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Boston College athletic photographs

Collection BC-1986-019: Boston College athletic photographs


  • Creation: 1889 - 2013


This collection contains photographs of Boston College Athletics Department staff, coaches, and student athletes.

Restrictions on access

Collection is open for research; a portion is available digitally.

Restrictions on use

These materials are made available for use in research, teaching and private study, pursuant to U.S. Copyright Law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source. The original authors may retain copyright to the materials.

Historical note

From their beginnings in Boston’s South End, Boston College athletics programs have had a central role to play in the life of the University. The Athletic Association was established at Boston College in 1883 "to encourage the practice of manly sports, and to promote by these the esprit de corps of the College Students, who are its members." Although track and baseball had begun in the 1870s, and a student-organized football team was started in 1891, there had been no official sanction of or arrangements for games, largely due to a lack of dedicated practice grounds for sports teams. After the move to Chestnut Hill, the long-planned-for athletic field was opened in 1915. Alumni Field, as it was called, was laid out by the Boston landscape architects Pray, Hubbard and White.

While baseball and football teams have existed since shortly after the University’s inception, hockey didn’t become fully established until the 1920s; prior to this period, Boston College fielded a team in the very similar sport of ice polo. Hockey proper became a varsity sport in the 1920s and the Boston College Eagles quickly established themselves as a force to be reckoned with, winning the national championship for the first time in the 1922-1923 season. Football, too, has an illustrious history at Boston College. Early victories over Yale were followed by a 1940 national championship win and ever-increasing national prominence, forcing the team to relocate temporarily to Fenway Park and Brave’s Field (now Boston University’s Nickerson Field Sports Complex).

In the years following World War II, an extensive fundraising effort was mounted in order to update the existing athletics facilities on the Chestnut Hill Campus. As a result of this campaign, in 1957 varsity sports returned to the main campus in the newly erected Alumni Stadium and Auditorium Arena.

During the 1960s the Boston College Eagles basketball team began to rise to national prominence, first winning invitations to the NCAA and then, in 1981, becoming the Big East champions. Women’s varsity basketball achieved national ranking in 1983. The 1990s and 2000s have seen the continued success of Boston College’s sports programs.


Donovan, Charles F., David R. Dunigan, and Paul A. Fitzgerald. History of Boston College: From the Beginnings to 1990. Chestnut Hill, Mass.: University Press of Boston College, 1990.


24.75 Linear Feet (61 containers)

Language of Materials



The Boston College Athletic photographs are arranged in three series: I. Coaches and staff; II. Group photographs; and III. Individual athletes. Coaches and staff and individual athletes are arranged alphabetically by name. Group photographs are arranged alphabetically by sport.


These photographs were acquired from the Boston College Athletic Department and from other sources in multiple accessions.

Existence of Digital Copies

A selection of these photographs have been digitized and are available online. The photographs which have been digitized include a link in the container list below.

Related Materials

Boston College Alumni Photographs, BC.1990.056, John J. Burns Library, Boston College.

Boston College student musical ensembles collection, BC.1986.015, John J. Burns Library, Boston College.

Processing Information

These photographs have not been examined to verify identification or dates. Materials are minimally processed.

Boston College Athletic Photographs
Jessica Meyer, Adrienne Pruitt, and Amy Braitsch
April 2013
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the John J. Burns Library Repository

John J. Burns Library
Boston College
140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill MA 02467 United States