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 Legacy of Ancient Giants: Carrickglass’ Leaba-Dhiarmade-agus-Ghrainne

The legacy of Sligo-reared archaeologist William Gregory Wood-Martin is defined by its complexity – a complexity reflected in his own homeland’s nature. In several ways, the Anglo-Irishman was an exemplary Briton. Born into the Ascendancy in 1847, Wood-Martin would serve … Continue reading

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Boston College Nursing II: Transitions, Traditions, and Reputations

As a part of their curriculum, BC nurses took liberal arts courses. The only problem was that because of the location of the Nursing School on Newbury, the best professors were more often than not unwilling to make the trip … Continue reading

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From the Heart of National Politics to the Core of Culture: The Louvre

For more than eight centuries, the “Palais du Louvre” has overlooked the Right Bank of the River Seine, silently narrating France’s political and cultural development. The building epitomizes the adaptation of monumental structures necessary for their material permanence. Recognizing the … Continue reading

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Graham Greene and The Bodley Head

By the end of the 1950s, novelist Graham Greene, whose private collection is housed at the Burns Library, was already an established, respected author. His interests extended beyond writing, however, as he sought to enter the publishing world. He did … Continue reading

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John Henry Newman and the Oxford Movement

The British Catholic Authors collection of the John J. Burns Library spans a period of almost 200 years, stretching from the early years of British Catholic revival under figures such as Cardinal John Henry Newman, C.O. (1801-1890) to contemporary figures … Continue reading

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New Acquisition: “Easter Week 1916” manuscript account by Margaret Skinnider

“I arrived in Dublin on Holy Thursday…” Although we are often excited about material the Burns Library acquires, we usually wait to tell potential researchers about our new collections until we’ve done our work: stabilizing and preserving through conservation and … Continue reading

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A Boston College Pioneer: Reminiscences of Dr. Henry C. Towle, class of 1877 & ‘79

My first visit to Boston College was made when a mere child. I wandered into the ground bordering on James Street and found someone exhuming dead bodies before the building of the Church of the Immaculate Conception…. It was not … Continue reading

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