A 'Jesuit Google'

Free, online access to some of the most foundational scholarly publications and sources in the Jesuit Studies field is now available, thanks to a project of the Boston College Institute for Advanced Jesuit Studies (IAJS).   

The Portal to Jesuit Studies, now live, is meant to serve as a “Jesuit Google,” according to IAJS Director Casey Beaumier, S.J., strengthening the institute’s efforts to serve as a resource on the history, spirituality, and pedagogy of the Society of Jesus.

IAJS Director Casey Beaumier, SJ
IAJS Director Casey Beaumier, S.J. (Gary Wayne Gilbert)

“As Boston College emerges as the foundation for the academic discipline of Jesuit Studies, it is crucial that we promote opportunities for serious research,” he said. “The institute offers fellowships, symposia, lectures, and courses. Under the leadership of Associate Director Robert Maryks, we have invested, through Brill Publishers, a great deal in the promotion of open access material.

“Robert edits tremendous resources like the Journal of Jesuit Studies, the Boston College Jesuit Bibliography, and Jesuit Historiography Online. Our site’s main contribution is integrating these with the institute’s other digital initiatives, resulting in The Portal to Jesuit Studies as the gateway for accessing the growing content we believe researchers will need to engage this discipline.”

 A collaboration between IAJS, Information Technology Series, University Libraries and the Office of University Communications, the Portal provides access to the following sources:

•The Jesuit Online Library, which allows users to search 14 Jesuit titles – nearly 100,000 pages across 700 volumes – simultaneously or browse single volumes individually. The collection includes books and journals in English, Spanish, Latin and French, and titles such as Woodstock Letters, Studies in the Spirituality of the Jesuits, and histories and biographies.

•Essential documents in Jesuit history, such as letters and addresses from Society of Jesus Fathers General, selected decrees and important addresses from the Jesuit General Congregations, and other materials concerning the Society.

•The Boston College Jesuit Bibliography – a comprehensive database of bibliographical information on books, chapters, articles, reviews and other materials related to the history of Jesuits – and the directory to Boston College Libraries’ Jesuitica collection, containing more than 1,000 volumes.

Other sources include presentations from the annual International Symposium on Jesuit Studies; the Jesuit Historiography Online; the Journal of Jesuit Studies, which includes scholarly articles, interviews and book reviews; and Jesuit Sources, a compendium of important texts and studies in Jesuit history, spirituality and pedagogy.

Fr. Beaumier expressed gratitude to the institute’s associate director, Seth Meehan, for “working tirelessly to develop what I believe to be an excellent platform with amazing content.” 

Through Meehan, he added, the institute also cultivated important partnerships within the University: “Vice President for Information Technology Services Michael Bourque and his team, including Chris Carpenter, Eduards Tomas and Kul Thapa, assisted in establishing a relationship with the technology we needed, as we worked with Avalon in developing the platform.

“University Librarian Thomas Wall was enthusiastic about the project and made available Betsy Post, Chris Mayo, Emily Singley, Ben Florin and Kimberly Kowal who, along with others, have been great partners in the digital developments that needed to occur for the Portal to become a reality. 

“Finally, Kristen Patterson, Monica De Salvo, and Christine Hunt from the Office of University Communications have been instrumental in design development.” 

-Sean Smith / University Communications