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Boston College University Archives


Genealogy Research

Recommended Genealogy Sources

Are you looking for genealogy information on someone you think went to Boston College? Listed below are the places we look in the Boston College University Archives when doing our own research.  We’ve provided broad categories of information that might be available, but if, after also looking at the Primary Sources and Secondary Sources, you have questions about how to find or use these sources, please contact us

Keep in mind that many, but not all, sources are available online, and that academic records are not part of the Archives. Also, remember that Boston College was founded in 1863 by the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) to educate Boston’s male Catholic community. Boston College became fully coeducational in 1970.

  • Sub Turri (1913-present). Look here for:

    • Biographical information
    • Photographs 
      • Candid
      • Portraits 
    • Student organization members
      • Lists
      • Photographs
    • Athletics participants 
      • Lists
      • Photographs
        • Team and action shots
    • Student Government

Available in print in the Burns Library (1913-2020)
Available online (1913-2009)

Detail, entry for Martin Francis O’Connor, Sub Turri, 1913


  • Boston College Bulletin (1869-present), aka the course catalog. Look here for:
    • Lists of faculty and administrators 
    • Lists of students (sporadically)
    • Lists of alumni (sporadically)
    • Degree requirements
    • Departmental requirements
    • Course Descriptions

Available in print in the Burns Library
Available online 1868-1911
Available online 1912-1914
Available online 1914-1928
Available online 1929-2019


  • Boston College Commencement Materials. Look here for:


Detail, Commencement program, 1890, Boston College Commencement materials




  • Even if you believe you know which year(s) a student attended or graduated, check a wider range of years if you don’t find them.

  • When searching for a name, try common nicknames, initials, and typical mis-spellings.

  • BC’s early students typically began the 7-year curriculum at about age 14, and it was not uncommon for students to leave before graduation for work, to transfer to other educational institutions, or join the military. These “ex-men” are listed in some yearbooks.

  • Boston University (BU) is often confused with Boston College (BC). Please note they are separate institutions and be sure you are looking for a BC alumni.

  • Most collections listed only have some of the content digitized. Finding aids will include all items in a collection, including those that have been digitized and those that are available in the library.

  • If you are looking for academic records or employer verification, please contact Student Services. We do not hold academic records.