FALL 2014

American Catholic Pamphlets Increasingly Available Online

With titles like "Does Science Prove the Bible wrong?" and "On the Importance of Women" the pamphlets that are part of Liturgy and Life collection at the John J. Burns Library, Boston College capture popular thought about issues at the center of the Catholic social and theological tradition. The Boston College Libraries are working in partnership with the Internet Archive to make the vast collection of ephemeral pamphlets available digitally.

A small subset of the Liturgy and Life Collection A small subset of the Liturgy and Life Collection

Established in 1978 by Boston College theologian and liturgical specialist, William J. Leonard, S.J., the Liturgy and Life collection documents the liturgical movement in the American Catholic Church from 1925 to the introduction of the Second Vatican Council's reforms. Housed at the Burns Library, the collection includes approximately 30,000 volumes and is considered to be the most comprehensive archive in America on the pre-Vatican II Catholic Church. In addition to the thousands of pamphlets which accompany the book collections, the collection is complemented by collections of manuscripts, ephemera, artifacts, and photographs.

The goal of the pamphlet project is to catalog and make digitally available all of the pamphlets in the collection as far as copyright constraints permit. Each digitized pamphlet is fully searchable and can be either read online or downloaded in a variety of formats (epub, Kindle, pdf, etc.) allowing the materials to be used and remixed for digital scholarship.

This collection reflects Boston College's strong commitment to document the Catholic tradition. With 165 items already digitized and over 3000 downloads it is proving to be a popular collection among serious scholars and others who are interested in both Catholic as well as social history.

With over 180 downloads, this is the collection's most popular pamphlet With over 180 downloads, this is the collection's most popular pamphlet

Researchers can access the pamphlet portion of the collection on the Liturgy and Life page via The Internet Archive. The pamphlet portion of the digital collection is continually growing, so check often for new additions. For those interested in the physical artifacts some are available through the Boston College Digital Collections page.

For inquiries regarding the physical collection contact the Burns Library: burnsref@bc.edu or x2-4681; John J. Burns Library: Research & Teaching. For inquiries regarding the pamphlet digitization processes contact the Digital Collections Librarian, Lindsay Whitacre: lindsay.whitacre@bc.edu.

Lindsay Whitacre
O'Neill Library