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.

Irish Women Rising: Gender and Politics in Revolutionary Ireland, 1900-1923

On April 24, 1916, Patrick Pearse launched an armed insurrection in Dublin. Nationalist forces took control of several of key locations and government buildings, including the General Post Office, where Pearse stood to read the proclamation of new independent Irish … Continue reading

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Hilaire Belloc: Correspondence and Family

This sampling of correspondence between Hilaire Belloc, notable British author of the twentieth century, and his son Louis, a pilot for the 84th Field Company of the Royal Flying Corps, the antecedent to the Royal Air Force, provides insight into … Continue reading

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Philip Caraman, SJ: the Travelling Jesuit

Philip George Caraman, S.J., Jesuit priest and author, was born in 1911 in London, England, to René André Caraman and Betina Pasqua. Both parents were Armenian Catholics and instilled strong religious beliefs in their nine children; their sons, Philip and … Continue reading

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“Through Adversity to the Stars”

Louis Belloc was the son of British Catholic author Hilaire Belloc. He served in the Royal Air Force during World War I and tragically lost his life. The above certificate was sent to his family after his death. “Before Cambrai” … Continue reading

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The Witches, Werewolves, and Vampires of Montague Summers

“This is exactly the Vampire who with his sharp white teeth bites the neck of his victim and sucks the blood from the wounds he has made, gorging himself, like some great human leech, until he is replete and full, … Continue reading

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Mary Boyle O’Reilly: World War I Journalist

Mary Boyle O’Reilly was born on May 18, 1873 in Charlestown, Massachusetts. Her father, John Boyle O’Reilly, was a noted poet and Irish nationalist, and her mother, Mary Smiley (Murphy) O’Reilly, was a journalist. In 1913, O’Reilly accepted a position … Continue reading

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Hilaire Belloc: the Poet, the Author, and the Humorist

Hilaire Belloc, G.K. Chesterton, and Maurice Baring were a literary tour de force that in many ways were the culmination of the Catholic revival begun by the series’ earlier subjects. These three authors were close friends and collaborators who generated … Continue reading

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