Category Archives: Boston History

The Recollections of Edward Hartwell Savage

This week’s blog post is guest written by one of our research fellows, Nicole Breault, who was able to travel to Burns Library and conduct research earlier this year as part of the New England Regional Fellowship Consortium With the … Continue reading

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John Louis Bonn, the Bard, and Boston College Theater in the 1940s

      John Louis Bonn, SJ, who taught theater at Boston College between 1930-1949 and directed the School of Dramatic Arts from 1937-1943, made a lasting impression on Boston College’s theater culture. Bonn directed many student plays and documented … Continue reading

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The Changing 20th Century: A Look into the Margaret M. Fitzgerald Papers

While Burns Library has papers from notable figures such as Tip O’Neill and W.B. Yeats, there is still much to discover in the collections about those who may not be in history textbooks or literary canons. Margaret Mary Fitzgerald is one … Continue reading

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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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Sounds of Mid-20th Century Irish America: Irish Traditional Music in Boston and New York

Two collections of open-reel tapes of Irish traditional music in Boston and New York (1950s-1960s) have been digitized by Boston College Libraries. Continue reading

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In His Own Grave: Undertaker Thomas Murray’s Record of St. Augustine Cemetery Burials, 1833-1839

1840 Janury 7 Thomas Murray 59 yrs in his own grave Buried from South Boston ~~ Final entry in Thomas Murray’s record ~~ In 21 pages of closely written entries in a slim 8″ x 10” notebook, undertaker Thomas Murray … Continue reading

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Boston in the Early Republic

The John J. Burns Library’s Boston collection houses approximately 4,500 works about the city and its neighboring municipalities. While the majority of this collection encompasses material from the 19th and 20th centuries, as a result of the remarkable growth in … Continue reading

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Fenway Park: Boston’s Bandbox

Fenway Park is one of the long-standing treasures of New England, that contains within it the history and tradition of many generations and their beloved baseball team, the Boston Red Sox. Nestled on the intersection of Lansdowne and Yawkey Way, … Continue reading

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James Brendan Connolly: Olympian, Author, Bostonian

Did you know that the first American Olympic medalist was a Bostonian and also a writer of sea stories?  James Brendan Connolly is perhaps no longer a familiar name, but he was once considered the “foremost among sea-writers”(Dwyer,1).  Fabien P. … Continue reading

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