Xavier University archives was founded in 1974. In that year Fr. Lee Bennish, S.J. was appointed the first archivist of Xavier University by Robert W. Mulligan, S.J., the University President. In an 1981 newspaper interview, Fr. Bennish outlined the stated purpose of the Xavier University archives. Its purpose was "to help us understand who we are and what we are about through the hopes, joys, fears, successes and failures of the men and women who made us what we are today."
The archives was to be the "memory" of the University rather than some clandestine facility shrouded in mystery. Father Bennish saw the need to "take the mystery out of" the archives through active service to both the University and community at large. He saw the archives as a source of information for the Xavier family and for outside researchers, students, alumni and alumni family members. Fr. Bennish said Xavier University archives was a "source of admiration for the past, a celebration for the present and an inspiration for the future."1
1Xavier News 3/25/1981