light. With beautiful photographs by Gary Wayne Gilbert and a well-researched text by Holy Cross Art Historian Virginia Chieffo Raguin, this book is a treat for the mind and the eyes.  You can also read a pamphlet published in 1924 entitled Art in Boston College either in the Reading Room or online via the Boston College Libraries Digital Collections.  Once you’re on the Digital Collections page, just scroll down and click on the “Books and Pamphlets” link under the title “Histories of Boston College”.  Father Donovan’s The History of Boston College:  From the Beginnings to 1990 is also available in the Reading Room as well as online via Holmes or Quest.  Also, don’t forget to check out aerial photographs of the Chestnut Hill campus, which are available on the Burns Library’s Flickr photostream.  If you have any questions about these resources or about the history of Boston College, please contact the Burns Library Reading Room by phone at 617-552-4861 or by e-mail at burnsref@bc.edu.

  • 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 Reading Room Log: Featured Sources for Boston College History

  1. Robert Stanton says:

    Thanks Justine. The Sub Turris are very cool. A few years ago I was teaching a British Literature survey course, and I wanted to know what the English curriculum was like at BC a hundred years ago. The answer was right there in the old red book!

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