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Burns Library Services


Reading Room Policies

Reference & Instruction Services at Burns Library

Creating your Account

  • All researchers are required to create a Burns Library Account before using collections in the reading room.
  • Independent researchers (anyone who does not have a currently active BC Eagle ID number, including alumni) are required to make an appointment prior to visiting using their Burns Library Account.
  • Current Boston College faculty, staff, and students are not required to make an appointment prior to visiting Burns Library, but may do so if they wish.
  • Researchers will be photographed on their first visit to the reading room. The photographs will be stored in the Burns Library Account system and used by Boston College in connection with identifying researchers authorized to access collections and other security purposes. To verify, identify and match to the photo on file, researchers will present government or school-issued photo IDs at the beginning of every visit.

Accessing our Collections

  • Researchers can use their Burns Library Account to submit requests and register for an appointment in advance of their arrival.
  • Researchers may use Burns Library materials only in the reading room.
  • Researchers are advised that the reading room is under continuous video surveillance.
  • Some collections are housed off-site and require advance notice to retrieve.
  • In order to safeguard original audio and video materials, staff will attempt to create access copies, free of charge, for listening and viewing on special equipment in the reading room. Researchers should consult with staff for details, including time required to provide such reproductions.
  • Access to some materials may be restricted due to donor agreements, privacy policies, and other considerations.
  • Children younger than high school age must be accompanied by a guardian.

Using the Reading Room

  • Researchers must follow all general handling guidelines and specific instructions communicated by staff to help safeguard collection materials.
  • Researchers may bring only silenced cell phones, digital cameras, wallets, and laptops or tablets without cases into the reading room. Power cords for electronic equipment are permitted, and staff can provide extension cords if needed.
  • Laptop use is encouraged; staff will also supply pencils and loose-leaf paper for notetaking.
  • Researchers are permitted to use 1 archival box or up to 3 books at a time.
  • No materials will be retrieved within 30 minutes of closing.
  • Staff will gather collection materials 10 minutes before closing.