“God has blessed the Society with an incomparable fund of documents, which allow us to contemplate clearly our origins, our fundamental charism.” – Pedro Arrupe, Superior General of the Society of Jesus (1965-1983)
The Society of Jesus formally mandates and supports record keeping and the maintenance of archives to provide a window into the origins, development, spirit, and charism of the Society and its members throughout the world.
In November 2017, the Jesuit Archives: Central United States relocated to a new facility at 3920 West Pine Boulevard, Saint Louis, Missouri, and took a new name – the Jesuit Archives and Research Center – to reflect the wider geographic coverage of its collections and its mission to be a destination for researchers from around the world.
The Jesuit Archives and Research Center houses the collective memory of ten past and current administrative provinces of the Society of Jesus in the United States. These ten include the Central and Southern, Chicago, Chicago-Detroit, Detroit, Midwest, Missouri, New England, New York, Northeast, and Wisconsin Provinces. The archives also houses the records of the governing body of the Society of Jesus in the US, the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States.
Mission of the Jesuit Archives
From a desire to honor the wisdom of Superior General Pedro Arrupe, the Jesuit Archives has striven to fulfill its mission as a repository of record for the largest religious order of men in the Catholic Church.
The Jesuit Archives:
- Serves an essential function of the intellectual apostolate of the Society as a “place of memory.”
- Provides a secure, organized repository for the patrimony of documents and artifacts. This preserves the history of a province, its communities, and apostolic works, as well as the lives of its members. Thus the Society of Jesus may understand its past and animate its present and future endeavors.
- Supports the current administration of a province and its apostolic mission.
- Makes resources of history and spirituality available to help with the cultivation of Jesuit identity and the evangelization of cultures.
- Preserves the patrimony of the Society of Jesus in order to transmit it to future generations of Jesuits, who will act as emissaries to the culture at large.