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Xavier University Account Books

Identifier: XUA-114

Scope and Contents

The records consist of cash books, a student sundry account book, and other financial account books of Xavier University (Cincinnati, Ohio) from 1840 to 1864. Account books reflect double entry accounting practices, showing debits and credits. Researchers will find that the account books cover some expenses and credits for members of the Society of Jesus in addition to student accounts. For example, they show funds provided to individual Jesuits traveling to St. Louis, Missouri as well as donations the college made to Jesuit, Catholic missions and financial support it received from various entities. The account books document expenses relating to the college's construction and maintenance, meals and food, library purchases, laboratory supplies, and other supply purchases. They also document payment of tuition and board and student sundry accounts for items like clothing, healthcare, and additional lessons to the college as well as salaries and wages paid by the college. The account books record interactions with businesses, laborers, and suppliers, including women who provided labor for the college as washerwomen and seamstresses.


  • 1840-1864


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research use. Materials must be viewed by appointment in the Archives Research Room.

Conditions Governing Use

This collection is in the public domain. When using, please credit University Archives and Special Collections, Xavier University Library, Cincinnati, Ohio.

History of Xavier University (Cincinnati, Ohio)

Xavier University (Cincinnati, Ohio) was founded in 1831 by Bishop Edward Fenwick as the Athenaeum, a college dedicated to religion and the liberal arts. In 1840, the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) assumed responsibility of the Athenaeum at the request of Cincinnati Archbishop John Purcell. The Jesuits renamed the school St. Xavier College. John Anthony Elet, SJ, served as the first Jesuit president of the college. After renovations, the school opened on November 3, 1840. The state of Ohio granted a charter to the college for thirty years in 1842 and then the general assembly of the state of Ohio passed an Act of Incorporation for the college in 1869. The college operated a boarding school until 1854, when it was closed for financial reasons.

Originally located in downtown Cincinnati on Sycamore Street between 6th and 7th streets, the University purchased land in the Avondale/Norwood/Evanston area in 1911 and moved the University operations there in 1919. It reopened to boarders in 1924 with the construction of Elet Hall. On August 4, 1930, the college changed its name to Xavier University.


.61 Cubic Feet (2 boxes containing 4 ledgers)

Language of Materials



The records pertain to the finances of the University and consist of cash books, a student sundry account book, and other financial account books of Xavier University (Cincinnati, Ohio) from 1840 to 1864.


Records are arranged into one series. Account books are organized chronologically by year with subsequent organization by last name in some cases.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Found in University Archives holdings. No acquisition information exists. Materials likely acquired by Xavier University Library in the early to mid 20th century.

Related Materials

Related materials are located in the St. Xavier High School Archives: St. Xavier College Student Accounts Ledger, 1844; St. Xavier College Correspondence and Extracts of Letters, 1840-1847; and receipts and ephemera. Contact information for the St. Xavier High School Archives can be obtained through the Xavier University Archivist.

Processing Information

Materials were originally housed and organized in University Archives under the label "oversized acquisitions." Each ledger was assigned an individual identifier (B-1, B-2 etc.) and listed in an internal inventory. The ledgers were also associated with a record group organizational scheme that is no longer employed by UASC. The ledgers were identified as belonging to Group 00/C - Foundational Records in that scheme. That scheme was decommissioned from use in 2013. During re-processing in 2021, the ledgers were housed in archival boxes.
Guide to the Xavier University Account Books
UASC Staff
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the University Archives and Special Collections, Xavier University Library Repository

3800 Victory Parkway
Cincinnati Ohio 45207 US