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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.


On view through March 25, 2017: Irish Women Rising: Gender and Politics in Revolutionary Ireland, 1900 - 1923​

Also on display in Bapst Library, Gargan Hall: Si monumentum requiris circumspice (if you seek his monument, look around), an exhibit commemorating the leadership of former university President and Chancellor J. Donald Monan, SJ (1924-1917)

About the John J. Burns Library


The University’s special collections, including the University’s Archives, are housed in the Honorable John J. Burns Library. Burns Library staff members 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 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 Burns Library’s digital collections are among the listings at

These materials are available for use in the Burns Library Reading Room.

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Burns librarians and archivists are available to answer questions, recommend research strategies, and to provide class and individual instruction.  Research requests will be handled as time and the availability of the staff allows.

If you aren't sure that the Burns Library has what you're looking for or if you'd like to talk to a Burns staff member about special collections and/or archival materials to support your research, then please call during the Burns Library's open hours at 617-552-4861 or send an email to

Share Burns Library Flickr Slideshows

Slideshows from the John J. Burns Library's Flickr can be embedded in blogs, websites, and Canvas. You either need to be a Flickr subscriber (it's free to create an account) or to grab the embed code from the list below. Please contact the Burns Library staff if you have trouble getting the code you need.

All images on our Flickr are from collections held by the John J. Burns Library or of our work with those collections.

Hours & Location

Burns Library's hours


Telephone 617-552-4861 or e-mail

Mailing address:

John J. Burns Library

Boston College

140 Commonwealth Avenue

Chestnut Hill, MA 02467

The Burns Library's Margaret Ford Tower is located on the north side of the Bapst building. Visit the Boston College Chestnut Hill campus map for more detailed information.

Bapst Stained Glass Windows

Photograph by Gary Wayne Gilbert

Photos of some of the stained-glass windows in the Bapst building are available on this Boston College Flickr set.  Virginia Chieffo Raguin's book, titled Transforming Light:  The Stained-Glass Windows of Boston College, is another useful reference for anyone interested in stained-glass windows at Boston College. This book's table of contents, some images and selected passages are available here.

The PDF above is an excerpt from the 1952 booklet about the Bapst Library building, The Library.  This booklet contains information about and maps of the stained-glass windows found throughout the Bapst building. In a few cases, room names have changed. 

 If you have further questions, please contact the Burns Library at 617-552-4861 or