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.

A Year in Review: 2015-2016

Hello, readers! Thank you for another academic year of following the John J. Burns Library blog. Over the summer we like to take a look back at what has been posted throughout the year both to thank our authors and … Continue reading

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G. K. Chesterton: the Catholic Apologist

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) was born on May 29, 1874, in London, the eldest son of Edward Chesterton and Marie Louise Grosjean. Chesterton had a happy childhood and his parents encouraged his interests in art and literature. Chesterton’s brother Cecil … Continue reading

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Graham Greene & Sherlock Holmes

Graham Greene’s private library contains various Victorian detective works. Of particular interest to Greene is the definitive Victorian detective, rather, the definitive detective, Sherlock Holmes. Greene possessed at least one copy of each case Holmes undertook with friend and biographer … Continue reading

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The Muggletonian Collection

A radical Protestant sect with a quirky theology and a wonderfully unlikely name, the Muggletonian movement emerged in 1651 from the chaos of the British Interregnum, when two tailors – John Reeve and Lodowick Muggleton – announced themselves to be … Continue reading

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Peter Levi: the Priest Turned Poet

Peter Chad Tigar Levi was born in Ruslip, Middlesex, England, on May 16, 1931. He was the second son of Herbert and Mollie Levi.  Peter’s father came from Istanbul and descended from a family of Sephardic carpet merchants, and his … Continue reading

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Williams Ethnological Collection

The John J. Burns Library is home to the formerly named Nicholas M. Williams Ethnological Collection, now known at the library simply as the Williams Ethnological Collection. A large and important amount of material with especial strengths in Carribeana and … Continue reading

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Thomas Paine and the Dialogues of Early America

One of the lucky privileges of being a conservation unit student assistant is the ability to walk through the Burns Library stacks containing over four hundred years of literary and scholastic history, ranging from the history of the Jesuits to … Continue reading

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