Exhibit Highlights from John J. Burns Library

John J. Burns Library continues to highlight its unique collections through a regular series of exhibits installed in our main corridor. A glimpse at this year’s exhibits suggests the breadth of content available for research, teaching, and enjoyment. We invite students, faculty, and the general public to view our exhibits during our regular open hours. We also welcome exhibit proposals and other exhibit-centered collaborations that strongly align with Burns Library content.

An object from The Object in the Archives: Networks and Materiality at Burns LibraryFrom February through June, Burns Library presented The Object in the Archives: Networks and Materiality at Burns Library, an exhibit curated by Rachel A. Ernst, Ph.D. ’18, and longtime Burns Library Reading Room assistant. In her dissertation, “Mattering: Agentic Objects in Victorian Literature,” Dr. Ernst examined objects that have agency within the 19th-century novel and the ways in which those objects reshape their storyworlds. Shifting her lens to the holdings at Burns Library, she chose representative objects from 30 different collections and grouped her selections into four categories: personal, professional, sacred, and leisure. She then asked the visitor to consider how objects move from personal possession to archival artifact, and the relationships and connections that develop between and across objects, collections, and researchers. For a more in-depth look into her curatorial process, see the entry she contributed to our Burns Library Blog.

An object from The Object in the Archives: Networks and Materiality at Burns LibraryOur Summer 2018 exhibit is Dreams of Art & Glory: Book Craft by the Roycrofters. Elbert Hubbard founded Roycroft Press as a private press in East Aurora, New York in 1894 when he was unable to find a publisher for his work Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great. The Roycrofters — a  community of craftspeople and artists attracted to Hubbard’s philosophies — flourished within the widespread Arts and Crafts movement for several decades, before declining after Hubbard’s death in 1915. The exhibition features volumes from the Boston College Libraries that highlight Roycrofter printing and bookbinding designs, including the modest Little Journeys pamphlet series, beautifully printed and hand decorated texts, and stunning modelled leather bindings. Works from other artists and presses are also displayed, highlighting the worldwide influence of the Arts and Crafts movement.

An object from The Object in the Archives: Networks and Materiality at Burns LibraryAlso on display this summer, on the Bapst Library landing outside Gargan Hall, is Viewpoints: Reactions from the Boston College Community, a look at how students have responded to the current events of their days. Diaries, letters, photographs, and poetry from the Boston College Archives allow us to cultivate a connection through time by way of BC students who were serving in the military, confronting racial strife, or grappling with difficult choices.

Another object from The Object in the Archives: Networks and Materiality at Burns LibraryFor the Fall/Winter exhibit, Burns Library Archives staff are in the midst of surveying hundreds of linear feet of typescript and manuscript documents to uncover doodles, drawings, sketches, sculptures, and other artwork to demonstrate that there’s so much more to archives than just words.

Stay tuned to John J. Burns Library social media feeds and blog for more information on installation dates and highlights. We hope you’ll visit soon to experience the unique content our collections have to offer.

Katherine Fox

Head Librarian, Public Services & Engagement, John J. Burns Library