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 Vietnam War at the Burns Library: The Tip O’Neill Congressional Archives (Part Two)

In Part One I looked at the change of heart Congressman Tip O’Neill experienced in 1967 regarding the Vietnam War. Formerly a supporter of the Executive branch’s military policy, O’Neill, encouraged by a stream of constituents’ anti-war letters, shifted to … Continue reading

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Some Other World: the Yeats Family and the Occult

The moment I got there I felt in touch with some other world — a most pleasant feeling, almost an exalted feeling; but I could get no quiet, and so saw nothing. This feeling remained with me all the time, … Continue reading

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The Vietnam War at the Burns Library: The Tip O’Neill Congressional Archives

Thomas Phillip “Tip” O’Neill, Jr. (1912-1994) served as a Representative for Massachusetts’s Congressional delegation from 1953-1987, including ten years as Speaker of the House (1977-1987). He was also a Boston College alumnus (’36). O’Neill donated his Congressional papers to Boston College … Continue reading

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Jane Jacobs Exhibition Explores BC’s Connections to Famed Urban Theorist and Activist

Jane Jacobs would have turned 101 today. She died just short of her 90th birthday following tours for her last book, Dark Age Ahead. Yet, as a letter on exhibit from her archives at Burns Library indicates, she had plans … Continue reading

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A Programmed History of Boston College’s Theater

One aspect of Boston College’s Robsham Theater Arts Center stands out above the rest: its windows. The lure of its elongated mirrors is too great to resist, reflecting both banners of previous productions and the people who walk by the … Continue reading

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Joachim Bouvet: the History of Cang-Hi, the Present Emperor of China

Joachim Bouvet was born in Le Mans, France, on July 18, 1656. In 1673, he entered the Society of Jesus in hopes going on a China mission. His wish was granted when King Louis XIV sent him and five other … Continue reading

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Programs, Reactions, and Outcomes to the Irish Women Rising: Gender and Politics in Revolutionary Ireland, 1900-1923 Exhibit at Burns Library

The acquisition of the Loretta Clarke Murray collection, a collection that provides a unique perspective on the Irish nationalist movement through the eyes and words of female activists, lent significant impetus to create an exhibit based on women’s involvement in … Continue reading

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