September 30th 1932 - Historical Institute SJ
On February 11th 1930 Father General Ledóchowski explained to all Provincials his plan for the establishment of a Collegium Scriptorum in Rome. On September 30th 1932 the plan was realized. Three years later the community of writers called itself
Historical Institute SJ
The Institute was international, and had the purpose to make available historical studies about the Society of Jesus.
Into that Institute, with Father Pedro de Leturia as its first leader, also the head office of the 'Monumenta Historica SJ' was integrated, which in 1929 had moved from its initial seat in Madrid to Rome. A group of Spanish Fathers had created the Monumenta in 1894, with support of the Generals Anderledy and Martin. In the first thirty years (1894-1925) already 61 volumes could be published, each with about 800 pages. Our knowledge of St Ignatius' life and mind, of the origin of the Society of Jesus, and of its peculiar mental character were deepened by that.
After the Ignatian series followed a new one, which was dedicated to the history of the old missions of the Order. That mission department began in 1944/45 with a new critical edition of Francis Xaver's letters and writings. Two numbers of the magazine 'Archivum Historicum SJ' appeared annually, 250 sides each, written in the well-known modern languages and also in Latin.
In the year 1953 Father General decided that the Historical Institute had to move into the adjacent Mansion Barberini, which had served so far as Retreat House. There are numerous scholars of the science of history, who spend some time in the Institute to study there or also in the many libraries which Rome offers.