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Building the Collection

Starting Point for Education Research

Burns Library

A page from the Store-front Learning Center Student and Staff Exchange trip scrapbook, May/June 1974, MS.1990.010, Louise Bonar and Carol Wolfe Collection of Boston Educational Materials, John J. Burns Library, Boston College.

The John J. Burns Library has a wide array of material relating to aspects of education. To learn more about its holdings and how special collections and archival materials can support research and teaching, please contact the Burns staff at 617-552-4861 or send an e-mail.

Visit the Hours Page to view the Burns Library's hours.

The Burns Library's Margaret Ford Tower is located on the north side of the Bapst building. Visit the Boston College Chestnut Hill campus map for more detailed information.

Collection Emphases

The primary purpose of the collection is to support the teaching and research needs of the Lynch School of Education faculty and students.

A principal focus of the collection is on educational materials pertaining to the United States.  However, there is substantial collecting in educational theory and practice of other nations.  The primary emphasis of the collection is research based with significant additional holdings in educational practice.  Principal subject areas covered include counseling psychology, developmental psychology, educational psychology, human development, curriculum and instruction, teaching and learning strategies, educational administration, special education, early childhood education, elementary education, secondary education, higher education, educational research, reading and language arts education, history and philosophy of education, sociology of education, comparative and international education, anthropology of education, multicultural education, classroom assessment, supervision, educational testing, measurement and evaluation, educational technology, computers and education.

Because education is a field that encompasses so many other disciplines, the interdisciplinary elements of the collection are numerous. The education collection is enhanced by our holdings in psychology, sociology, philosophy, history, religion, anthropology, literature, biology, health sciences, architecture, and other areas. Though particular emphasis is naturally placed on collecting materials that are cataloged with the Library of Congress call number "L", appropriate education related works with other call numbers are also purchased

Acquisition of E-Books

The Library currently purchases in electronic format a growing number of books in education. Most of these purchases are reference works and edited books/essay collections. Users generally do not read such works from cover to cover. With respect to reference works users are usually looking for specific information that is rarely more than several pages in length and is easily read online. Edited books/essay collections are analogous to e-journals and most patrons are content to read individual chapters and essays online or to read them after having printed them out. Other e-monographs are acquired when the benefits of the electronic are greater than the print format or when there is added value in the e-book for the user. Users can always request that a monograph be purchased in e-format.

For more information on the Library’s e-book selection, see Selection Criteria and the E-Books at Boston College guide. The Library is conscious that the e-book industry is rapidly changing and, as a result, that our policies and selection criteria regarding e-books will inevitably evolve. The Library is interested in your views on e-books, and especially your usage of them. Please contact Margaret Cohen for Higher Education, Educational Leadership, and International Education, or the ERC staff for K-12 Curriculum & Instruction Librarian, with any comments.

Acquisition Highlights

  • Education in Video
    Education in Video contains more than 1,000 video titles totaling 750+ hours of teaching demonstrations, lectures, documentaries, and primary-source footage of students and teachers in actual classrooms. The database covers hundreds of special topics and themes and with videos representing many different teaching and learning conditions.
  • PsycTests  
    PsycTests provides access to psychological tests, measures, scales, and surveys and descriptive information about them. Most records include the full instrument


More on Collections

For information about how the library collections at Boston College are being developed, go to the Collections page.

Help Us Build the Collections

Recommend items for the library collections by e-mailing the Head of the Educational Resource Center and Subject Librarian for K-12 Curriculum & Instruction, ERC staff or subject librarian for Higher Education, Educational Leadership, and International Education Librarian Margaret Cohen.