The Xavier Centre of Historical Research is a Jesuit history research centre located in Alto Porvorim, Goa in India. It was founded in the late 1970s and its first director was Teotonio R. de Souza (1979–1994). Charles Borges, who had served as Administrator and Associate Director, took over the direction of XCHR until the year 2000, when he left for Maryland College in Baltimore as its faculty staff. He was succeeded by Delio Mendonca, SJ and the current director is Savio Abreu, SJ. It is a prominent institution in Asia for its focus on Indo-Portuguese issues, and besides organising seminars and talks, it also publishes a number of books related to the Portuguese in India and Asia, Goa, the Jesuits and other historical themes. It has set up an art gallery.
Background and current position
The Xavier Centre of Historical Research (XCHR) was set up by the Jesuits of Goa in 1977. XCHR activities were inaugurated on November 4, 1979, under the direction of Teotónio R. de Souza who did the groundwork and accompanied the activities of the XCHR until April 1994. Till 1983, the institution was provisionally situated at Miramar, in Goa. Currently, it is located at Bakibab Borkar Road, Alto Porvorim, Goa.
Present for the inauguration in 1979 were Professor P.M. Joshi, the retired director of the Maharashtra Archives, and Dr. José Blanco, then administrator of Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation of Lisbon.
XCHR’s founding came at a time when relations between India and Portugal, which had soured because of the manner in which colonial rule ended in Goa in 1961, were just becoming to thaw, following the 1974 Revolution in Portugal.
Cajetan Coelho, a historian himself connected with this institution until recently, argues that the XCHR “has helped this process at the cultural level by its involvement in the organization of the series of International Seminars on Indo-Portuguese History ISIPH, initiated by Rev. John Correia-Afonso former director of the Heras Institute in Bombay in December 1978.”