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.

Second Spring

Springtime at Boston College is almost magical. The bitter cold and looming darkness that cast over the winter months melt away into the season of warmth and renewal. The howling winds on the Heights calm to a mild spring breeze … Continue reading

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The Act of Union, 1800

This is the fourth in a series of seven blog posts highlighting and summarizing important events in Irish history and Burns Library resources which aid in further study of the topic.   Burns Library holds many Irish history resources and is … Continue reading

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A Room of His Own: Flann O’Brien at Work

It’s common for archival collections to contain the manuscripts and typescripts of writers’ works, as well as notes, galley proofs, and correspondence. These materials can give insight into a writer’s process, the evolution of a written work, and the life … Continue reading

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The Lasting Legacy of Maria Monk’s Awful Disclosures

Maria Monk, one of the most infamous names in American anti-Catholicism, was the author of Awful Disclosures of Maria Monk (1836), “probably the most widely read contemporary book in the United States before Uncle Tom’s Cabin.” (Hofstadter, 77) Burns Library … Continue reading

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Tip in Charge: Photos of Speaker O’Neill from a not so distant era of bipartisanship in Washington

Take one glance at any of the programs on cable news networks and you’ll conclude that we live in a time of unprecedented political polarization. The Pew Research Center confirms that this has been a growing trend for over two … Continue reading

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The Sober Giggler

One of the joys of archival research is finding surprising creativity you don’t expect.  A prime example is the Austin W. White papers.  As detailed in the collection finding aid, or inventory, Austin Welcome White was born on January 26, … Continue reading

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Sounds of Mid-20th Century Irish America: Irish Traditional Music in Boston and New York

Two collections of open-reel tapes of Irish traditional music in Boston and New York (1950s-1960s) have been digitized by Boston College Libraries. Continue reading

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