Skip to main content

Maurice J. Quinlan papers

Collection BC-1987-004: Maurice J. Quinlan papers


  • Creation: 1916 - 1983
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1950 - 1983

Scope and Contents

This collection contains Quinlan’s professional papers, which include correspondence, articles, class notes for lectures given at Boston College, research notes, literary manuscripts, diaries, and other writings. Topics include eighteenth-century history and literature (including the works of William Cowper, Samuel Johnson and Jonathan Swift), ballooning, methods of life-saving, and the town of Enfield, New Hampshire.


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

Maurice J. Quinlan was born in 1904 in East Hampton, Connecticut. As a young man he attended Yale University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in 1926. After briefly considering a career in medicine, Quinlan decided to pursue his interest in English literature at Columbia University and received his doctorate in 1943.

Quinlan enlisted in the U.S. Army during World War II, and after his discharge he embarked upon a career in teaching. He taught at several institutions, including Dartmouth College, St. Joseph’s College in West Hartford, Connecticut, St. Thomas College in St. Paul, Minnesota, and Lehigh University. The majority of Quinlan's years as an academic were spent at Boston College, where he lectured for twenty years until retiring in 1974. Quinlan lived in the Boston area and spent summers in Enfield, New Hampshire. He was also an avid traveler.

Quinlan’s academic interest focused on eighteenth-century English literature. He wrote three books and a number of articles and was a prominent member of the Johnson Society of London. His major works include, Victorian Prelude: a History of English Manners, 1700-1830 (1941), William Cowper, a Critical Life (1953), and Samuel Johnson: A Layman’s Religion (1964).

Quinlan died in Newton, Massachusetts in 1987.


"Maurice Quinlan, 82: Was Boston College Professor." Boston Globe (1960-1988), Feb 13, 1987.


1.25 Linear Feet (3 containers)

Language of Materials



These papers document the work of scholar and Boston College English professor Maurice J. Quinlan. Includes correspondence, manuscripts, articles, class notes, research notes, and diaries. The majority of the papers pertain to eighteenth-century English literature.


Arranged in four series: I. English literature, II. Creative writing, III. Travel diaries, and IV. History articles.


Gift of Mary Donovan, niece of Maurice J. Quinlan, in 1987.

Maurice J. Quinlan Papers
1916-1983 (bulk 1950-1983)
Ronald Patkus, 1987; Rachael Young
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