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This guide provides an introduction to primary source materials owned by the Burns Library that relate to Samuel Beckett as well as databases, websites and other online research tools that may help you in your research on Beckett and his works.
Last Updated: Dec 2, 2013 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

Beckett at Burns Print Page

Burns Library Information

If you aren't sure that the Burns Library has what you're looking for or if you'd like to talk to a librarian about Burns materials to support your research, then please contact us at 617-552-4861 or send an e-mail to

Visit the Boston College University Libraries Hours Page to view the Burns Library's hours.

The Burns Library's entrance is on the side of the Bapst building facing Boston College's main gate on Commonwealth Avenue. Look at this Boston College Chestnut Hill campus map for more detailed information.

For more information about doing research at the Burns Library, please see the Burns Library's Libguide.


    From the Burns Library's Beckett Collection

    The correspondence between Samuel Beckett and his American Director Alan Schneider is available for your perusal in the Burns Library Reading Room.  This correspondence has also been published by Harvard University Press under the title No Author Better Served, edited by Maurice Harmon

    Before you visit the Burns Library to do your research, you may want to look at the finding aids for the Beckett Collection. 


      What Is A Finding Aid?

      A record in the library catalog will help you find archival collections of interest. However, archival collections are complex resources comprised of unique things created and collected uniquely. One listing is not enough to help you navigate to the relevant box or folder.

      Finding aids help you get there! A finding aid is document that describes the materials in context and includes information about the materials' history (provenance), a biographical or historical note about who created or collected the material, a description of the scope of the material (size, subjects, media), statements about organization and arrangement, and an inventory of the material itself.

      Magnifying glass

      Finding aids are often linked to records in the catalog. Unfortunately, some finding aids are available only in the Burns Library. Contact a librarian or archivist if you need help!

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Photo by Evan Long (


      Archives & Manuscripts Search Tips

      When searching in Holmes, the BC Libraries Online Discovery Tool, try limiting your search to material at the Burns Library and/or the format "Archives/Manuscripts."

      When using the advanced search option, consider adding one of these to your query:

      Local Collection Name:

      • "MSS ARCHIVE" (for papers or organizational records)
      • "BC ARCHIVE" (for BC University records)
      • "FINDING AID" (for all collections with finding aids online)

      Keywords in Subject:

      • "sources"
      • "letters"
      • "correspondence"
      • "manuscripts"

      Keywords in Title:

      • "papers"
      • "collection"
      • "records"

      Online Resources

      • Irish Literary Collections Portal
        The Irish Literary Collections Portal provides access to the finding aids of over 100 of North America's Irish literary manuscript collections.
      • Journal of Beckett Studies  Icon
        The Journal of Beckett Studies has been the journal of record for the established and expanding field of Beckett studies for over thirty years. It has always been blind peer-reviewed and is recognised internationally as a scholarly journal of high standard.
      • Samuel Beckett Society
        The Samuel Beckett Society is an international organization of scholars, students, directors, actors and others who share an interest in the work of Samuel Beckett. Honorary Trustees are Edward Beckett, John Calder, J. M. Coetzee, Raymond Federman, John Fletcher, James Knowlson, and Barney Rosset.

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