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Shaw, Joseph Coolidge, 1821-1851



  • Existence: 1821-01-22 - 1851-03-10

Biographical note

Joseph Coolidge Shaw, a member of the prominent Boston Shaw family and uncle to Robert Gould Shaw, is identified as Boston College's first benefactor. Although he died 12 years before the founding of the University, his will included a bequest of $4,000 to be used in the "establishing a school or college of the Society (of Jesus) in Boston" and his personal library of nearly 2,000 volumes which provided the first library collection in at Boston College. In 1985, Boston College established the Joseph Coolidge Shaw Medal to celebrate the dedication of the Thomas P. O'Neill, Jr. Library.

Social Networks and Archival Context (SNAC) Identifier

Found in 2 Collections and/or Records:

Boston College artifacts collection


This collection documents the history of the American Jesuit university Boston College in the late-nineteenth and twentieth centuries through its material culture. The collection includes banners, flags, football memorabilia, groundbreaking shovels, medals, pins, plaques, seals, and signs from Boston College administrators, faculty, and, to a lesser degree, students.

Restrictions on Access

Collection is open for research.

Dates: 1847 - 2018

Walter J. Meagher, SJ papers

Abstract These papers document the scholarly work and personal life of Jesuit, historian, and author, Walter J. Meagher, SJ. The collection is composed of correspondence, manuscripts, research notes, newspaper clippings, articles, bookplates, and photographs. The bulk of the material relates to the diary of Joseph Coolidge Shaw, SJ, a 19th century Boston convert to Catholicism, whose donation of books and funds largely contributed to the founding of Boston College. The collection also includes...
Restrictions on Access

Collection is open for research.

Dates: 1844-1994; Majority of material found within 1965-1967