Aug. 23, 2018 - The new Jesuit Archives & Research Center (JARC) in St. Louis was formally blessed and dedicated on Wednesday, Aug. 22. Most Rev. Robert J. Carlson, archbishop of St. Louis, blessed the building and made brief remarks to a crowd of about 100 donors, Jesuits, colleagues, staff and friends, including St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson and Saint Louis University President Fred Pestello.
“It is God who inspires in the human spirit the desire to record and preserve through archives and books and other means the discoveries of the human mind that open the way to truth,” Archbishop Carlson said. “It is therefore fitting that your work of conserving archives and books, as a form of spreading divine truth, should have the support of God’s blessing.”
Archbishop Robert Carlson (left) blessed the Jesuit Archives & Research Center on Aug. 22.
St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson was among the guests welcomed by JARC Director David Miros and Provincial Ron Mercier.
“This will be a living and dynamic hub, one already being used by scholars from this country and beyond,” Fr. Mercier said. “Its structure is designed to be filled with light, and its purpose is to shed light on our history, sometimes difficult issues, but always looking for the truth that helps us not only understand our history, but reflect on how we shall shape the future. Who knows what new perspectives will emerge from the work to be done here?”
Father Provincial Ronald A. Mercier, SJ, expressed gratitude to the donors who made the new JARC possible, as well as the provincials of the other provinces in the United States who have entrusted their histories to this shared facility. He particularly thanked Dr. David Miros, archivist and JARC director, who oversaw the project from concept to completion, with no detail too small for his attention.
The JARC opened to clients on April 25, 2018, but the project was not considered complete until the building was blessed. The new JARC is six times larger than the previous building, with systems designed to archival standards. In addition to temperature-controlled archival areas, it features space for exhibits, research, digitization and preservation work, meetings and presentations.
Jesuit Archives & Research Center staff, left to right: Jake Klusman, Ann Knake, David Miros, Maddie McDermott, Mary Schmittgens
Housed within the JARC is the collective memory of 12 past and current administrative provinces of the Society of Jesus in the United States: Buffalo, Chicago, Chicago-Detroit, Detroit, Missouri, New England, New Orleans, New York, USA Central and Southern, USA Midwest, USA Northeast and Wisconsin Provinces. It also houses the records of the Jesuit Conference, the administrative body of the Society of Jesus in Canada and the United States.
The JARC is being paid for through a capital campaign.
Photos from the blessing and dedication are available on our SmugMug account.