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Edward I. Devitt, SJ, President's Office records

Collection BC-2000-153: Edward I. Devitt, SJ, President's Office records


  • Creation: 1864 - 1916

Scope and Contents

The Edward I. Devitt, SJ, President's Office records reflect the life and work of Edward I. Devitt, SJ, ninth president of Boston College. Record types include correspondence, a certificate, and a draft of Devitt's history of Boston College from its founding to the presidency of Charles W. Lyons, SJ. A later version of this history was published posthumously in the Woodstock Letters in 1935. The correspondence and certificate of Devitt's appointment as College president are photocopies from the Georgetown University Archives.


Language of Materials

Materials in this collection are primarily in English, with some Latin.

Restrictions on access

Collection is open for research.

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.

Biographical note

Edward I. Devitt was born in St. John, New Brunswick, Canada, in November 1840. When he was a child, his family moved to Boston, where he attended public schools and graduated from Boston English High School in 1857. He attended Holy Cross College for two years and then applied for admission to the Society of Jesus. He entered the Jesuit novitiate at Frederick, Maryland, in 1859. Having studied at Frederick for four years, Father Devitt was sent to Washington to teach at Gonzaga College preparatory school. While at Gonzaga, he was selected to march in President Lincoln’s funeral procession with a group of students. After leaving Gonzaga, he studied at the Jesuit seminary at Woodstock, Maryland, and, after his ordination, taught philosophy at Woodstock College and at Holy Cross College.

Father Devitt came to Boston College as rector and ninth president in 1891. During his tenure, he paid particular attention to the development of the college’s library, increasing the size of the collection to over 23,000 volumes and helping to reorganize storage across three accessible rooms. He also oversaw significant expansion of the science departments.

After leaving Boston College in 1894, Devitt served as Curator of Historical Archives at Georgetown University. He died at Georgetown University, at the age of eighty, in 1920.


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

"Reverend E.I. McDevitt [sic] Dies at Georgetown, President of Boston College 1890-1894," The Heights, vol.1, no. 9, January 30, 1920. Accessed June 26 2013,


.25 Linear Feet (1 container)


The Edward I. Devitt, SJ, President's Office records reflect the life and work of Edward I. Devitt, SJ, ninth president of Boston College.



Related Materials

President's Office Records, University Archives, John J. Burns Library, Boston College.

Edward I. Devitt, SJ, President's Office Records
Stephanie Bennett
July 2013
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • February 2023: Updated folder numbers

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