Primary sources are materials containing firsthand accounts of events and created contemporaneous to those events or later recalled by an eyewitness. Examples include letters; oral histories; photographs, motion pictures, and videos; and newspaper articles contemporaneous with the events described (although the reporter may have compiled the story from witnesses, rather than being an eyewitness).
Photographs are wonderful primary sources. Areas of photographic holdings in the University Archives are:
When working with photographs, you should be prepared for/aware of a few things:
President's Office Records prior to 1969 are available for research and provide a high-level administrative viewpoint on decisions and happenings at Boston College over the years.
Note that nearly every set of records has files closed for privacy reasons, generally employee and student information; this type of information will remain closed even when permission is granted for related files.
The records from Fathers Monan and Leahy's tenures are not available.
Records of Boston College offices are primarily closed; however, researchers can request permission to access specific files. While some lists of office records are available at the Burns Library, it is often best to start this phase of your research by talking to archives staff. The list of offices and their identifying "record group" numbers is attached.
Faculty and Alumni papers more closely represent personal papers than office records. These collections -- sometimes volumnious and other times quite small -- document the personal experience of various aspects of life and work at Boston College and academic pursuits.
Some of these papers can be found through the catalog. Some are not yet catalogued. When in doubt, please contact the archives staff and ask!
Boston College began offering graduate programs in the 1920s. Since then the format of masters theses and doctoral dissertations has changed with the times: from the early technology of print books to microforms (both microfilm and microfiche) and now to PDFs. Please see the guide on Dissertations & Theses to learn how to optimize your search for a Boston College dissertation or masters thesis.