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Burns Library Services



Reference & Instruction Services at Burns Library

Our reference team is happy to assist your research. We strongly encourage you to search the library catalog to get more information on items you might wish to use. For more on this, see Finding Burns Material. To  get help navigating our catalog and finding aids, or to request a more in-depth consultation with our reference staff, please send us an email.  We are also available at 617-552-4861.

If you are planning to use our materials, please view our reading room policies for general information for researchers. Be sure to check our hours when planning a visit. 

If you cannot visit us in person, we’re happy to provide assistance. We can provide reference help and fulfill scan requests, but, due to staff limitations, we are not able to provide in-depth research.

Scheduling a Visit

Burns Library has an online request management system.  As you identify what you would like to see, click the "Schedule visit to use in Burns Library" link in the catalog record. 

When prompted to sign-in, either use the Boston College sign-in box to register as a researcher using your BC username password or use the Guest Researcher box to create an account without a BC username.

Once you've reviewed our registration policies and filled out the registration form, you'll return to the request form.

To complete the form:

  • For published material: Review item information and add details on the specific volume or copy you wish to see (if needed)

  • For archival material:  Review collection information and add the boxes you want to see in the Box field.

    • Materials are viewed at a box level, so you only need to list each box once

    • Refer to the finding aid in order to identify the boxes you would like to see in the reading room (found at the end of the catalog record under Links). For digital material, enter the Digital Content number from the finding aid in place of box number.

  • Leave any notes on your request in the Special Requests/Questions field (optional)

  • Schedule the date you would like to visit the reading room (check our hours for more details) at the end of the request form, and press submit.

The reading room staff will have the materials ready for your visit. You'll simply need to show a school or government-issued ID and take a photograph to finish your registration process. 

For help navigating to Burns Library, see Planning Your Visit