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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.


New exhibit in Burns Library: Delightful Surprises: Discovering Art in the Archives
Burns Library will be closed Dec 24- Jan 1. Happy Holidays!
New exhibit (Bapst Library, Gargan Hall Landing): Save the Date: Events and Traditions at Boston College

About Burns Library

The University’s special collections, including the University’s Archives, are housed in 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. Burns Library also serves researchers from around the globe interested in using our collections. Burns Library has achieved international recognition for the strength of its collections in several areas, most notably: Irish Studies, Jesuit Studies, British Catholic authors, Catholic liturgy and life in America, Boston history and politics, the Caribbean, and nursing theory and practice. Burns Library’s digital collections may be accessed through

Materials are available for use in the Burns Library Reading Room.

Connect with Burns Library

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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 Burns Library has what you're looking for or if you'd like to talk to a staff member about special collections and/or archival materials to support your research, then please call us during our open hours at 617-552-4861 or send us your questions.

Share Burns Library Flickr Slideshows

Slideshows from Burns Library's Flickr set can be embedded in blogs, websites, and BC's Canvas courseware system. You either need to be a Flickr subscriber (it's free to create an account) or to grab the embed code by clicking on "share" link. Please contact Burns Library staff if you need assistance.

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

Hours & Location

Burns Library hours

Burns Library Account


Call us at 617-552-4861 or submit a question

Mailing address:

  • John J. Burns Library
  • Boston College
  • 140 Commonwealth Ave
  • Chestnut Hill, MA 02467

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

Stained Glass Windows

Photos of some of the stained-glass windows in the Bapst Library building are available on our Boston College Flickr set. Virginia Chieffo Raguin's book, Transforming Light: The Stained-Glass Windows of Boston College, is another useful reference for anyone interested in stained-glass windows at Boston College.

You may also download a PDF guide to the stained-glass windows found throughout the Bapst building. The guide is an excerpt from a 1952 booklet about the Bapst Library building; in a few cases, room names have changed.

If you have further questions, please contact Burns Library by phone at 617-552-4861 or submit a question. Photo by Gary Wayne Gilbert.