Skip to Main Content

Burns Library Services


Use Archival Material

Reference & Instruction Services at Burns Library

Scheduling a Visit to Use Archival Material

As you identify what collections you would like to see while searching the catalog, click either the “Finding Aid” or the blue "Search Burns Archives - Schedule to Use in Person - Request Scans" links to be directed to a detailed collection overview in Search Burns Archives, a tool that allows you to search a detailed inventory for one collection, or across descriptions of all archival materials.


From the Collection Overview, you can either Search within the collection


Or expand the series descriptions to locate specific material within the series.


Use the Add to My Request List option to request material for a research visit.



You may request up to 20 items at a time, but will be restricted to using one box at a time. Please be aware that one request through Search Burns Archives may contain multiple boxes. 

If you need to request more materials, please reach out to us via our contact form and we will work with you to complete your request.

When you are ready to submit your requests, click on the "My Request List" link at the top of the page.


To complete the request form for a research visit:

  • Select Visit from the drop down menu

  • Select the Date you would like to visit 

  • In the Special Requests field, if needed, please include any questions or accommodations for your visit, and indicate your priority requests if you are making multiple requests 

  • Review the box request

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

  • Select Submit Requests



You will be then directed to the Burns Library online request management system.

When prompted to sign-in, use the “login or register” boxes to open or create your account. Boston College Students, Faculty and Staff should use their BC user names and passwords, Everybody else should use the guest researchers portal and create their own user names and passwords.


If you are a new user, or haven’t visited in a while, you will need to review our registration policies and complete the registration form, then you'll be directed to your Current Requests list, where you should see your Current Requests List

If you are currently registered, you will be directed straight to your Current Requests Page, where you should see your Current Request List. 

You can also use the Actions tab to edit, clone, or cancel your request. 

Staff will email you to confirm your appointment date/time and materials.

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.