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John J. Burns Library



Boston College's special collections and rare books, including the University’s Archives, are housed in the John J. Burns Library, located in the Bapst Library Building, north entrance.

Featured Book from the John J. Burns Library

Buckley, Elsie Finnimore. Children of the Dawn: old tales of Greece. London: Wells Gardner, Darton & Co., 1908. King's Land Collection, John J. Burns Library, Boston College.

This image is part of a Flickr set titled, "A walk through the stacks: The King's Land Collection", created by Burns Library Reference & Archives Specialist Shelley Barber.

These images in this set are covers of books originally from the personal library of the Hilaire Belloc family, from their home, "King's Land", in West Sussex, England. Belloc (1870-1953) and his wife Elodie Hogan Belloc (1868-1914) raised five children at King's Land: Louis, Eleanor, Elizabeth, Hilary and Peter. The 60 books depicted here are a very small sampling of a collection of over 5,000 titles. The Bellocs' library is owned by the John J. Burns Library of Boston College and is known as the King's Land Collection. It was acquired in the early 1980s through the efforts of former University Librarian Thomas F. O'Connell.

As always, we encourage anyone interested to visit the John J. Burns Library Reading Room to use these, or any, of our holdings!

Finding Burns Books in the catalog

The books housed in the John J. Burns Library are organized according to specific subject areas and/or collection names in closed stacks.  Burns staff members retrieve books for you to look at in the Burns Library Reading Room

Using the Catalog to Find Burns Books

  • Go to Advanced Search
  • Select Burns Library from the Search Scope menu.
  • Enter search terms.

Searching Local Collection Names

Many Burns Library book collections have collection names that you can use to search in the Catalog. To search these collections, go to  Advanced Search, change the "Anywhere in record" drop-down menu to "Local Collection Name," and enter the name of the collection. Local collections at Burns include, but are not limited to:

  • Graham Greene's Library - In 1995 the Burns Library acquired the 60,000-item official archive and the 3,000-volume personal library of Graham Greene (1904-1991), whom many consider the finest English novelist of the twentieth century. 
  • British Catholic Authors - Books by and about leading Catholic writers in the British Isles from the mid-nineteenth century to the present.  This collection includes the libraries of Graham Greene and Hillaire Belloc.
  • Comics - 11,000 comic books that span all of the eras of comic book publishing, cover every genre and format, and encompass both mainstream and independent publishers.
  • Jesuitica - These books document the varied and significant contributions of Jesuits to a wide range of disciplines in the early modern period, including many rare and seminal works in the fields of mathematics, science, history, travel, philosophy and Biblical exegesis. Some books and manuscripts from this collections are available digitally through the Boston College Digital Collections.


Need Help? Contact Us!

Are you having trouble finding Burns books relevant to your research?

Contact the Burns Library Reading Room at 617-552-4861 or

We look forward to hearing from you!