New Jesuit Archives to Open Spring 2018

A new Jesuit Archives and Research Center is scheduled to open in April 2018. The new $10 million, 32,000-square-foot building will be six times larger than the existing space and will make documents and artifacts from around the United States far more accessible to researchers. 

“We see this new facility as an apostolic resource, one that can help deepen the knowledge of the history of the Church and the Society in the U.S.,” said Father Ron Mercier, SJ, provincial of the U.S. Central and Southern Province.

Architect's rendering of future Jesuit Archives' atrium
 Interior views of future Jesuit Archives and Research Center
Interior view of the atrium
Throughout its history in the United States, the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) has welcomed opportunities to engage people of all faiths and their social, intellectual and religious challenges. According to David Miros, director of the Jesuit Archives, “They offered keen perspectives on how people should relate to a range of broad cultural issues; they spoke prophetically to the people of their age.” 

The Jesuit Archives in St. Louis captures these stories and makes them available for research. It's a big story to tell and requires space. While the current archives building has served several provinces well since the 1990s, it has little room to expand. Following significant analysis and consideration, it was determined that a new building is needed. 

The new facility at 3920 West Pine Boulevard will include areas for research and reading, exhibits, and classes and conferences. It also will include seven offices and ample room for storing archival material. It will feature a state-of-the-art climate control system and dry-gas fire protection, absolute necessities in the archives business.

The two-and-a-half-story building is under construction now at a site just six blocks from the current location. While the province considered rehabbing and retrofitting the existing building on the property, a team of architects, contractors and engineers recommended construction of a new building. It will be in the City of St. Louis’ Midtown, near Saint Louis University and Cortex, a 200-acre innovation hub and technology district. 

The Jesuit Archives and Research Center will be owned and operated by the USA Central and Southern Province in partnership with other provinces that house their materials there. The construction of the new facility will be funded in part through a capital campaign. The campaign will have a minimum goal of $5 million and is the first capital drive of the USA Central and Southern Province. 


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