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University Archives


Collection Overview

The Boston College 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 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. At present the University Archives is centered in the John J. Burns Library of Rare Books and Special Collections, and is comprised of more than 3,000 linear feet of records. While most of the material originates from the various Boston College offices, the Archives also serves as the repository for records of the Boston College Jesuit Community and Newton College of the Sacred Heart.

Restrictions on Use: While the University Archives makes every effort to make materials available to researchers, it should be noted that many records and collections are closed to users outside the originating office.

Selected Resources

In the Burns Library:

  • Governance 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 especially good.
  • Administrative Office Records. 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 's Office 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.
  • Theses and Dissertations. 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 or microfilm copies in O'Neill Library. The microfiche or microfilm copy is considered the primary use copy.
  • Student Organizations Records. 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. 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, the work of individuals who are well-respected in their field, 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.
  • Boston College-Related Materials. 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.

In the O'Neill Library:

  • Boston College Theses and Dissertations. Though not as complete as the theses and dissertations collection in the Burns Library, an extensive collection of modern titles is available in microform.
  • Publications. O'Neill Library maintains copies of many publications of Boston College offices. Publications are cataloged and shelved according to their Library of Congress classification. In addition, microform sets of several key University publications, such as The Heights, Stylus, Boston College Chronicle and the earliest university course catalogs are available.

Collection Parameters

Interdisciplinary Elements of Subject Area
Boston College is engaged in a variety of academic endeavors, and the collections in the University Archives reflect this. Students, scholars, and other researchers have used the holdings to conduct research in a variety of areas in both the sciences and humanities.

Formats and Types of Materials
The University Archives collects in a variety of formats. These include correspondence, memoranda and administrative files; reports and minutes of meetings; publications; unpublished theses and dissertations; faculty, staff, and alumni papers; photographic prints, negatives and slides; video and audio tapes; compact discs and long-playing albums; electronic records; architectural drawings; artifacts; and ephemera.

Nearly all of the materials documenting the history of Boston College are in English. Some items, especially among the faculty papers, are in other languages. In general, materials are collected regardless of language as long as they record some aspect of University life.

Geographic Areas (Subject Approach)
While material is collected from any of the Boston College campuses or locations of University offices, most of it originates from the main campus in Chestnut Hill. Papers of individual faculty or alumni sometimes contain material originating in other parts of the United States or the world.

Time Periods (Subject Approach)
Most of the collections in the University Archives date from the late twentieth century. However, materials are collected which date from the nineteenth century (Boston College was established in 1863) to the present.

Subject Areas Collected by Record Group
The University Archives is organized by record group. 

RG 0 External Information on Boston College
RG 1 Boston College Governing Bodies/University Committees
RG 2 President
RG 3 Executive Vice President
RG 4 Academic Vice President and Dean of Faculties
RG 5 Vice President of Mission and Ministry
RG 6 University Secretary
RG 7 University Historian
RG 8 Vice President Assistant to the President
RG 9 Vice President for University Relations
RG 10 Office of the Senior Vice President
RG 11 Vice President for Human Resources
RG 12 Vice President for Student Affairs
RG 13
Vice President for Administration
RG 14 Financial Vice President and Treasurer
RG 15
Associate Academic Vice President
RG 16
Associate Dean of Faculties
RG 17
Associate Dean for Administration
RG 18
Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
RG 19
College of Arts and Sciences
RG 20
School of Nursing
RG 21
Law School
RG 22
School of Education
RG 23 School of Management
RG 24
Graduate School of Social Work
RG 25
Evening College
RG 26
Summer Session
RG 27
RG 28
Enrollment Management
RG 29
Information Technology
RG 30
Athletic Association
RG 31 Office of Space Management
RG 32
Office of University Policies and Procedures
RG 33
Lecture Series
RG 34 Departments and Programs - College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
RG 35
Weston Observatory
RG 36 Student Organizations
RG 37 Other Boston College Related Organizations
RG 38 Faculty and Staff Papers
RG 39
Faculty and Staff Publications
RG 40
Alumni Papers
RG 41
Boston College High School
RG 42
Jesuit Community of Boston College
RG 43
Legal Counsel - University Affairs
RG 44
Center for Corporate Community
RG 45
Museum of Art
RG 46
Institutional Information Resources
RG 47
Associate Vice President for Research
RG 48
Institute for the Study of Religious Education and Pastoral Ministry
RG 49 BC Neighborhood Center
RG 50 Newton College of the Sacred Heart
RG 51
University Chancellor
RG 52
Office of Student Services
RG 53 Lonergan Center
RG 54
Boston College Downtown Club
RG 55 Church in the 21st Century
RG 56
Boston College Environmental Center
RG 57
Center for Christian-Jewish Learning
RG 58
Boise Center for Religion and American Public Life
RG 59 School of Expressional Arts

Last Revised: April 13, 2005