'Tip' O'Neill Archives On Line

Photos of late House of Representatives Speaker Thomas P. O'Neill Jr. politicking at candidate rallies, posing with dignitaries and lighting his trademark cigars are among 120 pictures from Boston College's Thomas P. O'Neill Jr. Papers that can now be seen online at the Burns Library World Wide Web site.

The photos are the first of many from the voluminous O'Neill collection that Boston College archivists hope to place on the World Wide Web. More than 7,500 photographs are included among the O'Neill Papers that chronicle the 50-year political career of one of Boston College's most famous sons.

"We're hoping to put online some of the best visual images of Tip O'Neill and his era in Congress," said University Archivist Ronald Patkus, who is overseeing this and other efforts to make scanned images of Burns Library holdings accessible to scholars across the globe.

Patkus said the online O'Neill images includes formal and informal shots of the 1936 alumnus with congressional colleagues and presidents, many taken during his tenure as House Speaker from 1977-86. In keeping with O'Neill's well-known motto that "all politics is local," Patkus noted, a number of pictures feature the Speaker at hometown political dinners and constituent events.

This image of O'Neill in front of the Capitol building is among those recently posted on line by the University Archives.

"We have everything from his Boston College photograph as a student in 1935 to pictures from the 1980s and his battles with Ronald Reagan," said Patkus. "He was such a lovely character, we want to get as many of these up as possible."

- Mark Sullivan

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