The administrative responsibilities for University Archives and Special Collections include policy, maintenance, use, and disposition of archival materials and rare books. The University Archives and Special Collections staff adhere to the highest level of professional ethics in the handling of all archival and special collection materials. They fully support the preservation and integrity of the collections, expedite free access to materials (unless otherwise restricted), provide service-oriented reference assistance, and respect the confidentiality of users.
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 University 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" University Archives through active service to both the University and community at large. He saw University Archives as a source of information for the Xavier family and for outside researchers, students, alumni and alumni family members. Fr. Bennish said 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