Louisiana Archives and Manuscripts Association
Fall 1999


The LAMA annual meeting will take place at the Newcomb College Center for Research on Women at Tulane University on November 12, 1999. Several sessions are planned, including a presentation by David Combe, Tulane University Law Librarian and Professor of Law, who will speak on the John Minor Wisdom Papers. Clarence Hunter, Archivist of the Amistad Research Center, will present Missing Pieces of the Civil Rights Movement Records. In addition, the meeting will feature an open house and walking tour of various archives in the Tulane/Loyola area.

Go HERE to see photographs from the Annual Meeting.

Please send newsletter submissions to Pati Threatt at Hill Memorial Library, LSU, Baton Rouge, LA 70803 or pthreat@lsu.edu.



The Biennial Natchez History Conference will take place February 16-18, 2000. For more information please contact Mimi Miller at the Historic Natchez Foundation (P.O. Box 1761, Natchez, MS 39121, 601-442-2500).



Representatives from the four member organizations of SAC met Friday, August 6, in Memphis to begin planning for the SAC meeting in 2000. The meeting details have yet to be worked out (hotel, cost, etc.), but it will be held in Memphis, Thursday, April 13 through Saturday, April 15. If you have any program ideas for the SAC 2000 meeting, please contact Tara Zachary at 662-846- 4780 or tzachary@merlin.deltast.edu".

Zachary, vice-president and chairman of the education committee, surveyed the group for its interest in a pre-conference workshop. The over-whelming favorite was for issues dealing with privacy/confidentiality and access and copyright. As a result of these findings, the SAC 2000 meeting will also offer two workshops on these topics. Both a half-day workshop on privacy, confidentiality, and access and another half- day workshop on copyright will be held on April 13. Menzi Behrnd-Klodt, an archivist and attorney who has given numerous workshops and participated in conference sessions on these issues, will conduct these sessions.

More complete registration, program, and arrangements information will be in the mail after the first of the year, but set these dates aside now!



Kathie Bordelon currently serves as the Louisiana liaison for SSA's membership committee. LAMA members who are not members of SSA are encouraged to join. For more information consult SSA's homepage at lib04.lib.uh.edu/ssa/ssa.htm or contact Kathie at bordelon@mail.mcneese.edu or at the McNeese Archives, P.O. Box 91445, Lake Charles, LA 70609.



The Louisiana Historical Society held its second annual Creole Family Symposium on October 22-23, 1999 at Jones Hall, Tulane University. Each year the symposium examines the history of three creole families who originated in New Orleans in the 18th or early 19th centuries. Historians of the Olivier, Destrehan, and Decuir families discussed the reasons for the persistence of the families, their differing life styles, their education and occupation, where they have lived, and what they bring to the present. The Special Collections Division of Tulane University co-sponsored the symposium.



Joint Grant Project

The LSU Digital Library in collaboration with the Amistad Research Center recently received funding from The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to digitize rare documents and images related to the historic Amistad Incident case and the committee of defenders from which the American Missionary Association developed.

"The American Missionary Association and the Promise of a Multi-cultural America: 1839-1954" will allow researchers unprecedented access to historical records relating to the Amistad captives, their defenders, and the unique story of the AMA's subsequent work over the years to expand educational and economic opportunities for African Americans and others. Involved are significant archival collections held by the Amistad Research Center containing the organization records of the AMA, one of the nation's largest and most influential missionary movements of the 19th and 20th centuries.

The project proposes to digitize 5000 objects (mainly photographs) from the records of the AMA, incorporate them into an existing searchable database structure, create a customized Web interface to the collection, and link the images to existing online catalog records. In addition, the project will yield a CD-ROM for dissemination to schools, libraries, and AMA-related institutions across the country. The project will provide expanded educational opportunities through outreach interactions with colleges of education, history departments, and local school districts. Amistad envisions that this project will create a foundation to begin building a complete digital library on the history of the AMA.

Please visit the Amistad Research Center's webpage at www.tulane.edu /~amistad and the LSU Digital Library at http://diglib.lsu.edu/digitallibrary.

Hill Memorial Library

Elaine Smyth now serves as Curator of LSU Libraries' Special Collections. Smyth's duties encompass all of the Special Collections materials, including Rare Books, the McIlhenny Collection, and the manuscripts collections of the Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections. Contact Smyth at (225) 388-6547 or esmyth@lsu.edu

The Southwestern Archives and Manuscripts Collection (The University of Louisiana at Lafayette)

The University has started celebrating its Centennial year. The institutional archives have been heavily involved in providing photographs, artifacts, documents, etc. for various events and projects.

Dupre' Library is being renovated now. The old structure is being completely gutted which makes working conditions extremely difficult. Until the project is completed, the SAMC can provide at best only limited access to materials for patrons. The expected completion date is April, 2000.

McNeese State University

New acquisitions include the records of the Children of the American Revolution- Fort Atkinson Society, scrapbooks from 1955-1968; MSU Panhellenic Council records from 1951 to 1990; and the Inez Guidry Benevage collection of scrapbooks, photographs, and newspapers. Several of the scrapbooks contain complete newspaper coverage of trials involving labor violence in and around Lake Charles during the 1970's.

Hans Rasmussen, archives assistant, has left the department in order to pursue a library science degree at the University of Texas in Austin. The library was able to upgrade his paraprofessional position to that of Assistant Professor and Assistant Archivist. This new position has been offered to a candidate and we are awaiting board approval before an announcement is made.

An article written by Kathie Bordelon on the Calcasieu River Lighthouse is scheduled for publication in this fall's edition of the Gulf South Historical Review.

New Orleans Notarial Archives

The Notarial Archives participated in several outreach projects this year. The archives loaned an 1860 watercolor plan (by Eugene Surgi and Adrien Persac) of the Musson-Degas house to the Degas Exhibition at the New Orleans Museum of Art this summer. The drawing is now traveling with the rest of the exhibit to Copenhagen, where it will be shown at the museum Ordrupgaard for several months before returning home.

The archives also loaned a water color drawing of a corner store-house to the National Building Museum in Washington, DC, for an exhibition on the corner store that opened in September.

In November the Notarial Archives will lend a drawing of the architect T.K. Wharton's residence in New Orleans to the Historic New Orleans Collection for an exhibition accompanying THNOC's publication of the Wharton diary.

Sally Reeves' article entitled "Cruising Contractual Waters: Searching for Laffite in the Records of the New Orleans Notarial Archives" will appear in the next issue of the journal Provenance (Society Georgia Archivists), which will be distributed in December, 1999. Reeves will deliver a lecture on early 19th century navigational problems of keelboats and flatboats on the Mississippi, on the Delta Queen, in early November.

Assistant Archivist Buffie Hollis attended the SAA meeting in Pittsburgh.

Sally Reeves was recently elected to the board of the Society of Southwest Archivists.

Eleanor Burke, who received an MA from Columbia this year, has joined the staff as archival assistant.

New Orleans Public Library

The Louisiana Division has added two collections of photographs to NUTRIAS, the NOPL website: the Cornelius Durkee Collection (70 prints), all taken during Mardi Gras, 1901, and the Harry D. Johnson Collection (66 prints, ca. 1890-1935) including photographs of City Park and various New Orleans buildings and people. Also, in progress in NUTRIAS is an online inventory of the Louisiana Division's WPA Photograph Collection.

Also new in NUTRIAS is the Inventory of civil suits filed in the Orleans County Court, 1804-1807; the Index to the Roosevelt Review, the house organ of the Roosevelt Hotel, 1937-1968; and a finding aid for the New Orleans City Planning and Zoning Commission's Records relating to the creation of the 1929 Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance, 1910-1929 (bulk 1927-1929).

These additions can be found under either the "Archives and Special Collections > Photographs or > Archival Inventories" links or the "Main Library > Louisiana Division" link from the NUTRIAS homepage (www.gnofn.org/~nopl).

The City Archives received ca. 100 boxes of records from the Clerk of the New Orleans City Council. The records include the official proceedings of the Council, 1986- 1991, and related material.

On May 15, the Louisiana Division and the Genealogical Research Society of New Orleans hosted their annual Spring genealogy seminar at the Main Library, which, in keeping with the FrancoFete theme, focused on sources for researching French ancestry. Speakers included Wayne Everard, who presented "Wayne's Top Ten Neglected, Non-Traditional, Unexpected, or Unusual Sources for Information on Your French Ancestors in the City Archives and Louisiana Division of the New Orleans Public Library"; Jack Belsom, who discussed French records available at the Archives of the Archdiocese of New Orleans; and Sally Reeves, who described French records at the Notarial Archives.

Collin Hamer has been reappointed to the Louisiana Advisory Council for State Documents Depository Program for a term extending through June 2002.

University of New Orleans

Marie Windell presented a paper on Supreme Court cases, "Oral History Under Oath," at the annual meeting of the SSA in Austin in May, and an expanded paper on the "Full and free right to entertain any religious beliefs," for the ALA annual meeting in New Orleans in June. This paper explores the question, "Why was there less prejudice against Jews in New Orleans in the 19thcentury than elsewhere in the country?"

Newcomb Archives, Center for Research on Women

The dedication of the Doris Stern Despres Collection took place Friday, April 30th, 1999. The collection consists of books, periodicals, documents, and materials about women in art. The collection was established and endowed by Loraine Despres in memory of her mother, Doris Stern Despres Newcomb '33 (1912-1998). Doris Stern Despres was the first female editor of The Hullabaloo, an athlete, journalist, business woman, life master bridge player, and artist.

Newcomb Dean Valerie Greenberg, Center Director Beth Willinger, Assistant Visiting Professor of Women's Studies Susanne Dietzel, and Veronica Leandrez Newcomb '00 accepted the gift on behalf of the Nadine R. Vorhoff Library and Newcomb College Center for Research on Women.

On September 19th, Dr. Gillian Sutherland of the faculties of history of the University of Cambridge and Newnham College, Cambridge University (UK) delivered the 5th Annual Adele Ramos Salzer Lecture on Women and Higher Education, titled "From the Drawing Room to the Lecture Hall: Changing Models of Education for Women." Dr. Sutherland is a noted historian of education, and has published widely on the topic of the education of women. She organized the 1998 conference "'The Transformation of an Elite': Women and Higher Education since 1900" to mark the 50th anniversary of the admission of women to full membership of the University of Cambridge, and is currently at work on a double biography of Anne Jemima Clough (1820-192) and Blanche Athena Clough (1861-1960), the first and fourth Principals of Newnham College, Cambridge, and the aunt and niece, respectively, of the controversial poet Arthur Hugh Clough.

Latin American Library (Tulane University)

In the past few months The Latin American Library received and cataloged the following items:

The Robert E. Low Medical Mission Papers, the donation of an Alabama physician who participated in nine medical missions to the Guatemalan Highlands between 1990 and 1995. The collection includes Dr. Low's personal journals, 1500 photographs, and patient treatment records.

The Hector Alirio Interiano Ortiz Collection of Partido Guatemalteco del Trabajo Papers; this collection consists of a number of documents and periodicals issued by the Guatemalan Labor (Communist) Party between 1969 and 1987. The Latin American Library is currently presenting an exhibition of this collection through the end of October.

The Pal and Elizabeth Kelemen Collection: A group of over 3000 photographic prints and negatives showing colonial churches, public buildings, artwork, landscapes and scenes from daily life in Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and Central America.

The Mexican Glass Images Collection: A series of 155 glass lantern negatives from various places in Mexico which focus on the daily lives of the Mexican Working Class.

Amistad Research Center at Tulane University

Louisiana native Mora Beauchamp- Byrd has joined the staff as curator of Amistad's art collection. She is a graduate of Columbia University with an MA in Art History. She also worked as Director of Special Projects at the Caribbean Cultural Center in New York and served as curator, coordinator, and consultant for the Museum of the City of New York. She also served as guest curator for the Studio Museum in Harlem, the Bronx Museum of the Arts, and St. Lawrence University Art Gallery.

The Research Center recently acquired the Reverend Dr. Charles Shelby Rooks Papers (15 linear ft. manuscripts and 519 books). This donation documents the life and career of this United Church of Christ minister and former executive vice president of The United Church Board for Homeland Ministries. The papers include correspondence, sermons, writings, news articles, photographs, personal items, plaques, degrees, awards, periodicals, and books.

Elizabeth Catlett (addendum 1.4 linear ft) and her husband Francisco Mora (.4 linear ft.) have donated papers to the Center. The collections document the careers of these two celebrated artists. Ms. Catlett's papers contain information on her work as the leading African American sculptress and printmaker in this country and Mexico. Mr. Mora's papers document his career as a renowned Mexican painter and print maker.

Williams Research Center

The Williams Research Center is continuing its Third Saturday lecture series. This series introduces researchers to resources at the Williams Research Center. The September 18th lecture focused on the Photographic Collections and the October 16th talk focused on the Visual Arts. These lectures are from 9:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. and take place in the reading room of the Williams Research Center. Enrollment is limited; please call 504-598-7171 if you are interested in attending.

The Journal of Thomas K. Wharton. Books will be available at the Collection Shop or your local bookseller. A documentary film exploring the 1850's lifestyle and architecture portrayed in Wharton's Journal will air on November 14th on WYES (Channel 12).

On Sunday, December 5th an 1850's House Tour of Coliseum Square from the Journal of Architect T.K. Wharton will be given. Tours will depart at 11:00 a.m. through 3:30 p.m.

Diocese of Alexandria

The Archives Department from the Diocese of Alexandria is pleased to announce that its collections, housed at 4400 Coliseum Boulevard, were saved from the fire of November 30th, 1998 that destroyed most of the building. Full operation of the Archives will resume when it is moved to our new building. For information write to: Msgr. Joseph M. Susi, Chancellor/Archivist, PO Box 7417, Alexandria, LA 71306.

Archives of The Dominican Congregation of St. Mary

The archives had re-bound a scrapbook assembled by a Dominican sister from the 1890's. It is now in four volumes, and contains a wealth of interesting information in the style of scrapbooks of the period. Much of the material relates to the journal Salve Regina (1888-1900) edited by Sister M. Dominic O'Brien, it is a safe guess that it was done by her, but no proof exists. The scrapbook, the bound volumes of Salve Regina, and a collection of artifacts preserved from the history of the sisters from 1860 are in a small Heritage Room across from the archives. Leading up to the room is a Heritage Trail which documents the history of the nuns in photographs and mementos. Guests may visit by appointment.

The Salve Regina, which now is available complete in photocopy, microfilm, and bound original copies, contains interesting original information about New Orleans' Catholic Winter School, the Columbian Exposition of 1893, and many other topics. The monthly journal was circulated through Dominican connections in Australia, South Africa and Ireland, as well as the United States.

Lou Lavedan (lavedan@gs.verio.net) is writing a history of St. John the Baptist Church in Folsom, LA. The church originated in Chinchuba. He is so far unable to find the date when it was built for Chinchuba. He would appreciate any tips. (He is confined to St. Tammany Parish for research because of his wife's illness.)



New Orleans Public Library

The third edition of the Louisiana Division's genealogy guide, Genealogical Materials in the New Orleans Public Library's Louisiana Division and City Archives, by Collin Hamer, Wayne Everard, and Irene Wainwright, has been awarded the 1999 ALA/RUSA Gale Group Award for Excellence in Reference and Adult Library Services. The award carries with it a citation and a $1000 cash prize, which will be used for the purchase of genealogical materials and for preservation microfilming.

The guide is available for purchase from the Friends of New Orleans Public Library for $10.00 ($8.00 for Friends of NOPL members) plus $2.00 shipping and handling. Mail orders can be sent to Friends of New Orleans Public Library, 219 Loyola Ave., New Orleans, LA 70112. Orders using credit cards can be faxed to (504) 596-2609. The full text of the guide is also available in NUTRIAS at www.gnofn.org/~nopl/guides/genguide/ggcover.htm.

Hill Memorial Library

The LSU Libraries is pleased to announce the publication of "A Lifetime's Devotion:" Baton Rouge Through the Eyes of Photographer Andrew D. Lytle, 1857- 1917. This CD-ROM features a database of images by Baton Rouge photographer Andrew Lytle, selected from the Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections. These images capture the city during the Civil War and Reconstruction. In his introduction to the database, Charles East notes, "A. D. Lytle occupies a place in the history of American photography for his photographs taken in Baton Rouge during the Civil War years. Although Lytle's wartime images were taken at a distance from the eastern arena of the war where the major battles occurred, they are nevertheless important historical documents." The CD- ROM is available through the LSU Press: www.lsu.edu/guests/lsuprss.

This project was made possible by a grant from the Louisiana Education Quality Support Fund, administered by the LSU Board of Regents.



The Williams Research Center

The exhibition Queen of the South: New Orleans in the 1850's will showcase aspects of life and culture in New Orleans from a peak of economic success to the crash of the Civil War. The exhibition will be on view at the Historic New Orleans Collection from November 2, 1999 through April 8, 2000. In conjunction with this exhibition the Collection is proud to announce the publication of Queen of the South: New Orleans, 1853-1862.

Throughout the years, important donations to the Collection have resulted in a large holding of artworks in many genres covering more than 200 years of art in Louisiana. Paintings from the Monroe- Green Collection and the Laura Simon Nelson Collection are on permanent display at The Historic New Orleans Collection. The public is cordially invited to come to 533 Royal Street and see these fine examples of Louisiana art works.

McNeese State University

The Archives Department has put together an exhibit commemorating McNeese's 60th anniversary. Featured in the exhibit are photographs taken by students on campus during the first school year, 1939- 40, as well as excerpts from interviews conducted with some of the former students. The exhibit is one of many activities planned for the campus-wide celebration of the anniversary.

New Orleans Public Library

The Louisiana Division's current exhibit, mounted in honor of FrancoFete, is Que la Fete Commence!: The French Influence on the Good Life in New Orleans. The exhibit uses large-scale reproductions and original photographs, documents, and memorabilia to illustrate how French taste has left its mark on what we eat and drink, where we dine and drink, and how we entertain ourselves with music, theater, and even larger spectacles such as the Mardi Gras. The exhibit will remain on view on the third floor of the Main Library through the end of the 1999. An online version of the exhibit is available in NUTRIAS at www.gnofn.org/~nopl.

Louisiana State Museum

The Louisiana State Museum will host the Smithsonian's evocative, multimedia portrayal of Paris in the Jazz Age.

Jazz, born on the streets of New Orleans a century ago, influenced world culture in more than musical ways. By 1914 it had crossed the Atlantic to France, a haven for expatriate writers, painters, sculptors, photographers, musicians, composers, and other artists. The dynamic story of this transcontinental cultural exchange is recalled in The Jazz Age in Paris, 1914-1940, an exhibition organized and circulated by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES).

The Louisiana State Museum premiered the full-scale version of this nationally-touring exhibition at the Old U.S. Mint, 400 Esplanade Avenue. The Museum's world-renowned, permanent exhibit on jazz is also on view at the Mint.

Artifacts and works of art drawn from several American and European collections, along with audio and video components, come together in the exhibition to tell the story of pioneers responsible for the first art of the Modern period: revolutionary forms of expression that blended diverse cultural elements in an environment infused with the sound of jazz. Legends such as Josephine Baker, Man Ray, Cole Porter, Archibald Motley, Louisiana native Sidney Bechet and other sojourners are profiled through photographs, correspondence, memorabilia , writings, and representations of their homes and gathering places. Visitors will enter the exhibition through a replica of a boulevard in old Montmartre, a region of Paris where many African Americans lived, worked and frequented jazz clubs such as Le Grand Duc and Bricktop's.

The Jazz Age in Paris, 1914-1940, culminates with fifteen original posters by artists living in France during the era. Paul Colin, Miguel Covarrubias, Auguste Herbin, Charles Gesmar, and Leonetto Cappiello are among those represented. The exhibition will be augmented with a section on Sidney Bechet comprised of images and artifacts from the New Orleans Jazz Club Collections of the State Museum.

The Jazz Age in Paris, 1914-1940, has been made possible by the generous support of the Nissan North America. The exhibition is part of America's Jazz Heritage, a Partnership of the Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Fund and the Smithsonian Institution.

The Mint is open Tuesday through Sunday from 9 am - 5 pm. Admission is $5 for adults, $4 for senior citizens, students, and active military. Children 12 and under are admitted free. The museum is wheelchair accessible. Individuals with other special needs are asked to call in advance to make arrangements. More information may be obtained by calling the State Museum at 568-6968, or toll free, 800-568-6968.

Louisiana State University at Eunice

As a participant in the Francofete celebration, the LeDoux Library at Louisiana State University at Eunice has prepared an exhibit Evangeline: Our Regional Identity. Evangeline, the Acadian love figure in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's 1847 poem, was a mythical figure. Readers of the poem, however, have interpreted her story as a mix of truth and folklore. Longfellow himself never visited Nova Scotia or Louisiana.

Whatever the perceptions one might have, the legend of Evangeline has grown throughout the years and has become a part of our regional identity. The library's exhibit is made up of various publications of the poem, regional information, and Evangeline ephemera. The latter items are furnished by The Historic New Orleans Collection and include postcards, photoprints and corporate ephemera showing the use of Evangeline as a marketing tool.

The library shows a continual run of the 1929 film Evangeline directed by Edwin Carewe and starring Delores Del Rio who posed and paid for the Evangeline statue presently beside the St. Martin of Tours Catholic Church at St. Martinville, La.

The real treasures of the exhibit were found in the library's own collection. One book from which etchings were duplicated on sepia-toned paper and mounted for viewing is the 1879 copyrighted series entitled The Poetical Works of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow published by Houghton, Mifflin and company, Boston, MA. The work was issued in "Parts of large quarto form, each with thirty-two pages of text, combined with many illustrations...."

It was "sold exclusively by subscription and will be completed in Thirty Parts, at fifty cents each, payable on delivery." The set contains five hundred illustrations "drawn and engraved on wood in the highest style of art, all new and expressly prepared for this edition." Unfortunately the parts were all tightly bound in modern cloth binding that damaged the dry paper.

In addition to this set from which the illustrations for the exhibit were taken, the following are displayed: A 1907 3rd edition of John Frederic Herbin's The History of Grand Pre; the Home of Longfellow's Evangeline,and 1897 Standard Literature Series edition of Evangeline, A Tale of Acadie, an early (n.d.) edition with critical and explanatory notes and illustrations by John Gilbert and Frank Dicksee, an 1893 Maynard's English Classic Series edition "with biography of author, critical opinions, and explanatory notes. Also with appendix containing suggestions for study and exercises in composition, " a 1907 edition of Judge Felix Voorhies' Acadian Reminiscences, the True Story of Evangeline, and a small boxed Pocket Classic edition (n.d.) published by David McKay Company in "Artcraft" bindery and originally priced at seventy-five cents. These editions of Evangeline are from the library's own collection and are the treasures of the exhibit.

Hill Memorial Library

Lithographs by Charles Armand Dumaresq, from the Collection of Stephen Covert, November 1, 1999 - February 16, 2000.

Chess Sets from the Collection of Dr. David S. Miller, November 1, 1999 - February 16, 2000.

Amistad Research Center

On display in the mini-gallery until November 1st are the works of African American artist Malvin Gray Johnson: Symbolic Abstractionist (1896-1934). The exhibit contains paintings and drawings done by Johnson in his short career.


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