Author Archives: burnslibrary

Astrology in the Early Modern Era

A 1647 edition of William Lilly’s Christian Astrology, located in the Burns library stacks, bears an ominous warning to those who would delve into the practice of reading the stars. The book’s owner cautions that “all those that peruse this … Continue reading

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Flann O’Brien and the Irish Typewriter

The turn of the 20th century brought with it the invention of the first “modern” typewriter, produced by the Underwood Typewriter Company in 1900. Prior to the release of the Underwood, typewriters were not as widely used nor easily accessible … Continue reading

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Fields, Rinks, Courts, & Diamonds: Historic Locations of BC’s Athletic Contests from the University Archives

Boston College has opened several new athletic facilities over the last few years, investing hundreds of millions of dollars in the Margo Connell Recreation Center, the Harrington Athletics Village, the Fish Fieldhouse, and the (soon-to-be) Hoag Basketball Pavillion.  In the … Continue reading

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Can you spot the difference? Facsimiles in the Burns Library

The Book of Kells is one of the best known medieval manuscripts in the world, due in part to its distinctive insular style and its status as an emblem of Irish national history and identity. Created around 800 AD, the … Continue reading

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Ephemerality and digital dark ages; or, a day in the life of a mayfly

Over the last two years, the Burns Library Archives and Manuscripts team have made clear strides in how our donors and our subject area curators identify, evaluate, and select born digital material for inclusion in the archives. We’ve reimagined our … Continue reading

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A Visit to Georgetown, May 1840, from the MacNeven Family Collection

Kindly write to me, my dear Jane, describe for me the scenery and the people. Let it be a poem and a picture. Jane MacNeven (New York City) to her daughter, Jane Mary MacNeven (Georgetown), 10 May 1840 Within Burns … Continue reading

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Bean na hÉireann (The Woman of Ireland)

We’re a bit late to it, but March was Women’s History Month and, of course, St. Patrick’s Day. As a graduating senior in the history and women’s studies department, this March felt like my month. With the help of a … Continue reading

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The Many Editions of Gulliver’s Travels

One of the things that the Burns Library is known for is our extensive Irish collection and Anglo-Irish author, Jonathan Swift is no exception. Though known widely for his satirical essay, “A Modest Proposal,” undoubtedly his most famous work is … Continue reading

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Reshelving the Burns Stacks

You’ve probably been told that the Burns Library is “closed stacks,” meaning that librarians pull all of the materials that a user might want, and provide access to them in our reading room. But you may be surprised to learn … Continue reading

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Then and Now: Irish Folklore Studies

Walking through the stacks that contain the Williams Ethnological Collection, it is quite easy for one to be distracted by the sheer amount of titles that deal with folklore of different nations and peoples. Yet knowing that often the material … Continue reading

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