- University Archives
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The Boston College University Archives was formally established in
1975 as the official repository for non-current University records
having permanent historical, legal, fiscal, or administrative value.
The primary mission of the University Archives is to identify, collect,
preserve, arrange, and describe records documenting the history of
administrative and academic units and the activities of Boston College
faculty, staff, and students. In addition, the Archives serves as
a records consultant to administrative offices and as an information
resource on the history and development of the University.
Users of the University Archives come from a wide range
of backgrounds and include scholars, graduate and undergraduate
students, school alumni, journalists, and college administrators.
Though the Archives is open to anyone, permission is required to
access some collections.
The University Archives is situated in the John J. Burns
Library of Rare Books and Special Collections. The Archives makes
use of the reading room of the Burns Library, and has access to
the Conservation Lab and other office areas. Technological resources
of the library are also available, including networked computers,
a scanning station, color printers, and audio-visual equipment.
While most archival collections are housed in the Burns Library,
others reside off-site at the New England Deposit Library.
Archives staff conduct on-site records surveys for departments
and offices on campus. The survey seeks to identify materials
that have long-term historical, administrative, legal, or fiscal
value so that they may be preserved. Boston College staff who
have non-current records in their areas should contact the Archives
to arrange for a records survey.
The University Archives offers a secure environment in which
to house non-current records of the University. It also has access
to the services of the Burns Library Conservator and the Conservation
Lab. In cases where special environmental controls are necessary,
e.g. cold storage, the Archives seeks out possible solutions with
As resources and time allow, staff of the University Archives
arrange and describe the materials in their care. Processing includes
organizing collections if necessary and creating inventories
or finding aids to improve access. Offices and departments receive
copies of inventories relating to their areas.
Most research inquiries relating to the University Archives
are channeled through the Reading Room of the Burns Library. Archives
staff work closely with the Senior Reference Librarian and other
staff members to respond to questions. In some cases, University
Archives staff respond directly to the inquiries of researchers.
Reference services are conducted via postal mail, e-mail, fax,
and telephone. University Archives staff ask researchers to make
appointments before coming to the library.
University Archives News is published each semester
to share information with the Boston College community. Staff
of the Archives also mount exhibits for anniversaries and other
occasions, and give presentations to classes and groups about
the holdings in the Burns Library.
The University Archives documents the history and activities of
Boston College from its founding in 1863 to the present. Of special
note are holdings in the following areas:
and Committee Records
Consists of records created by the governing bodies and committees
of Boston College. Documentation of the Board of Trustees, and
various University-wide committees functioning since 1972, is
Most of the records in the University Archives fall into the
category of administrative records. These include records of Boston
College organizations, departments, and offices. Executive offices
like the President's Office, the Executive Vice President's Office,
and the Academic Vice President are well documented. Strong collections
are also available for most of the professional schools of the
University (particularly the College of Arts and Sciences, the
Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, the School of Nursing, the
School of Education, and the School of Management), the Athletics
Department, and selected other offices.
The University Archives houses a complete collection of all
honors and masters theses, as well as doctoral dissertations in
paper form. More recent years are available as microfiche copies
in O'Neill Library.
Though substantial gaps exist in this area, there are still
several useful collections. Important student publications, such
as The Stylus, The Heights, and The Observer, are available. Also
of note are administrative records of organizations like the Mendel
Club, the Gold Key Society, and the Dramatics Society.
Personal papers include faculty, staff, student, and alumni
papers. Though occasionally such collections have administrative
records, they consist mainly of personal materials. Among these
materials are items which document activities at Boston College,
or, in the case of faculty and alumni papers, which document the
work of individuals who are well-respected in their fields, and
who have strong records of service to Boston College and the larger
community. Many Jesuit faculty collections have been preserved.
Of special note are the faculty collections of Benedict Alper,
Heinz Bluhm, John Louis Bonn, Lewis Coser, Everett C. Hughes,
John McAleer, Robert J. McEwen, and Francis Sweeney.
These are made up of the records of committees, organizations,
and institutions which are not technically part of the administration
of Boston College, but which enjoy a close relationship with the
University. The most significant collections in this area are
those relating to the Boston College Jesuit Community and the
Newton College of the Sacred Heart.
The University Archives Research Guide presents some
of the key sources available for the study of Boston College and
Irish Music Center
O'Neill Library | Special
Collections [ University Archives ] Irish
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