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

Located in the original Bapst Library building on Boston College's Chestnut Hill campus, the John J. Burns Library offers students, scholars, and the general public opportunities to engage with rare books, special collections, and archives.

Digging into Funeral Home Records: The Ledgers of J.D. Fallon & Son, Jamaica Plain

Funeral practices in the United States moved from personal residences to funeral homes in the late 19th century. Until that period, families laid out their own dead, wakes were held in houses, and burials — by necessity — swiftly followed … Continue reading

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The Avatar and Fort Hill Community

When we think about the history of cults and communes in the United States, we often jump to the big names: The Manson Family, Jim Jones’ People’s Temple, the Branch Davidians, the Ragjneeshpurams. What we may not consider is that … Continue reading

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Sound Innovations: Howard Belding Gill and Robert W. Bullock Recordings

Many unique or rare archival audio recordings in Burns Library collections have been unavailable to researchers due to the fragility of their storage media (think: cassette tapes, vinyl records, and their predecessors). Any time a recording is played might be … Continue reading

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What has your Congressperson done for you lately?

Politics. It is a topic that elicits a variety of emotional and intellectual responses in our currently very polarized environment. It makes you wonder what the attitudes and perceptions of politics were 20 or even 30 years ago. To shed … Continue reading

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New Acquisition: Ioannis Petraloysii Praenestini Missarum Liber Tertius

Among the most eye-catching books acquired recently by Burns Library is this collection of masses by  the prolific and influential Italian composer Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina. Printed in 1570, in Rome, this is the first edition of the third collection … Continue reading

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Celebrating Excellence: Boston College’s Thea Bowman AHANA Intercultural Center

This summer, the Boston College Options Through Education Program (OTE) celebrated its 40th Anniversary. Alumni from the OTE Program, including all the way back to its early days as the Black Talent Program in the 1970s, returned to BC’s campus … Continue reading

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Digitized Irish Music Now Includes Unpublished Fiddle Playing by Michael Coleman

During a review of recently-digitized audio in John J. Burns Library’s Joe Lamont Irish Music Recordings, we asked our friend and former BC colleague Séamus Connolly to listen to a fiddle segment on tape reel #6 that Joe Lamont’s tracklist … Continue reading

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