Tag Archives: Boston

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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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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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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Charitable Irish Society St. Patrick’s Day Dinner, March 17, 1953

A January 27, 1953 Western Union Telegram invited the newly elected, Senator John F. Kennedy (D. Massachusetts), to respond to the traditional toast to the United States at the 216th anniversary dinner for the Charitable Irish Society of America. Senator … 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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Edward Hartwell Savage’s Police Department Questionnaire of 1877

Question: Number of miles of streets in your jurisdiction? – Edward Harwell Savage, Chief of Police, Boston, Massachusetts Answer: A Philadelphia Lawyer could hardly answer this interrogatory. –  A. Erickson, City Marshal, Houston, Texas Edward Hartwell Savage (1812-1893) joined the … Continue reading

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The Golden Cockerel Press

Abebooks, an online rare book dealer, identifies fine and private presses in the following manner: “A fine press is a type of publisher that produces books of a high intrinsic and artistic quality…[A] private press…is a type of small press … Continue reading

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Traditional Cape Breton and Irish Music in Boston: the Muise Family Collection

Followers of traditional fiddle music will be pleased to learn that the Muise Family Collection of Cape Breton and Irish Music has recently been processed as part of the Burns Library’s Irish Music Archives.

The Muise Family collection includes recordings of impromptu house sessions of Cape Breton and Irish music, performed by a variety of musicians in the Boston area. Included are informal music gatherings and social events that took place in the Muise home in Dorchester (1951-1965) and Roslindale (1965 and later), as recorded on home recording equipment by Johnny and Mary Muise. The collection also includes some concerts and other gatherings. 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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New Year’s Gift

In the New Year of 1846, the children of Boston were given a New Year’s present: “Pictures from Memory’s  Gallery”.  An anonymous, eloquent author, in a pamphlet entitled Pictures from Memory: A New Year’s Gift from the Warren Street Chapel, … Continue reading

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