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Burns Library Past Events



Former events held at Burns Library


Celebrating Catherine Shannon: Navigating Historical Crosscurrents in the Irish Atlantic

Wednesday, September 21, 4:30pm to 6:30pm
Burns Library, Fine Print Room

To mark the publication of Navigating Historical Crosscurrents in the Irish Atlantic: Essays for Catherine B. Shannon (Cork University Press, 2022), and Shannon’s scholarship on Modern Irish and Irish American history and steadfast advocacy for peace in Northern Ireland, Burns Library is pleased to collaborate with BC’s Irish Studies program, the Charitable Irish Society, and Eire Society of Boston in hosting a book launch and reception honoring Shannon on Wednesday, September 21, in Burns Library from 4:30-6:30pm. All are welcome.

Volume editor Mary C. Kelly, professor of history at Franklin Pierce University, will speak about the inspiration for the collection, the contributors, and the range of topics their essays cover, from the Famine and its impact and legacy, to Irish nationalism and Boston political culture in the early twentieth century, to the Northern Ireland conflict. Her remarks will be followed by audience discussion and light refreshments in the Burns Library Irish Room. Copies of Navigating Historical Crosscurrents in the Irish Atlantic will be available for purchase.

Catherine Shannon is professor emerita of history at Westfield State University and a past president of the Charitable Irish Society. Among the many prizes and recognitions she has received for her work, the Eire Society of Boston presented her with its Gold Medal Award in 2015.


US Book Launch of REDRESS, Ireland's Institutions and Transitional Justice, University College Dublin Press
Tuesday, September 6 at 4:30pm to 6:30pm
Burns Library, Thompson Room

REDRESS: Ireland’s Institutions and Transitional Justice explores the ways in which Ireland – North and South – treats those who suffered in Magdalene Laundries, Mother and Baby Homes, County Homes, industrial and reformatory schools, and Ireland’s closed and secretive adoption system over the last one hundred years.

How will Ireland redress its legacy of institutional abuse and forced adoption? What constitutes justice? How might democracy evolve if the survivors’ experiences and expertise were allowed to lead the response to a century of gender and family separation-based abuses? These are the questions to which this collection of essays seeks answers.  The publication has its origins in the ILA Major-Grant-Award-funded Towards Transitional Justice conference, which took place on the BC campus in November 2018.
Louise Imogen Guiney “Borderlands” book launch
May 23, 7:00pm-9:00pm

Burns Library

John J. Burns Library is pleased to host a book launch for Borderlands: The Art and Scholarship of Louise Imogen Guiney, the first edited collection of original essays published on Louise Imogen Guiney (1861-1920), Irish American poet, essayist, editor, literary critic, and epistolist, and the first volume to anthologize a selection of both her poetry and prose.

During her life in Boston and Britain, Guiney composed seventeen volumes of poetry and prose, contributed to many periodicals, edited and translated literary and religious texts, and wrote thousands of letters, many to and about central fin-de-siècle literary figures.

The program will feature remarks by contributors to the volume, including editors Jonathan Nauman and Holly Faith Nelson, and Libby MacDonald Bischof and Patricia Fanning. Discussion with the audience discussion will be followed by light refreshments.

A selection of Guiney’s books and manuscripts from the Guiney collections at Boston College and The College of the Holy Cross will be on display.

For background on Guiney’s connections to Boston College, visit the Burns Library online exhibit “Devoted Catholic & Determined Writer: Louise Imogen Guiney in Boston.”

Spring '22 Burns Visiting Scholar James Kelly
"Satirical Fun: Irish Single Sheet Caricature in the Late Eighteenth and Early Nineteenth Centuries"
Thursday, March 17, 4:30pm reception, 5:30pm lecture

Burns Library, Thompson Room

For half a century between the late 1770s and the late 1820s a number of Dublin based print-sellers specialised in the production of single sheet caricatures. Much of what they offered for sale consisted of Irish copies of images developed in London by the great names in caricature. There are many examples of  images produced by the likes of James Gillray, Thomas Rowlandson and various members of the Cruikshank family, but Irish printsellers also promoted the production of Irish images. All, whatever their origin, offer a unique perspective on what people living in Ireland found humorous that is equally revealing of the politics and society of the era. This illustrated lecture will provide an overview of this phenomenon, identify those who sustained it and outline its main achievements.