Thomas Stephens Konknni Kendr (TSKK) is a Konknni research, educational and cultural centre named after the sixteenth century English Jesuit, Fr Thomas Stephens (1549 - 1619), a renowned linguist and Marathi poet. He came to Goa on October 24, 1579. He learned Konknni and Marathi languages so well that he wrote in them.
He produced the Konknni grammar, which happens to be also the very first grammar of an Indian language to be printed in 1622. He worked in Goa for the people and their language till he died here in 1619. TSKK belongs to the Goa Province of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits).
The Xavier Centre of Historical Research [XCHR] was set up by the Jesuits of Goa in 1977. The XCHR was the brain child of Fr. Romuald D’Souza who on being appointed Provincial of Goa-Pune (1973-1979), felt that the Society should have some centre of Higher Learning or Research in Goa where we had earlier missed the opportunity of having a College of our own. He was particularly interested in an institute of historical research because of the huge number of documents available in Goa Archives taken from the Religious Orders, including the Society, at the time when these were expelled from Portugal and its colonies. They concerned not only the history of the Church in Goa but also the history of the missionary effort in the rest of India and beyond and they needed to be studied and interpreted correctly in their right context.
The activities of the Xavier Centre of Historical Research were inaugurated in 1979. Till 1983, the institution was provisionally situated at Miramar, Goa. Currently it is located at Bakibab Borkar Road, Alto Porvorim, Goa.
The XCHR research library has about 16000 books including a substantial collection of published and unpublished research material in English, Portuguese and other languages. Its library shelves houses books dealing with – The Church in Goa/India, Jesuits in Goa/India, Goan and Indo-Portuguese history, History of Indo-Portuguese Christian Art.
The XCHR has been organizing local and national history seminars since 1980 to facilitate an interchange among professional historians and students of history. The Centre builds "consciousness among the local talent" through lectures, seminars, publications, exhibitions and, of late, through an art museum and audio-visuals; by providing research facilities such as guidance, scholarships, books, documents and language tools; by preserving records and objects of interest related to local history and culture.
The international seminars organized by the Centre, the library and documentation centre, the research publications, contacts with other scholars and funding agencies put the Centre on the international map. In 1986, the Centre was given temporary recognition, made permanent in 1993, as Post-Graduate Institute for PhD of the Goa University.
The Xavier Centre of Historical Research has also built a small museum, which contains several representative items of Goan Christian art, but also rare collections of Goan numismatics. The goal of the museum is the appreciation, preservation, enhancement and dissemination of Goan heritage which has been harmonious and peaceful, through awareness and education.
The Centre organizes basic courses in Portuguese. These courses are of long and short duration. The courses aim to provide the required tool for those who have to do research in documentation in Portuguese language.
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