Louisiana Archives and Manuscripts Association
Spring 2001


Annual Meeting

The LAMA annual meeting took place at Melrose Plantation on November 3, 2000. The sessions focused on the Cane River Creole community. Speakers were Janet Colson of the Louisiana Creole Heritage Foundation and Carla Cowles of the National Park Service, Cane River Creole National Historical Park. Fran Gale, Training Director with the National Center for Preservation, Technology and Training also gave a presentation at the meeting. Officers elected at the meeting were Jean Kiesel, vice-president/ president-elect; Collin Hamer, treasurer and Rebecca Hankins and Tara Zachary were elected to the board of directors. Pati Threatt presented information on LAMA becoming part of the Louisiana Library Association and a discussion of the issue was held. After a luncheon where members dined on Natchitoches meat pies, the meeting concluded with tours of Melrose Plantation and nearby Oakland Plantation.

LAMA Scholarship

The Louisiana Archives and Manuscripts Association will offer a $250 scholarship, designed to provide funding for continuing education. The recipient must be a member of LAMA. Preference will be given to candidates who have not previously received the award, and who have limited access to institutional funding for workshops, conferences and other archival educational programs. This award is intended to recognize commitment to the profession. The recipient will be expected to prepare an article for the LAMA Newsletter describing the workshop, seminar, conference, etc., attended with the scholarship funds.

To apply, send a letter describing the continuing education event you wish to attend, how it will enhance your work as an archivist, and why you need outside funding to: Jean S. Kiesel, LAMA Scholarship Committee Chair, Edith Garland Dupré Library, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, P. O. Box 40199, Lafayette, LA 70504.

Deadline for application is June 1, 2001.

LAMA Becoming a Section of Louisiana Library Association

The idea of LAMA becoming a section of the Louisiana Library Association, (LLA), was put to the membership at our annual meeting in November. An open discussion was held by those in attendance and a decision tabled until a later date following more research and contemplation. When LAMA's governing board met in January 2001 this proposal was reviewed. The governing board is not prepared to see LAMA lose its identity as an organization at this time. Joining LLA might exclude the lone arrangers within our state and those who do not work in a library. LAMA was originally founded as the Friends of the Archive and actively sought members to join as supporters of archives and not as individuals working in the profession. We could loose valuable members by turning the organization into a LLA section. According to the LLA manual, to form a section you must have at least 100 members. It is doubtful that LAMA could get the required 100 LLA members. LLA does allow for the formation of an interest group with only 12 members. Currently there is no archival section within LLA and the idea of forming an LLA interest group is of interest to the governing board. The governing board is interested in hearing from the membership on this issue.

New Secretary

Catherine Jannik resigned her position as secretary of LAMA in January, as she accepted a position with Auburn University in Alabama. Irene Wainwright of the City Archives, New Orleans Public Library was appointed by the board of directors to fulfill Jannik's term of office.

Newsletter Editor Needed

LAMA is looking for someone to become the Newsletter Editor. Patti Threatt resigned as newsletter editor in February. If you are interested in becoming the newsletter editor please contact a member of the LAMA board of directors.

Please send newsletter submissions to LAMA, P.O. Box 51213, New Orleans, LA 70151-1213.



Archivists to Focus on the Arts at Dartmouth, May 4-5

From sculpture to music, to painting and dance, the arts will be the focus of archivists from throughout the region as New England Archivists presents "Archives and/in the Arts," at its annual meeting May 4-5 at Dartmouth College.

The special theme of this meeting spotlights the interrelation and convergence of archives with the visual and performing arts. A total of 10 sessions will address a number of art and archives-related topics and shows the many ways in which the two fields are interrelated. This meeting will be of interest not only to archivists, but also to museum professionals, working artists, arts organization managers, and curators.

NEA's executive board meets Friday, May 4, with presentations scheduled for Saturday, May 5. After registration at 8:30 a.m., sessions follow at 9:30 on "Documenting Communities: French-Canadians in New England," and "Animation," addressing the issues surrounding saving and preserving animated images. at 9:30 a.m. NEA's business meeting takes place from 10:30 a.m. to 11 a.m., followed by sessions on "Cooperative Projects: Museum Archives," a discussion of a shared archives facility "The Use of Performing Arts Archives by Contemporary Artists," and "Fine Art and Performance School Archives," addressing archives at three area art schools.

Following lunch, concurrent sessions continue with presentations on "Non-Traditional Uses of Archives," showing how artistic works can be produced as the result of archival research "Collaboration," a discussion on how institutions can work together on projects and "Television News film and Videotape Collections," featuring issues in administering video image collections.

The fourth and final group of concurrent sessions spotlights "Archives in Art," a study of the role documents play in portraits and genre paintings and "The Archives of a Performing Arts Institution," chronicling the operations of Carnegie Hall's archives. A reception will follow the meeting.

NEA is a regional organization of people who care for historical records. It provides ways for volunteer and professional archivists to network with one another and offers educational opportunities. The organization is committed to archival awareness among users, educators, and the general public. NEA works with those in related professions, such as records managers in corporate or medical archives, and audiovisual librarians to encourage the sharing of information and resources. For more information about NEA or about archives, see the organization's web site at www.lib.umb.edu/newengarch/ or contact Daniel McCormack at (617) 325-3949 or danielm@ocln.org.



SAC 2002?

The presidents of the state organizations that make up the Southern Archives Conference (Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee) have been in contact with one another concerning the 2002 meeting. As the Society of American Archivist is meeting in Birmingham, Alabama in 2002 there has been talk among the member states of replacing the formal SAC meeting with a breakfast or mixer at the SAA meeting or postponing SAC until 2003. These ideas are being taken into consideration because of the limited funds people have for travel within a year.

A Possible Southern Regional Organization Expansion

Dennis Taylor, President of the South Carolina Archival Association, is hoping to bring stronger unity to archival organizations in the South (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee). The Southern Archives Conference is being considered as a starting point for a southern regional organization. The expansion of SAC to include Florida, Georgia, and North and South Carolina is being considered by the presidents of the state organizations within SAC. Mr. Taylor is planning a meeting of all the southern state organization presidents at this year's Society of American Archivists meeting.



The annual meeting of the Society of Southwest Archivists is being held Thursday May 24- Saturday, May 26 at the Radisson Plaza Hotel in Fort Worth, Texas. The theme for this year's meeting is "Winds of Change." Two pre-conference workshops, "Arrangement and Description of Archival Records" and "What Do We Do Now? Disaster Recovery" are being offered. For registration information, contact SSA local arrangements C/O Special Collections, University of Texas at Arlington Libraries, P.O. Box 19497, Arlington, Texas 76019-0497.



The board has met three times since Florent Hardy, Jr., was appointed state archivists and coordinator of the Louisiana Historical Records Advisory Board. The most recent meeting was held on February 22, 2001. Virginia R. Smith, Coordinator, User Services State Library of Louisiana is the current Deputy Coordinator of the board and members include David R. Cargill, Director, Center for Instructional Technology & Distance Learning, Louisiana Tech University; Glenn Conrad, Director, Center for Louisiana Studies University of Louisiana at Lafayette; Wayne Everard, City Archives, New Orleans Public Library; Dr. Mildred Gallot; Suzanne Hughes, Director David R. Poynter Legislative Research Library; Dr. Samuel C. Hyde, Jr., Director, Center for Regional Studies, Southeastern Louisiana University; Dr. Edward R. Jackson, Chancellor, Southern University; Charles Jagneaux, Clerk of Court, St. Landry Parish; Dr. Florence M. Jumonville, Louisiana and Special Collections Earl K. Long Library, University of New Orleans, Dr. Alfred E. Lemmon, Director of the Williams Research Center, The Historic New Orleans Collection; Lee Miller, Director of Manuscripts, Special Collections, Tulane University; Emma Bradford Perry, Dean of Libraries, Southern University; V. Faye Phillips, Assistant Dean for Special Collections, Louisiana State University; Dr. Bruce Turner, Director, Archives and Special Collections, University of Louisiana at Lafayette; Mary Linn Wernet, Archivist, Cammie G. Henry Research Center, Watson Memorial Library, Northwestern State University.



The staff of State Archives has been busy during the last few months. In addition to the on-going care taking activity focusing on ensuring the collection, preservation, displaying and making available records essential to the reconstruction of Louisiana's colorful history and heritage, State Archives staff have been quite productive in successfully completing a variety of projects. The following are summaries of selected activities of the State Archives.

State Archives has recently reinforced the mandates of Revised Statute 44, which requires that all state agencies and their subdivisions establish and maintain active records management programs. Upon a State Archives staff recommendation, Secretary McKeithen prepared correspondence in June 2000, which served as both notification and reminder of these responsibilities. Response and results have been impressive.

Grant applications for financial assistance were made to the National Historical Publications and Records Commission in Washington for indexing the John B. Gasquet Collection donated by the family of one of Louisiana's prominent photojournalists, a Planning Grant/Disaster Plan to provide guidelines to archives museums in the proper conservation and preservation of historical documents statewide, and financial assistance for the more efficient access and administration of Louisiana's vital records.

An archival writer, which will enable the conversion of data/information stored on computer disc to microfilm, the standard for archival record storage has been acquired. A shredder was acquired to allow staff to remove non-archival quality documents from the stacks.

Secretary McKeithen has initiated the "For the Sake of History" campaign, which encourages the citizens of Louisiana to become more aware of items of potential historical and archival value.

Support correspondence has ranged from the Canary Islands Project Grant Application to the Foundation for a Cultural Louisiana.

Plans are presently being developed to work cooperatively with the America 2000 Technology Innovation Challenge Grant with staff from Concordia, Tensas and Franklin Parishes. Education videos will be developed to introduce the resources available at State Archives to viewers in that area of the State.

State Archivist, Florent Hardy, Jr., PhD made a response to the Deduct Box article concerning Gwendolyn Midlo Hall's research on her project Afro-Louisiana History and Genealogy, 1699-1860, and her concern for the preservation of colonial records throughout Louisiana.

An information flyer has been published to summarize the resources available at the state archives. These informational flyers are made available to visitors and have been translated into French and Spanish to accommodate these speaking populations. Correspondence to university history department heads offering services, information, and tours of the state archives to their faculty and students in order to foster the importance of historical preservation has also been made.

Exhibits are popular at the state archives and they have ranged from High School Art Classes to the Louisiana Women of Distinction exhibit to the Holidays in Many Places exhibit that illustrated holidays as observed by many cultures.

Media coverage of the activities of State Archives has focused on interesting historical events as the Bonnie and Clyde anniversary, Louisiana Women of Distinction exhibit, and the National Archives sponsored project Our Mothers Before Us; Women and Democracy.

Cooperative efforts and information loans are a primary role of the State Archives in educating the public concerning Louisiana's interesting history. Cooperative agreements have been made with agencies throughout Louisiana including such agencies as the Louisiana State Exhibit Museum in Shreveport, the Old State Capitol, the Old Governor's Mansion, and the Louisiana Jazz and Heritage Foundation in New Orleans.

Archives staff members have made presentations to various groups as the Pointe Coupee Rotary Club and Le Comité des Archives de la Louisiane.

Tours of the archives building have been made to various groups from the staff of Louisiana Capitol Credit Union to faculty, staff and students of the Louisiana Technical College System. Visitors to State Archives are numerous and from varied backgrounds. Groups ranging from elementary school students to the Louisiana Watercolor Society have been welcomed to the Archives.

State Archives Research Library Statistics

Last 6 Months, Year 2000 Year 2000
Researchers 2,272 4.035
Written Research Requests Processed 398 720
Telephone Requests Answered 3,288 6,750
Vital Records
Written Requests Processed 3,586 7,407
Phone Requests Received 1,189 2,385
Research Requests Processed 3,150 6,383
Certificates Indexed on Computer 65,511 115,662



The Historic New Orleans Collection

The Collection has acquired the Fred W. Todd Tennessee Williams Collection, approximately 66 linear feet consisting of correspondence, books, manuscripts, typescripts, playbills, and memorabilia from theatrical and film productions of Williams's works.

The Gaiennie Family Papers, 1828-1975, approximately 205 items that include news clippings, pamphlets, scrapbook fragments, financial records, legal documents, deeds of emancipation, letters, religious ephemera, genealogy charts and records.

The Baylies Family Papers, 1838-1893, includes a notebook kept by Nicholas Baylies while he served as Land Commissioner for the state of Louisiana, which contains information on the history of land tenure in Louisiana as well as a speech on temperance, and essays on economics and histories of presidents.

The Southwestern Archives and Manuscripts Collections

Council on the Development of French in Louisiana, Records, 1970s-1990s. 35 scrapbooks, microfiche. The collection contains scrapbooks of clippings and photographs documenting the activities of CODOFIL from its establishment in the 1970s. The early records of the organization are on over 300 microfiche.

Friends and Family of the Mentally Ill, Lafayette Chapter Records, 1970s-1990s. c. 15 ft. Records, photographs, scrapbooks, etc. reflecting the activities of this organization.

Abrom Kaplan Papers, 1890s-1940s. 7 ft. Kaplan was a major force in the development of the rice industry in southwest Louisiana. He established irrigation canals, developed land, founded rice mills, started banks, and even helped found towns. The collection contains journals, diaries, daybooks, etc.

Marie J. Mamalakis Papers, 1942-2000 c. 15 ft. Mamalakis was a graduate of Southwestern Louisiana Institute who then served on the faculty as librarian and then director of public relations from 1940 until the 1980s. She was also a newspaper editor and a prolific author of special feature articles on local history. The collection includes copies of these articles and working files of her research on local history. It also includes files on her civic work such as the Zoning Commission, The Cajun Dome Commission, etc.

John Edward Stephan Photograph Collection, 1948-1990s. 47 ft. Stephan was a local commercial photographer active from 1948 until he retired in the 1990s. This collection is especially strong in documenting Mardi Gras activities in Lafayette and the Louisiana Gulf Coast Oil and Gas Exposition Show. Stephan also took many photographs for the University, especially athletics. There are also many aerial shots of the Lafayette vicinity during this time period.

Bernice Webb Papers, 1950s-1990s c. 20 ft. Webb was a long-time member of the English Department. The collection contains material on her publications that include non-fiction works and poetry.

Louisiana State Archives

Acts of Donation have been received from Wan Ding, noted Chinese landscape artist; former Senator Russell B. Long's personal, fourteen-volume speech collection; and Saint John the Baptist Parish records dating back to 1753.



Hill Memorial Library

"75 Years Under Oaks and Arches"
Curated by Mary Hebert Price and Angie Pitts.
On display through May 19, 2001.

In the late 1910s, officials at Louisiana State University realized that the school had outgrown its physical plant, which was located in downtown Baton Rouge, and began looking for a site to build a new campus. In 1918, LSU President Thomas Boyd found a good site-Gartness Plantation, located just south of Baton Rouge. The property was purchased later that year.

In 1921, the university hired seventy-two year old Theodore Link of St. Louis, Missouri, to design a plan for the campus, as well as individual buildings. Link gave the campus its Italian Renaissance character, with red pantile roofs and covered walkways, and honeyed-colored stucco.

On 30 April 1926, Louisiana State University celebrated the opening of its new campus with great fanfare. Much has changed in the 75 years since that day. The physical plant has grown from a core group of approximately a dozen buildings to more than 250 buildings grouped on the 650-acre plateau that makes up the main area of the campus. In 1926, approximately 1, 500 students were enrolled in LSU. Today nearly 30,000 attend the university. The school has gone from being a small state school to ranking in the top category of the Carnegie Foundation's classification system. This exhibit celebrates these monumental changes and traces the history of LSU's "new campus."

The Historic New Orleans Collection

A visit to the exhibit in the main gallery of The Historic New Orleans Collection, 533 Royal Street, from April 24 through December 29, 2001 will provide gardeners and garden enthusiasts with a special opportunity to learn about New Orleans gardens. Curated by local landscape architect, historian, and writer Lake Douglas, the exhibition In Search of Yesterday's Gardens: Landscapes of 19th-Century New Orleans is the first in-depth examination of the heritage of its domestic gardens and public spaces.

Like the city's cuisine and music, the gardens of New Orleans are a reflection of the area's distinctive past. This rich garden heritage has been formed by multiple influences that represent the cultures and traditions of all who lived in the area from early colonial times to the present day. In the exhibition, In Search of Yesterday's Gardens, period maps, books, paintings, commercial records, garden plans, and objects bring to life what 19th-century gardens looked like, where they were located, what they contained, and how they were used. Though the exhibition focuses on the 19th century, aspects of gardening practice from the 18th and 20th centuries will be covered as well. Accompanying the exhibit is a video and a brochure that highlights garden-related lectures, tours, and events at venues throughout the community.

In Search of Yesterday's Gardens: Landscapes of 19th-Century New Orleans is free and open to the public Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 AM until 4:30 PM at The Historic New Orleans Collection, 533 Royal Street. For more information on the exhibition and on special programming, call 504-523-4662.

Louisiana State Archives

"American-Italians of Louisiana" is on exhibit at the state archives through August 2001. "Oak Trees, Cajuns and Blue Dogs: The Art of George Rodrigue" will be on display April, June and July 2001.

U.S. Civil War Center "Beyond Face Value: Depictions of Slavery in Confederate Currency," an original virtual exhibit, is now available through the Web site of the United States Civil War Center at LSU www.cwc.lsu.edu.

Featuring more than 100 digital images of historical currency, Beyond Face Value includes original narratives and analyses of the relationship between art and politics in the Civil War era. "Currency vignettes present a unique window into politics, economics and technology of the era," said Leah Wood Jewett, director of the center and project director of the virtual exhibit.

"Placing this exhibit online provides access to these unique, fragile documents, while eliminating the need for environmental controls and special security measures," she said.

Contributing scholars include Jules d'Hemecourt, LSU School of Mass Communication; John Coski, Museum of the Confederacy; Harold Holzer, Metropolitan Museum of Art; and Henry McCarl, University of Alabama School of Business. Vic Erwin, online producer of Law Enforcement OnLine, designed the Web site; Sylvia Frank, acquisitions editor at LSU Press, served as exhibit editor.

Digital images of the collection, scanned to meet archival standards, will be placed in the Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections of the LSU Libraries Special Collections in Hill Memorial Library for patrons' use. For more information, contact Mark Martin, assistant curator of image resources, at 225/388-6544.

The exhibit was made possible through a grant from the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The mission of the United States Civil War Center is to promote the study of the American Civil War from the perspectives of all professions, occupations, and academic disciplines. The center is a department of the LSU Libraries Special Collections Division. Major projects include the Michael Lehman Williamson Collection of Civil War Books for Young People, Civil War Book Review magazine, the Michael Shaara Award for Civil War Fiction, and the Peter Seaborg Award for Civil War Nonfiction.



Amistad Research Center

The Visual Arts Department received a NEA Heritage & Preservation grant for its "Selections from the Aaron Douglas Collection at The Amistad Research Center" exhibit. The show will be on view from December 15 to May 2001. The grant allowed the Center to restore seven works by such renowned artists such as Henry Ossawa Tanner, Claude Clark, Malvin Gray Johnson, Albert Alexander Smith, Ellis Wilson and Hale Woodruff. Also on display are the sculptures and artwork of the following artists: Elizabeth Catlett, William Artis, Richmond Barthe, Aaron Douglas, and others.

McNeese State University

McNeese is seeking a Full-time Assistant Archivist. Duties include assisting in the processing of archival collections, creating exhibits, providing reference service, and maintaining historical files. MLS/MLIS from an ALA-accredited institution required. Archival course work and/or training preferred. Salary $23,500 + benefits. Position available June 1, 2001. Applications accepted until position filled. Send letter of application with resume and names of 3 references to: Kathie Bordelon, Chair of Search Committee, McNeese State University, P.O. Box 91445, Lake Charles, LA 70609. McNeese is an EEO/AA/ADA institution. Minorities are encouraged to apply. For ADA assistance call 337-475-5428. Under Louisiana law, all materials are public record.

Special Collections, University of New Orleans

At the 44th annual (national) Missouri Valley History Conference in Omaha in March, Marie Windell presented a paper on 19th century conflicting land claims in Louisiana, based on landmark case files in the Supreme Court of Louisiana Collection in the UNO Library. The commentator inquired, "When can we all come to New Orleans to do some research in this magnificent legal history collection?" Researchers have been using this collection for over fifteen years.

The Historic New Orleans Collection

A lecture on the development of the parks, squares, and other open spaces of New Orleans will be given by Lake Douglas on Thursday, May 10 at 6:00 PM at 533 Royal Street. WYES-TV 12 will air a documentary film on the vanished gardens of the colonial and antebellum periods on Sunday May 6 at 7:00 PM.

Touro Infirmary Archives

Touro Infirmary Archives is assembling materials for the celebration of the 150th birthday of the hospital in 2002.

Catherine Kahn will speak at the Tulane Educational Conference on "Paul Tulane, Judah Touro and John McDonogh: Bachelors, Recluses, Misers and Philanthropists" with Irwin Lachoff of Xavier University.

Kahn will also comment on "Other Voices: The Jewish Community in New Orleans," presented by Irwin Lachoff and Dr. Scott M. Langston at the Louisiana Historical Society.

University of Louisiana at Lafayette

The construction/renovation project at the Edith Garland Dupré Library, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, is finally over! [It lasted so long the name of the university changed while it was being done.] The celebration marking the end of the project was in October 2000 - eighteen months after the initial expected completion date had passed.

The Special Collections Department went through some very trying times during the project. However, those are just distant memories now that computers have been connected to the internet, telephone lines have been installed, and patrons are allowed - yea encouraged - to ascend to the third floor.

The Jefferson Caffery Reading Room provides reference services for each part of the Special Collections Department: the Louisiana Room, the Southwestern Archives and Manuscripts Collections, and the Rare Book Collection. This is an attractive room with plenty of patron workspace, exhibit cases, microform readers, a regional newspaper browsing area, a public access computer, and a photocopy machine. The Louisiana printed genealogy and law collections are now readily accessible which facilitates patron browsing.

The closed stack spaces for the Department have been expanded. There is adequate growth space for many years for the Louisiana Room and the Rare Book Collection. Stack space for the Southwestern Archives and Manuscripts Collection is tighter, but we hope to install mobile shelving, which will insure adequate growth space there. The new HVAC system has led to lower humidity levels although it still needs some refinement before optimum temperature and humidity control has been achieved. The Special Collections staff is eager to show off our new facilities - so y'all come visit.



LAMA member Morris Raphael's latest work is Ti-Nute, The Angel of Devil's Pond, a children's book that also has appeal for adults. It is a folk tale about a nutria, Ti-Nute, who lives at Devil's Pond in New Iberia's City Park. Raphael is the author and publisher of 12 books, including "The Weeks Hall Tapes," "The Battle in the Bayou Country" and "A Gunboat Named Diana." A resident of New Iberia, Raphael is a retired project engineer and former city editor of the Franklin Banner Tribune, he presently writes a Sunday column for the Daily Iberian.



The Newsletter is a benefit of membership.

If you have not yet mailed in your 2001 dues, LINK HERE for a printable membership form. Return the form with a check or money order payable to LAMA. This will ensure you delivery of our Fall Newsletter.



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iw 4/7/2001