Category Archives: Acquisitions

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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Rare Score is Music to Our Ears

While Burns Library usually  acquires its rare books and special collections by purchase or donation, the rare and unusual will sometimes turn up at another library within Boston College. This 1805 edition of Masses, vespers, litanies, hymns, psalms, anthems & … Continue reading

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Florence Nightingale Bicentennial: Year of the Nurse and Midwife

Coinciding with the 200th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale, the World Health Assembly, the governing body of the World Health Organization (WHO), has designated 2020 as the Year of the Nurse and the Midwife “to celebrate the work … 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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Offbeat, Irreverent, and DIY: The Poetry of Mass Transit

For many of us, the political protest, music, and fashion of the 1960s and 1970s are the most recognizable aspects of the countercultural revolution. But the literature of that era can provide a window into that movement’s values, its struggles, … Continue reading

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From the Bronx to Belfast: Michael Schwartz, Photojournalist with a Compassion for Children

Born in the rough-and-tumble Bronx in 1944, photojournalist Michael Schwartz became attracted to the still tougher neighborhoods of West Belfast during the late stages of the political conflict known as “The Troubles.” During the decade leading up to the 1998 … Continue reading

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A Rare Vellum Printing

A book may be interesting on the basis of its physical features, its intellectual content, or its history of ownership. Here we have the trifecta: a book of unusual, even beautiful, material construction, containing a text of scholarly interest, and … Continue reading

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Dreams of Art & Glory: Book Craft by the Roycrofters

One of the many advantages of working in a special collections library is the opportunity to browse in the stacks. I regularly browse while checking the climate control monitors throughout the building. During one such walk-through, a suede binding resembling … Continue reading

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Joe Derrane and his Gaillard Accordion

The Irish Music Archives at John J. Burns Library is delighted to announce the acquisition and display of Joe Derrane’s D/C# Gaillard accordion, a gift to the Library from his children, Joseph P. Derrane, Jr. and Sheila A. Harvey. The … 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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