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John J. Burns Library



Boston College's special collections and rare books, including the University’s Archives, are housed in the John J. Burns Library, located in the Bapst Library building, north entrance.

Upcoming Events

Flann O’Brien Exhibit Opening with Irish artists David and Eddie O’Kane
Burns Library, Tuesday, February 12, 2019, 4:30pm – 7:00pm

Irish artists David and Eddie O’Kane will speak about their responses to Flann O’Brien and his postmodern mystery, The Third Policeman. New and original drawings, paintings, and animated & live-action videos by the O’Kane’s are featured in Burns Library’s spring exhibit, Genius of Genre: The Pen Names and Personas of Flann O’Brien. Exhibit viewing with curators begins at 4:30pm, with O’Kanes’ presentation at 5:15pm, followed by light refreshments and more exhibit viewing from 6:00-7:00pm.

An Irish Double-header: Patrick Lonergan and Alvin Jackson
Burns Library, Wednesday, April 10, 2019, 4:30 – 9:00pm

Patrick Lonergan, Professor of Drama and Theatre Studies at NUI Galway and Spring 2019 Burns Visiting Scholar in Irish Studies, will offer his public lecture at 4:30pm, to be followed by a sumptuous reception in the Burns Library Irish Room. Attendees will be encouraged to hear Alvin Jackson speak at 7:00pm on "The Survival of the United Kingdom, 1707-2017: Bloodshed, Borders, and Brexit," a lecture in the Lowell Humanities Series, which will be held in Gasson Hall, Room 100. Jackson is Richard Lodge Professor of History at The University of Edinburgh.

More spring events are on the way, including a book launch for Nancy Hurrell's forthcoming volume, The Egan Irish Harps.

If you would like more information about our events or would like to be added to our mailing list, please contact

For general directions and parking information, please refer to the University's Admissions site. We recommend parking in the Commonwealth Garage or on Commonwealth Avenue if parking is not available on Linden Lane next to Burns Library.

Past Events

Frederick Douglass & Ireland: A Special Relationship
Public lecture and reception
December 5, 2018
6:00 pm

Emanuele Colombo, "On Friendship: Egied Van Broeckhoven, S.J. (1933-1967), Worker-Priest Among the Poor"
Public lecture and reception presented in conjunction with the Institute for Advanced Jesuit Studies (please RSVP)
December 4, 2018
3:00 pm

Towards Transitional JusticeRecognition, Truth-telling, and Institutional Abuse in Ireland 
Two-day conference including evening reception at Burns Library
November 1, 2018

Love, Power, and Consent in Pre-Famine Ireland: A Dublin Courtship
Burns Visiting Scholar in Irish Studies lecture by Ciaran O'Neill, Trinity College Dublin
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Discovering the Sociable City
Lecture by Jamin Rowan Creed based on his book The Sociable City: An American Intellectual Tradition
Tuesday, October 30

Politics, Power, and the Past: Black and Irish Political Alliances in 1880s Boston
Lecture by Millington Bergeson-Lockwood based on his bookRace Over Party
Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Cambridge History of Ireland Launch at Boston College
Student/faculty discussion, reception, and book launch program with keynote address by Liz O'Donnell and remarks by volume editors
Thursday, September 20, 2018

Dreams of Art & Glory: Book Arts by the Roycrofters
Exhibit reception
Friday, September 14, 2018

Dante Society Annual Meeting and Symposium
A mini-conference featuring papers on Dante as a teacher and teaching Dante's works.
Saturday, May 5, 2018

John Hume: His Vision and Legacy for Ireland
A day-long symposium exploring Hume's contributions to advancing civil and human rights and the crucial role he played in shaping the Irish peace process.
Saturday, April 28, 2018

A Loyal Opposition? The Development of Parliamentary Opposition in the Irish Free State
Jason Knirck, Central Washington University, Spring 2018 Burns Visiting Scholar in Irish Studies
Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Great Irish Famine Voices Roadshow
An open house event with oral history interviews and remarks by Christine Kinealy, Quinnipiac University, and Caroilin Callery, Irish National Famine Museum
Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Calamity from Within? Jesuits, Papal Legates, and Chinese Imperial Envoys in the Eighteenth Century
Boston College Institute of Advanced Jesuit Studies Fellow Elisa Frei and Affiliated Scholar Eugenio Menegon present their research on the motivations and experiences of the early Jesuit missionaries in China
Thursday, April 12, 2018

Is There an American School of Irish History?
A full-day symposium hosted by Jason Knirck, Spring 2018 Burns Visiting Scholar in Irish Studies
Saturday, April 7, 2018

Minister Michael Ring, TD
A Global Leadership Institute Fireside Chat with Michael Ring, TD Minister for Rural and Community Development, Government of Ireland
Thursday, March 15, 2018

Donal Ryan, Public Reading and Talk
Acclaimed Irish fiction author Donal Ryan reads from The Spinning Heart and other works
February 22, 2018

The Object in the Archives Opening Reception
Reception for new Burns Library exhibit
February 23, 2018

The Civil War Letters of Florence Burke, An Irish Famine Immigrant
Book presentation and donation ceremony with local author Ellen B. Alden
January 31, 2018

Censoring Scientific Books in Early Modern Europe
Institute for Advanced Jesuit Studies colloquium featuring Hannah Marcus and Francisco Malta Romeiras
December 13, 2017

Rare and Remarkable: Recent Jesuit Acquisitions
Celebration of the acquisition of a 16th-century Spanish Jesuit manuscript and second edition of the Spiritual Exercises
November 1, 2017

“Shell-shocked Walt Whitmans”: W.B. Yeats and the War Poets at Rapallo
Lecture presented by Lauren Arrington, Fall 2017 Burns Visiting Scholar in Irish Studies
November 1, 2017

Harp Studies: Perspectives on the Irish Harp
Based on their edited collection Harp Studies, Sandra Joyce and Helen Lawlor explore how the harp has been viewed and played through the centuries
October 18, 2017

Symposium: Late Modernism & Expatriatism ​
Symposium organized by Lauren Arrington, Fall 2017 Burns Visiting Scholar in Irish Studies
​October 14, 2017

Alumni Education Series: Celebrating the Séamus Connolly Collection of Irish Music
Program presenting an online collection of Irish traditional music with musical interludes
October 12, 2017

Nótaí/Notes: Music and Ireland Research Symposium
Friday reception in Burns Library, followed by a full day of talks on Saturday in Gasson Hall. Co-sponsored with NUI Galway.
September 22-23, 2017

"Fairies, Rebels, and the Boundaries of the House in 1916"
Presented by Lucy McDiarmid, Marie Frazee-Baldassarre Professor of English at Montclair State University and author of the recently published At Home In The Revolution: What Women Said and Did in 1916.
Friday, February 3, 2017

"Poems of Repossession : A Celebration of Contemporary Irish Poetry"
Louis de Paor, Nuala Ní DhomhnaillDeirdre Brennan, and Liam Ó Muirthile read and discussed selections from Leabhar na hAthghabhála/Poems of Repossession, a newly published anthology of Irish-language poetry with English translations, edited by Louis de Paor.
Tuesday, October 18, 2016

"The National Museum of Ireland and the Making of a National Collection"
Presented by Dr. Raghnall Ó Floinn, Director, National Museum of Ireland
Tuesday, February 2, 2016