Library Acquires Jesuitana, Stout Materials

By Sandra Howe
Staff Writer

The John J. Burns Library has made several important acquisitions this fall, including additions to its J. Donald Monan, SJ, Jesuitana Collection and Rex Stout Collection, and three rare Book of Kells prints.

The library acquired more than 3,300 Jesuitana books, illustrating the influence of Jesuits across a wide spectrum of human knowledge, from the Biblioteque des Fontaines in Chantilly, France, said Burns Librarian Robert O'Neill. The books more than double Burns' holdings in Jesuitana literature and make it one of the premier collections of its kind anywhere, he said.

"The Jesuit community in France is particularly pleased that the books are coming to another Jesuit institution," said O'Neill. "With this addition, the collection now has a critical mass which gives us a certain aura of distinction in Jesuitana literature."

The library received another major donation recently when Prof. Emeritus John J. McAleer (English) presented Boston College with materials used in composing his biography of Rex Stout, author of popular detective and mystery stories. The official Stout biographer, McAleer also donated special editions of the author's works valued at over $25,000, supplementing items from the Stout collection he contributed last year. O'Neill praised McAleer for his role in developing the Stout Collection, which includes books and manuscripts presented by Stout's family and others.

"Prof. McAleer has been a generous supporter of the library, especially in the area of special collections," he said.

Burns is exhibiting some of these materials in "A Celebration of Rex Stout and the American Detective Fiction Genre" through Nov. 15.

Also, Trinity College of Dublin presented Boston College with a set of three Book of Kells prints, valued at $4,800. The limited edition prints, of which 3,000 were made and distributed to "specifically chosen clientele worldwide," O'Neill said, were produced directly from three folios of the Book of Kells itself and will be a source of research to both artists and historians. Burns includes a color facsimile of the Book of Kells in its collection.

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