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louisiana archives and manuscripts association

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Electronic Resources News

News from LAMA Institutions

1998 Fall Meeting Announcement


Louisiana State University

LSU Libraries' Special Collections is pleased to announce its first foray into the new frontier of the Encoded Archival Description (EAD) standard. As a first step in implementing EAD, LSU has mounted more than fifty tagged inventories on its Web site. So far, all of these documents include preliminary information such as biographical/historical notes, scope and content notes, collection summaries, and other information. The next step will be to attach fully-tagged container lists to each inventory. LSU's Special Collections inventories are available on their Web site, at www.lib.lsu.edu/special/findaid.

New Orleans Public Library

The following inventories and finding aids have been added to NUTRIAS at home.gnofn.org/~nopl/inv/invlist.htm:

  • Records of District C Councilman/Councilman-at-Large James E. Fitzmorris, 1954-1966
  • Records of Commissioner Thomas M. Brahney, 1946-1954
  • New Orleans Police Department. Rosters, ca. 1882-1946
  • Criminal Sheriff. Orleans Parish (La.). Penitentiary Record Book, 1896-1935
  • Chief Administrative Office. Correspondence/Subject Files, 1955-1971
  • Chief Administrative Office. Capital Projects Files, 1961-1980 (bulk 1970-1976)
  • Chief Administrative Office. Correspondence, 1990-1994
  • Council Research Office. Bed and Breakfast Records, 1990.

Also new in NUTRIAS' Archival Inventories is the Index to New Orleans Indentures, 1809-1843, compiled some years ago by Professor Paul Lachance of the University of Ottawa. The City Archives has long had a paper copy of this valuable source for accessing the apprenticeship agreements signed before the Mayor of New Orleans, but Professor Lachance's database and the detailed accompanying explanatory material is now available to a much wider audience via NUTRIAS.

An explanation of the history and organization of the Orleans Parish civil courts entitled "Digging Up Roots in the Mud Files: Sources for Family History Research in the Orleans Parish Civil Court Records"also has been added to NUTRIAS.

The Helen A. Mervis papers, 1953-1989 (bulk 1965-1978) have been added to the Louisiana Division's Manuscripts Collection. Mrs. Mervis was active in the civil rights movement in New Orleans in the 1960s and continued in the 1970s and 1980s to work toward better race relations on a local and national level. This small collection (5 cu. feet) documents her work with the National Urban League, the Southern Regional Council and, locally, with the Community Relations Council, a bi-racial, non-sectarian group formed in 1962 to promote harmony between the races. The finding aid is available in the Manuscripts section of NUTRIAS.

The finding aid for the Walter C. Carey papers, 1907-1979; bulk 1920-1963 (27 boxes and 13 oversize items) has also recently been added to the Manuscripts link in NUTRIAS. Although the Carey papers have been part of the collection for some time, the finding aid has only recently been reworked and computerized. Carey was an engineer with the New Orleans District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; the papers include correspondence, speeches, manuscripts of technical papers, maps, plans, charts, photographs, books, pamphlets, and journals relating to marine growth, flood control and other civil engineering topics and projects.

Young-Sanders Center for the Study of the War Between the States in Louisiana

TheYoung-Sanders Center is pleased to provide Web access to a new online resource, a database of Confederate soldiers buried in Louisiana and other states. This database will be provided through their Web site, www.youngsanders.org. Consisting of 10,300 names in over 1,500 cemeteries, the project will maintain a record of any Confederate veterans from any state that are buried in Louisiana, and identify as many Louisiana Confederate Veterans as possible that are buried in other states. We cannot hope to ever record all of the Confederate soldiers buried in Louisiana or Louisiana Confederate soldiers buried in other states, but as new information is recorded and filed, this database will be updated. It is available to all that wish to find ancestors or information regarding the resting places of these Confederate heroes.

The Center also recently received an award from the St. Mary Parish Tourist Commission, to prepare an interactive exhibit.



Dominican Sisters Congregation

The archives of the Dominican Sisters Congregation of St. Mary, founded in New Orleans from Cabra (Dublin), Ireland in 1860, has just doubled its size to expand into a space which is now being used as a Heritage Room. The Heritage Room is a tiny museum housing the artifacts accumulated over the past 138 years, including the newly encapsulated and bound volumes of the Salve Regina.

The Salve Regina was a monthly journal written and published 1888-1900 by students of St. Mary's Dominican Academy, New Orleans, and edited by Sister Mary Dominic O'Brien, who was also a frequent contributor of poetry and fiction, among other examples of her prolific pen. The journal is also available for research, in photocopy and microfilm.

The Dominican sisters' archives and Heritage Room may be visited by appointment with the archivist, Sister Dorothy Dawes, O.P. (dmdawes@accesscom.net or call 504-861-8155).

The Historic New Orleans Collection

The Historic New Orleans Collection recently acquired 30 William Aiken Walker paintings and sketches in the Monroe-Green Collection from the bequest of Malcolm W. Monroe. Walker was the son of a prominent cotton factor in Charleston, South Carolina. He was a congenial man, and frequently entertained friends with stories of his southern travels through North Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Texas, and Louisiana. Scholars believe he made at least one trip to Europe, where he became inspired by European artistic subjects and styles. In the 1880s and 1890s Walker frequently visited New Orleans, and became known for his depictions of field hands and dock workers. His recognition grew immeasurably after 1884, when Currier and Ives published four color lithographs of his southern scenes. While in New Orleans, Walker also painted two skillful portraits of his close friend and patron, Robert Stanley Green, and his wife. Walker dies in Charleston in 1821. Displayed through January 9, 1999 at the Williams Research Center are 20 of these portraits and still lifes that emphasize the breadth of Walker's work. The exhibition is free and open to the public Tuesday through Saturday, from 10:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. at 410 Chartres Street.

Another exhibit is also available at the facility at 533 Royal Street. Seen and Not Heard: Facets of Childhood in 19th Century New Orleans, from November 17 until April 1999. This exhibition provides a glimpse of 19th-century childhood in the Crescent City, through vintage photographs, drawings, prints, books, manuscripts and ephemera. It highlights five themes of childhood: infancy and care, education and religious training, recreation, social change, and mortality. Seen and Not Heard is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday, 10:00 a.m. until 4:45 p.m.

The following free lectures will be sponsored by THNOC:

  • October 29, 1998 (Thursday)
    "Among the Cybercajuns: Constructing Identity in the Virtual Diaspora," by Stephen Webre, Louisiana Tech University.
    7:00 p.m.
    Counting House, 529 Royal Street;

  • November 4, 1998 (Tuesday)
    "The Work of William Aiken Walker," by John Fowler, art historian. Introduction by Judith Bonner.
    7:00 p.m.
    Williams Research Center, 410 Chartres Street;

  • November 19, 1998 (Thursday)
    "Childhood in America: A 19th Century Perspective," by Ray Hiner, University of Kansas.
    7:00 p.m.
    Counting House, 529 Royal Street.

Louisiana State Museum

Madame John's Legacy, a rare example of Creole home design during the 1700's, will reopen to the public on November 20th. Named for a fictional character and inhabited by a succession of personalities that included a colonial matron, a governor's son, and the family of a pirate, the property is maintained by the Louisiana State Museum. It is located in New Orleans' French Quarter at 632 Dumaine Street. This landmark has been closed to the public for more than a decade, , and is special interest because it survived the great fire of 1794. Its three buildings, main house, kitchen and garconniere, are united around a courtyard.

When the property reopens November 14th, it will house two exhibitions. The first, Goin' Cross My Mind: Contemporary Self-Taught Artists of Louisiana, will occupy what were once living quarters, and includes more than seventy works from a collection donated by Dr. Kurt Gitter and Alice Rae Yelen. The second exhibition, History and Legends of a National Landmark, will reflect new research by museum staff, as well as the results of an archaeological excavation undertaken last year.

Other upcoming sponsored by the Louisiana State Museum include:

  • November 7, 1998
    "Music at the Mint: Thomas Big Hat' Fields"
    at the old U. S. Mint (400 Esplanade Avenue)
    2:00 p.m.

  • November 14, 1998
    "A Day of Louisiana Arts and Crafts"
    at the Presbytere on Jackson Square
    10 a.m.-3 p.m.

  • November 14, 1998
    at the old U. S. Mint
    11 a.m. - 4 p.m.

  • November 15, 1998
    "Family Ornament-Making Workshop"
    at the Presbytere
    2-4 p.m.
For more information about these and other activities, please call 1-800-568-6968 or 504-568-6968.

Louisiana State University

Current exhibitions in Hill Memorial Library include:

  • "Silence of the Soul": Paintings by Knute Heldner
    First Floor
    September 14 until January 15, 1999.

    Born in Vederslov, Sweden in 1875, Knute Heldner adopted Louisiana as his home in the 1920s. The seventeen paintings on display show the full range of his work, from the 1920s to a country scene painted in 1952, reputed to be the last painting done before his death at age 77. Portraits, landscapes, seascapes, and genre scenes are all represented. Three striking triptychs, created by Heldner as part of the Federal Art Project sponsored by the Works Progress Administration, depict scenes of Louisiana industries: cotton, sugar, and turpentine. The artist's wife, Collete Pope Heldner, who was herself an accomplished painter, appears in two works, and two self-portraits are included.

    Heldner first visited New Orleans in 1923. He found the art scene congenial, enjoying the excellent food and cheap rents, along with the stimulating company of artists and writers. New Orleans welcomed him as well. Red-haired and ebullient, he was an enthusiastic and articulate promoter of the arts, who belonged to many arts organizations and taught at the New Orleans Art School established by the Arts and Crafts Club there.

    The title for the exhibition Silence of the Soul comes from an essay written in 1939 by Heldner: "Few people realize that a picture, a work of art, is a soul's message to a soul; that the impressions a spectator receives from it is the real picture, and that visible forms and colors are the links between the artist and the outside world.... Art is the language of the silence of the soul."

  • Tradition and Experiment: Thirty-Six Years of the Janus Press Second Floor
    May 18 - September 12, 1998.

    When artist/printer Claire Van Vliet founded the Janus Press in 1955, she named it for the double-headed Roman god, who could look backward and forward simultaneously. Forty-three years and more than a hundred publications later, Janus remains an appropriate symbol of the press, reflecting the way Van Vliet balances traditional book arts with experimentation in book structures and techniques of illustration.

    The exhibition shows the full range of her work, including her handmade paperworks, engravings, lithographs, and collages, as well as traditional and experimental bindings and book structures.

McNeese State University

Current exhibits at McNeese State University include:

  • Dr. Michael E. DeBakey: Surgeon, Educator, and Medical Statesman
    To help celebrate Dr. DeBakey's 50 Years of Excellence at Baylor College of Medicine, Baylor's Office of Public Affairs created a traveling exhibit in his honor. McNeese State University is proud to be the exhibit's first stop on its national tour. The McNeese Archives contributed materials concerning DeBakey's early life in Lake Charles to the committee responsible for producing the exhibit.
    September 28 - October 16.

  • So What's With This Pirate Thing? The Modern Celebration of Piracy in Lake Charles
    There is no historical evidence that Jean Lafitte ever even visited Southwest Louisiana, but Lake Charles has still used pirate images for everything from businesses to Carnival krewes. This exhibit examines why the city has been so interested in the buccaneer theme and why we didn't start our fascination for it until after World War II. Through May 17, 1999.

  • A Brief History of Chennault Air Force Base, 1941-1963
    Built as part of the military buildup of the South during World War II, Chennault Air Force Base had tremendous effects on the life of Lake Charles. Created as part of the City of Lake Charles' Fourth of July celebration, this display uses photographs and base publications to document the field's history and explain the ways it has been so important to this area.

In other news, Kathie Bordelon conducted research on the Calcasieu River Lighthouse at the U.S. Coast Guard Historian's Office and at the National Archives. The information will be used to write a history of the lighthouse and to mount an exhibition.

The Archives Department has transcribed 15 hours of interviews with members of the Lebanese and Italian communities in Lake Charles and Sulphur for its Mediterranean Oral History Project. The tapes and transcripts have been processed into a document collection that includes photographs.

New Orleans Public Library

Wayne Everard has been asked to serve as a grant review panelist for the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The Louisiana Division's next exhibit, 219 Loyola: Building a Library for New Orleans, will be on view on the third floor of the Main Library through January 28, 1999. The exhibit uses photographs, documents, drawings, and other materials from the City Archives and other Louisiana Division collections to illustrate the construction of the Main Library building, which celebrates its 40th anniversary this December. An online version of the exhibit is available in NUTRIAS.

Wayne Everard and Irene Wainwright attended the annual Society of Southwest Archivists meeting in Lafayette on May 29 and 30; Wayne chaired a session titled "Exploring the Dream State: Research on Lesser-Known Ethnic Groups of Historic New Orleans."

New Orleans Notarial Archive

After forty years of being in the Civil District Court's Building in downtown New Orleans where the risk of loss from the "projected hurricane flood" contemplated by the US Army Corps of Engineers for New Orleans is absolute and the actual damage from pipe-related sewage floods is relative but regular, the Notarial Archives is moving all of its pre-20th century records to a third floor suite in a Poydras Street office building. They will have a well-designed space, air-conditioning that actually works, windows (with blinds), and a real kitchen sink with a real drain. The move includes all of the 19th century water color drawings in the Notarial collection for which the office is well known. The satellite location will be at Suite 360, 1340 Poydras Street, N.O., 70112. Staff moving with archivist Sally Reeves will be Dr. Raymond Nussbaum, Maureen Detweiler, Erin B. Heaton, and Adrien Zeno. Twentieth and twenty-first century records (about 30 million pages of notarial records) and the filing office will remain at the Civil Courts Building location.

Nicholls State University

Fall 1998 marks the 50th anniversary of Nicholls State University. Congressman W. T. "Billy" Tauzin, a Nicholls graduate, gave the keynote address at a recent ground breaking ceremony for a 50th anniversary monument being constructed to commemorate the occasion. The Archives has participated in the celebration by providing items for the many displays dedicated to the anniversary currently on view around the campus.

Carol Mathias, Head of Archives and Special Collections, chaired a session titled, "Creating an Ongoing Relationship: Archivists and Rare Book/Manuscript Dealers," at the recent annual meeting of the Society of American Archivists held in Orlando, Florida. Alfred Lemmon, Head of the Williams Research Center, Historic New Orleans Collections, was one of the presenters during the session. Mathias also represented Louisiana at the SAA Membership Committee Key Contact representatives breakfast meeting.

University of New Orleans

Professor Warren Billings, Research Professor of History, and Dr. Florence Jumonville, Head of UNO's Louisiana and Special Collections, recently were appointed to the Louisiana Historical Records Advisory Board by Governor Mike Foster.

Marie Windell passed the 1998 Academy of Certified Archivists examination, administered at Tulane University on September 2nd. Congratulations, Marie!

Young-Sanders Center for the Study of the War Between the States in Louisiana

The Young-Sanders Center will conduct a Red River Battlefield Tour October 31st-November 1st, 1998. This tour is being sponsored by the Young-Sanders Center and will be a two day event. The tour will begin in Franklin, Louisiana and will visit battlefields associated with both the 1863 Teche Campaign and the 1864 Red River Campaign. The tour will cover the battlefields of Nerson's Woods, Bayou Bourbeau, and Fort DeRussy on October 31st (Saturday). The tour will spend the night in Alexandria and will continue on November 1st (Sunday). The tour will visit Mansfield and Pleasant Hill on Sunday morning and return to Franklin after lunch. A lecture and reception will be held at the Forest Inn in Franklin on Friday, October 30 at the Forest Inn in Franklin. Please contact the Young-Sanders Center for more information (504-380-4650).

Recent acquisitions at the Young-Sanders Center include a Hotchkiss Shell donated by Joyce and Robert Cockerham; a 12-pound shell from the wreck of the USS Kinsman, donated by William Spedale; 5 reels of New Orleans Immigration Passenger Lists (1853 and 1903); and a donation of five books by Mrs. Lawrence Limpus.


November 13, 1998

This year's Fall meeting will be conducted in Baton Rouge's Louisiana Arts and Science Center, located at 100 South River Road, on the Mississippi River levee downtown.

The meeting program is listed below. Advance Registration for this event is $15.00, which will include an afternoon tour of the Old State Capitol. Registration on the day of the meeting will cost $18.00. Participants will be responsible for their own lunches, but local archivists will be available to escort you to one of several nearby, affordable locations for lunch. For an extra $5.00, participants may also take advantage of a group discount to tour the USS Kidd, a World War II destroyer permanently docked riverside, and tour the USS Kidd Museum.

This year's meeting will focus on electronic issues, including the new Encoded Archival Description (EAD) standard, using Web pages for institutional outreach, and a demonstration of a searchable image database produced by LSU Special Collections. All discussions will be tailored to a beginner-to-intermediate crowd, and audience participation is encouraged.


8:30-9:00 -- Registration
9:00- 9:30 -- Introduction to the EAD Standard
9:30-10:00 -- Refreshment Break / Demo of Image Database
10:00-10:45 -- Panel Discussion, "Should My Institution Implement EAD?"
10:45-11:15 -- Using Your Repository's Web Page As An Outreach Tool
11:15-11:30 -- Break
11:30-12:30 -- Business Meeting and Report from Institutions
12:30-2:00 -- Lunch
2:00-3:00 -- Tour of Old State Capitol Building
3:30-4:30 -- Tour of USS Kidd (optional, advance registration required)

To register for the annual meeting, complete the following form and mail it with a check to:

P.O. Box 51213
New Orleans, Louisiana 70151

LAMA Fall Meeting, 1998
Registration Form





I wish to attend the optional afternoon tour of the USS Kidd ____ YES ____ NO

(Please add an extra $5.00 to the $15.00 registration fee for this event)

Signature____________________________________________________ Date __________________

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iw 11/2/1998