Section of the St. Patrick window in the Irish Room of Gasson Hall. (Gary Wayne Gilbert)

Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig oraibh!

Founded in 1863 to serve the sons of Boston's Irish immigrants, Boston College today continues to honor its Irish roots, with information on Ireland's history and culture, as well as images and music, available for exploration on St. Patrick's day and year-round.

On March 17, you can pop over to O'Neill or Burns libraries and pick up a button to commemorate the day. The six variations, shown below, are created from vintage designs found in BC's Trenholm and Irish collections. Housed at Burns Library, the Boston College Irish Collection is the largest and most comprehensive collection of Irish research and literary materials outside of Ireland.

Irish buttons by Burns Library
Six designs, drawn from BC's Trenholm and Irish collections, used to create buttons for St. Patrick's Day, to be available at Burns and O'Neill libraries.

A visit to Gasson Hall's Irish Room reveals the spectacular St. Patrick window, a section of which is shown above. In 1914, BC President Thomas I. Gasson, S.J., commissioned Boston artist Thomas Murphy to create the University's first stained-glass window as the centerpiece of the room. It depicts the Catholic missionary bishop, Patrick, meeting the pagan king of Ireland, Laoghaire, at Tara on Easter Sunday 433. According to legend, the king granted Patrick the right to preach throughout the kingdom, marking the beginning of Ireland's Christianization.

The exhibit Irish Women Rising: Gender and Politics in Revolutionary Ireland, 1900 - 1923 is currently on view at Burns Library. For a deeper dive into the exhibit's subject matter, read a series of expanded, biographical essays on Irish Revolutionary Women on the Burns Library blog.

You can also explore Irish imagery available online through the Burns Library Flickr albums, including:

  • A Walk Through the Stacks: The Irish Collection: In an effort to bring to book lovers everywhere an experience akin to wandering through the library's closed stacks, this is an informal glimpse of one of Burns' best-known and most used collectionsthe Irish Collection, which originated with the acquisition of the library of Boston lawyer John T. Hughes in the 1940s, and has grown to international renown.
  • Building an Irish Domestic Library: Pictures of books recommended by Mary Coleman, author of article, "Building a Domestic Library and Other Things," in the April, 1911 issue of the Catholic Bulletin.
  • Irish Fairy Tales: A small selection of Irish fairy tale images from the Irish Collection.
  • Irish Tenor John McCormack (1884-1945), a selection of concert program covers: The renowned McCormack rose to prominence in the United States as an operatic performer, recitalist and recording artist. In the 1920s and 1930s, he toured the world performing a unique repertoire combining classical music, ballads, sacred music and sentimental popular songs. Find out more about the Frederick M. Manning Collection of John McCormack Materials (IMC M035/1998-1) here.

  • Bobbie Hanvey Photograph Archive: The photographic archives of the Irish photographer, writer, and musician, who has recorded people and life in Northern Ireland since the 1970s.

And, to top it off, add a soundtrack to your exploration: listen online to selections from BC's Irish Music Collections.

—University Communications