Boston College Libraries Faculty Newsletter



Microform Collections in O’Neill

The considerable attention given to the ongoing migration of primary source documents to the web is more than justified, given the tremendously enhanced access the web provides. Numerous important primary sources are being digitized by publishers, libraries, scholars and others. While many of these sources are being scanned from micro-format, vast quantities remain accessible only in microform. Though most users understandably prefer consulting primary sources on the web than in micro, the latter format is the only way to get local access to many of these critical research resources. O’Neill Library houses a rich and substantive collection of primary sources in micro- format on Level 1. Users may access the cabinets containing the microfilm and microfiche without librarian mediation. It is easy to physically browse the collection. The newspapers without call numbers are at the back of the film area. The Library of Congress call numbers follow, ending with the Z’s in the center of the room. Appropriate machines for reading and copying both microfilm and microfiche are available. Copying is free. Government Documents staff are available to assist users from 8:30am to 10pm, Monday through Thursday; 8:30am to 5pm on Friday; 9am to 5pm on Saturday; and noon to 10pm on Sunday throughout the semester.


Though the following listing is obviously quite limited, it is hoped that it provides a sense of the scope of the collection. The cataloging of the collections in Quest varies according to the type of collection, but often helpful guides are included with the collection. For more information about these and other collections, contact your subject specialist.

The Martin Luther King, Jr., FBI file (16 reels): This collection is a heavily censored reproduction of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's file on Martin Luther King, Jr. It consists of about 17,000 pages of material concerning Dr. King which was collected by the FBI and released in compliance with a Freedom of Information Act filing. While the pages contain a tremendous number of useful documents about Dr. King, this is still, in many ways, a very incomplete collection. [O’Neill Microforms Microfilm E185.97 .K5 M295 1984]

Emigrant Savings Bank records, 1841-1945 (23 reels): Reproduces selected records of the Emigrant Savings Bank, particularly records pertaining to the Irish Emigrant Society and data about the bank’s depositors and borrowers. The collection includes minutes of the board of trustees and finance committee, and an account ledger. Bank records contain information about deposit accounts, real estate, buildings, and investments. Society and bank records document the social history of Irish immigrants on either side of the Atlantic, with occasional references to German and French immigrants. Deposit accounts often contain detailed personal and genealogical information about individual depositors. [O’Neill Microforms Microfilm F128.9.I6 E45 2000]


Confidential U.S. State Department central files. Vietnam 1960-January 1963: internal affairs and foreign affairs. (24 reels): "The U.S. State Department Central Files are the definitive source of American diplomatic, military, social, and economic developments throughout the world in the twentieth century.” These files include special reports and observations on political and military affairs, studies and statistics, interviews, minutes, legal documents, cables and letters, news clippings, translations, etc.  [O’Neill Microforms Microfilm DS556.9 .U55 1998]


The Library of American Civilization (LAC) is a collection of materials relating to virtually all aspects of American life & literature up to World War I. This set contains roughly 6,500,000 pages of material including books, pamphlets, periodicals, biographies and autobiographies, fictional works, poetry, collection of various kinds, and selected federal, state, and local documents. Some non-U. S. materials are included. Some of the collection’s text is becoming available in the web. [O’Neill Microforms Microfiche Z1236 .L5 LAC]


Slave trade Africa: general correspondence before 1906; slave trade, 1816-1892: The collection includes dispatches, drafts, telegrams, a few treaties, and other items of consular correspondence from consulates in European, Asian, African and American cities to the  Foreign Office in London. [O’Neill Microforms Microfilm CD1051 FO 84]


The Anarchist press in Britain. Part I (16 reels) Some of the items included in this collection are: Freedom 1951-1976, Anarchy (1st series) 1961-1970, Freedom Bulletin 1928-1932, Spain and The World 1936-1938, Revolt Feb 1939- June 1939, War Commentary 1939-Aug 1945. [O’Neill Microforms Microfilm HX885 A5x 1979]


Minutes and documents of the cabinet meetings of President Eisenhower: 1953-1961 (10 reels) This collection includes minutes of cabinet meetings, official correspondence and memoranda, discussion papers, department reports, action status reports (analyses of the implementation of Cabinet decisions), records of actions (summaries of decisions approved by Eisenhower at each meeting), and related papers. It documents Eisenhower's political leadership, daily working procedures, organizational strategies, methods of reaching important policy decisions, efforts to reconcile the conservative and moderate wings of the Republican Party, and his reliance on "government by committee". A similar collection is available for Lyndon Johnson. Several other presidential collections are also available. [O’Neill Microforms Microfilm J82 D8x 1980]


The British in Ireland Series one: Colonial Office class CO 904: Dublin Castle records (136 reels)British government records on Ireland from the periods listed below. pt. 1. Anti-government organizations, 1882-1921 (first three reels cover earlier years 1798-1867 and contain British secret service information about Ribbonism and later agrarian disturbances); pt. 2. Police reports, Jan. 1892-Dec. 1897 ; pt. 3. Police reports, Feb. 1898-Dec. 1913; pt. 4. Police reports, 1914-1921; pt. 5. Public control and administration, 1884-1921; pt. 6. Judicial proceedings, enquiries and miscellaneous records, 1872-1926; pt. 7. Sinn Fein and Republican suspects, 1899-1921. [O’Neill Microforms Microfilm CD1052 CO 904]

The Adelaide Nutting Historical Nursing Collection: (ca 3500 fiche). The Nutting Collection contains more than 1,500 monographs and documents about the history of medicine, nursing, and hospitals, from the 15th century through the early 20th century. Particularly valuable are documents from French hospitals of the 17th and 18th centuries, plus articles, books, and correspondence by Florence Nightingale. [O’Neill Microforms Microfiche RT31 H57]

French political pamphlets from collections in the Newberry Library (28 reels). A collection of 2544 pamphlets with publication dates of 1560 to 1653. “Published without covers, many only a few pages in length, they are that kind of ephemeral material which shows, perhaps better than any other, the conflict of ideas over some particular religious or constitutional issue during the period of the religious wars and the establishment of the absolute monarchy.”[O’Neill Microforms Microfilm DC55  F74]

The Charles Dickens research collection: from the J.F. Dexter collection in the British Library and other major collections and holdings in the United Kingdom and the United States (102 reels).  "The project’s eminent editorial board has selected works of agreed importance and, often, rarity from collections at the British Library, the Dickens House Museum, the Bodleian Library, Harvard University Library, and other institutions." [O’Neill Microforms Microfilm PR4588 .C52x 1989]


Ed TallentEd Tallent
Head, Reference & Instruction





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