Burns Library Exhibits

Four wall cases featuring exhibits highlighting collections in the Burns Library.
Return to the Burns Library Past Exhibits

Right Reading
Selections from the library of John J. Burns, Jr.

October 2017 - February 2018

Exhibit poster

The title of this exhibit plays on the title of a collection of William F. Buckley, Jr.'s columns and essays—one of nearly 700 volumes from the personal library of John J. Burns, Jr., a selection of which are presented here to stimulate reflection on our own reading habits and how they can guide our lives. Buckley was one of Burns's favorite authors, exemplifying the conservative Catholic outlook that he inherited from his father and one aspect of his "right reading." Yet "right reading" also gestures toward another, perhaps more important aspect: the regular, disciplined, simultaneous reading of books on multiple subjects from multiple viewpoints. Burns read non-fiction works almost exclusively, preferring biography as the genre most suited to his desire to learn how to conduct his life and business affairs by informed example.

The title of this exhibit plays on the title of a collection of William F. Buckley, Jr.'s columns and essays—one of nearly 700 volumes from the personal library of John J. Burns, Jr., a selection of which are presented here to stimulate reflection on our own reading habits and how they can guide our lives. Buckley was one of Burns's favorite authors, exemplifying the conservative Catholic outlook that he inherited from his father and one aspect of his "right reading." Yet "right reading" also gestures toward another, perhaps more important aspect: the regular, disciplined, simultaneous reading of books on multiple subjects from multiple viewpoints. Burns read non-fiction works almost exclusively, preferring biography as the genre most suited to his desire to learn how to conduct his life and business affairs by informed example.

Exhibit poster