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John J. Burns Library Events


The Great Famine Voices Roadshow

The Great Famine Voices Roadshow is coming to Burns Library!

Wednesday, April 11, 2018
Open House and Oral History Recordings: 4:00pm-8:30pm
Reception and Program beginning at 5:
Remarks by Christine Kinealy, Professor of History and Director of Ireland’s Great Hunger Institute, Quinnipiac University, and Caroilin Callery, Irish National Famine Museum at Strokestown Park

To add this event to your calendar and for information on directions and parking, please see the event listing on our campus calendar here.


Come and share your family memories and stories about coming from Ireland to Boston during an open house event, the Great Famine Voices Roadshow!

The Irish National Famine Museum at Stroketown Park and Irish Heritage Trust are working in partnership with the Burns Library in Boston College to bring the Great Famine Voices Roadshow to the Boston area on Wednesday, April 11. The purpose of the Roadshow is to bring together Irish emigrants, their descendants, and members of their communities to share family memories and stories of migration from Ireland to Boston, especially during the period of the Great Hunger and afterwards. They will be gathered for the Great Famine Voices online archive.

The Roadshow is an open house event that will feature short talks about the Irish National Famine Museum in Strokestown Park and the Great Hunger by the leading expert in the field, Professor Christine Kinealy from Ireland’s Great Hunger Institute at Quinnipiac University. In addition, we’ll hear about Famine commemoration projects in the Boston area, including the Deer Island memorial that will acknowledge, honor, and remember the 850 Irish men, women, and children who died in quarantine and were buried on the Boston Harbor island during the peak years of Famine emigration. 

The open house will also include a display of Burns Library’s Famine-related holdings. A beer, wine and cheese reception will begin at 5:30 pm. The Roadshow will provide a forum for Bostonians to share their memories and stories of migration, and to strengthen their sense of ancestry and historical and current Irish connections.

The Great Famine Voices Roadshow is hosted by the Irish National Famine Museum at Strokestown Park and the Irish Heritage Trust in partnership with Ireland’s Great Hunger Institute at Quinnipiac University and the John J. Burns Library, Boston College. The Roadshow will also travel to New York, New Haven, Philadelphia, Toronto and Montreal. The Great Famine Voices Roadshow is funded by the Government of Ireland Emigrant Support Programme.

Strokestown Park is a unique visitor attraction in Strokestown, Co Roscommon in the west of Ireland. It comprises Strokestown Park House, a Georgian Palladian mansion preserved with its original furnishings and fabrics, a walled garden, and the Irish National Famine Museum. The House was the family home of the landlord Major Denis Mahon, who was assassinated in November 1847 after forcing his tenants to emigrate on some of the worst of the coffin ships. It is fitting that The Irish National Famine Museum was established at Strokestown Park and is now bringing the Great Famine Voices Roadshow to Boston where so many Irish people have made new lives.

For more information about the Great Famine Voices Roadshow, click on:

If you would like to share a family memory or story online, please contact Dr Jason King (