Scéal a tharraingíonn scéal. Just as the Burns Library’s iconic Ford Tower evokes the tower of Ballylee Castle, which Irish poet W. B. Yeats purchased, restored, and celebrated in the popular anthology of his verse depicted in our exhibit poster, so does one story draw another, as the Irish proverb goes. As staff in the Burns Library, we frequently find ourselves exploring connections behind our rare book and manuscript collections in just this way. When we pull at their narrative threads, we often discover a web of related materials. Following the stories we uncover leads us on to more stories. When we share these stories with our researchers, they in turn share their discoveries with us. As the Irish proverb goes, scéal a tharraingíonn scéal or one story draws another.
There are many such stories in the Irish collections, which are the most frequently consulted materials in the Burns Library. Whether a book, a manuscript, a broadside, a letter, or a musical instrument, each component of the Irish collections offers an opportunity to learn more about the history, literature, and culture of Ireland and Irish America.
The exhibit is divided into four sections: Irish-American Fine Press Books, Irish Traditional Music, Irish American History in Boston, and Irish Literature. Beginning in March, the exhibit will also feature a fifth section highlighting published scholarship that utilizes research materials from the Burns Library’s Irish collections. To learn more about this exhibit, including a list of sources for further study, read this exhibit handout.
One Story Draws Another will be on display in the Burns Library through June 8th, 2015. The exhibit is open whenever the Burns Library is open, so please check the BC Libraries hours page for the Burns Library’s open hours.
Christian Dupont Burns Librarian and Associate University Librarian for Special Collections