St.Joseph's College was established in 1844 by the Fathers of Society of Jesus (The Jesuits). It is one of the very oldest institute in the World. Among all St.Joseph's Colleges, it is 3rd oldest institute. It was affiliated to Madras University in 1869. The College celebrated its centenary in 1944, sesquicentenary in 1995 and acquired the Five Star status, awarded by National Assessment and Accreditation Council(NAAC) in 2000. It was recognised by UGC as a College with Potential for Excellence (CPE) in 2004 and was Accredited with A Grade [3rd Cycle] by NAAC in 2012. The College is owned by the Society of St.Joseph's, a body registered under Societies Regulation Act(1860), having its office at Tiruchirappalli. This Jesuit college trains young men and women of quality to be leaders in all walks of life so that they may serve the people of the nation in truth, justice and love.
“The college blazon is not the heirloom of an ancient and noble family handed down with pride of name and glorious memories of the past. It is only distinctive badge expressing its aim and ideal. It bears azure, with the Trichinipoly rock and the college church for distinctive features. The conspicuous palm tree in the middle is the emblem of the east. It bears in fesses a bow and above it, is the monogram of the Society of Jesus. Its crest is a royal crown and a Lilly issuant, both in the honour of the college patron, St. Joseph, the crown signify that he was of David’s royal blood and the lily to signify his spotless purity. Thus the whole in ordinary language would read: the college of St. Joseph is conducted by the Fathers of the Society of Jesus, at Trichinipoly in the east. The motto “PRO BONO ET VERO” (For the Good and the True) indicates the idea which the teachers and the taught should ever keep before their eyes as the goal of their efforts in the field of education namely moral and intellectual formation.
Rev.Fr. Castets S.J. in 1881 was its first curator; he collected extensive specimens, and sent some collections abroad. The names of Rev.Frs. Honore and Bertram are associated with the beginning of the museum. In fact collecting for the museum cost the latter an eye! Among the more active curators were Rev.Fr.L.V.Newton (1906-1913), C.Leigh (1913-1934), L.M.Balam(1937–65) and B.J.Coyle(1965-1971). What is astonishing is that none of these meticulous workers has left an account of the beginning and development of the museum, not even in the unusually comprehensive Centenary Volume.
The holdings are varied indeed; besides fauna (mammals, birds, snakes, fishes, lizards, chameleons, scorpions, spiders, butterflies, and moths) are very interesting antiques: two bricks from Babylon, 650 B.C.; a Roman lamp; stone arrow-heads 2000 years old; 2 pieces of wood from the London bridge burnt in 1230; an autograph letter of Queen Victoria and old weapons from world war I. These holdings deserve to be laid out in at least 10 times the present floor space for a meaningful and educative display according to current methods of museology.