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.

The Contention of The Bards: Loyalty, Learning, & Literature

Iomarbhaidh Na Bhfileadh, or The Contention of The Bards (c. 1616-1624), was a series of polemical poems sparked by The Flight of the Earls (1608, itself a result of the English victory against Aodh Mór Ó Néill and his Irish forces … Continue reading

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In His Own Grave: Undertaker Thomas Murray’s Record of St. Augustine Cemetery Burials, 1833-1839

1840 Janury 7 Thomas Murray 59 yrs in his own grave Buried from South Boston ~~ Final entry in Thomas Murray’s record ~~ In 21 pages of closely written entries in a slim 8″ x 10” notebook, undertaker Thomas Murray … Continue reading

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Irish Collections at Boston College

The Irish Institute at Boston College hosted Justin Dolan Stover, Assistant Professor of Transnational European History at Idaho State University, for five weeks during the summer of 2017. This brief research stint provided him time and workspace to explore John … Continue reading

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The Beanpot: A Midwinter Staple

The start of the second semester at Boston College means the illustrious Beanpot Tournament is right around the corner. On the first two Mondays of February the 66th Beanpot tournament will take place at the TD Garden. Students and fans … Continue reading

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Boston in the Early Republic

The John J. Burns Library’s Boston collection houses approximately 4,500 works about the city and its neighboring municipalities. While the majority of this collection encompasses material from the 19th and 20th centuries, as a result of the remarkable growth in … Continue reading

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A Roycroft Book, the Perfect Gift for a Jesuit Professor

The John J. Burns Library has many interesting and historic books that are also noteworthy for their bindings. One such book is the Essays of Elia, by Charles Lamb (1775-1834), an English writer and essayist. This particular edition of Lamb’s … Continue reading

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The Genius of Leonardo Da Vinci

Leonardo Da Vinci’s fame and influence is indisputably unparalleled. His works are renowned throughout the world, especially his best known piece, the Mona Lisa. What I respect most about Leonardo Da Vinci is that he is not only a great … Continue reading

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