Louisiana Postcard Collection, New Orleans Public Library
Message From the
Brady M. Banta
LSU Medical School, Shreveport
I am pleased to report that LAMA is healthy. Due to the success of the last annual meeting, the treasury is stable. However, we need those of you that have not paid your 1997 dues to do so. Your cooperation will enable LAMA to complete and print an updated Louisiana Archives Directory in time for the 1998 Society of Southwest Archivists meeting in Lafayette.
Bruce Turner and Kathie Bordelon have dedicated considerable time and effort to the directory project. If you have not completed and returned their survey, please do so as soon as possible.
In accordance with the by-laws changes approved last year, LAMA is now dedicating five dollars from each individual membership to a scholarship fund. At its February 1997 meeting, the board of directors decided to allow at least five hundred dollars to accumulate in this fund before soliciting scholarship applications. With luck, this should occur next year.
While LAMA is doing well, it saddens me to announce that I must step down as president. I have accepted the position as Archivist and Special Collections Librarian at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro, Arkansas. According to the by-laws, upon the president's removal from the state, the vice-president succeeds to the presidency. Therefore, in early June Rob Sherer will become your president.
LAMA membership has been a wonderful experience for me. It has provided opportunities to learn and serve that would not otherwise have been available to me. The professional contacts and friendships that I have cultivated through LAMA have greatly enhanced my professional development. I hope some day to thank each of you personally, but I would be remiss if I did not use this opportunity to express my gratitude to Bob Martin, Carol Mathias, Faye Phillips, and Marie Windell.
My best to all of you. I'll always look forward to seeing my LAMA colleagues and friends at professional meetings in the future.
Back to the top
The LAMA Board of Directors met on March 7, 1997 at the State Archives in Baton Rouge. At the meeting, the Board discussed on-going LAMA projects and began preliminary planning for the LAMA Annual Meeting this Fall.
Membership Chair Jo Jackson reported that as of March 7, the paid LAMA membership stood at 68. Letters are being drafted to members who have not yet paid their 1997 dues.
The LAMA Scholarship Fund currently stands at $275.00. No scholarships will be awarded until the fund increases to $500.00, at which time a Scholarship Committee will be appointed to consider applicants and distribute the scholarship(s). The Board discussed additional methods of building the fund, including a raffle at SAA meetings, solicitation of donations, and increasing LAMA Fall meeting registration fees or including a provision in the registration fee requesting a donation to the fund.
Bruce Turner and Kathie Bordelon have begun word-processing the more than 200 entries which will comprise LAMA's Directory of archival and manuscripts repositories in Louisiana. The Board discussed various methods of funding and distributing this publication.
LAMA members continue to make progress toward a possible survey of Works Progress Administration records in Louisiana. Mary Linn Wernet (who proposed the survey last year), Glenn McMullen and Marie Windell will present a session in May at the Society of Southwest Archivists annual meeting in Galveston similar to the session presented at the 1996 LAMA Fall meeting describing WPA holdings at various state repositories. At LAMA's Fall 1997 meeting, they hope to present a proposal for continuing and developing the project.
Last year, Robert Sherer suggested that LAMA attempt to develop a brochure alerting owners of historic property in the state of the need to preserve the records of such property. At the March Board meeting, Linda Schneider reported that SAA and NHPRC brochures designed to guide and advise donors can be obtained for modest fees and can be used for the purpose Rob proposed.
Louisiana, and LAMA, will host the annual meeting of the Society of Southwest Archivists at the Hilton Hotel in Lafayette in the last weekend in May, 1998. Host Committee chair Bruce Turner will seek volunteers from among the LAMA membership to staff the registration desk. Further details will be forthcoming at LAMA's Fall meeting.
The Board also discussed the location and program for the LAMA annual meeting this Fall. Plans are incomplete as yet.
Back to the top
The Amistad Research Center has acquired the papers of Dr. Jacob H. Carruthers, Professor at the Center for Inner City Studies of Northeastern Illinois University and Director of the Kemetic Institute in Chicago. Dr. Carruthers is Past President of the Association for the Study of Classical African Civilizations and a founder of the Kemetic Institute, a research organization; he has devoted himself to studying ancient African and Western philosophy, theology, and morality. His papers are the third collection acquired in Amistad's Afrocentric Archives.
Amistad has also received the papers of Charles E. Donegan, civil rights attorney, legal educator, and social activist. Amistad has added 8 cubic feet to the Molefi K. Asante Collection, reflecting the work of the leading proponent of the Afrocentric paradigm. Additions have been received to the Black Data Processing Associates collection (2 folders; publications, reports, and a CD-ROM based tutorial promoting an internet student contest); to the Juanita C. Carman collection (1 item, the final issue of "Super Seniors: African Americans 100 Years and Plus," chronicling the lives of famous and ordinary African Americans); to the Lloyd Davis collection (1 item, a large framed photograph of President George Bush signing the Martin Luther King Holiday into law); and to the Hale Woodruff collection (1 folder, consisting of photocopies of correspondence between Woodruff and Tougaloo College concerning the presentation of his artwork to Tougaloo's Art Department).
Also new at Amistad is the Black Patriots Foundation collection, documenting an organization that promotes black contributions to the Revolutionary War. In addition, Amistad has accessioned the Dr. James Conyers Collection (4 cu. feet), donated by this prominent sociologist and professor at Indiana State University.
The Historic New Orleans Collection has recently acquired three important collections dealing with the performing arts in New Orleans. The Royes Fernandez Papers, 1946-1980 (Accession No. 96-92-L), 16 linear feet, documents the career of Fernandez, a native of New Orleans who achieved world-wide recognition as a leading male dancer and teacher. The Mrs. E.B. "Nella" Ludwig Papers, 1935-1992 (Accession No. 97-4-L), 56 linear feet, documents the activities of a leading cultural figure in New Orleans. Mrs. Ludwig, through the auspices of the New Orleans Opera Guild, presented internationally acclaimed artists in the Crescent City. The Dr. Karl J.B. Aarndt Collection of Deutsche Gesselschaft and J. Hanno Deiler Papers, 1852-1919 (Accession No. 97-5-L), 3 linear feet, contain significant information on the 1897 Schubert Festival in New Orleans and the Quartet Club, in addition to documentation on the German community in New Orleans.
The Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections, Hill Memorial Library, Louisiana State University, has recently acquired a group of letters of the John Hampden Randolph family of Nottoway Plantation; a small collection of antebellum business papers of the New York shipping firm Abraham Bell and Company, documenting New Orleans business interests; Civil War letters of Francis S. Skillin, a cook in the 15th Maine stationed in Louisiana; Civil War letters of John Merritt, a Union soldier with the 11th and 114th New York regiments, also stationed in Louisiana; and a World War II stenographic notebook of Leonard H. Gayle, an LSU alumnus who was a scribe in General McArthur's headquarters at the end of the war, and who took down the instructions for the Japanese army to surrender. LLMVC has also received additions to the papers of author and editor Charles East and to the papers of historian and educator Dr. William Arcenaux.
The Noel Memorial Library, Archives and Special Collections, LSU, Shreveport, has added several collections of interest: WPA Records, Louisiana Division, 1935-1943, 30 rolls microfilm (brief inventory); Louisiana Society, Colonial Dames of XVII Century, Susan Constant Chapter Scrapbooks, 1964-1995; Shreveport Police Department Records, 1905-1985 (official record books, scrapbooks); and C. E. Byrd High School Collection, 1925-1995 (yearbooks, school newspapers, scrapbooks, photographs, memorabilia, oral histories).
The Archives and Special Collections Department at McNeese State University's Frazar Memorial Library has added the Arcade Theatre Collection, containing programs and photographs from early performances, correspondence, reports, and other material concerning restoration efforts, 1977-1985, as well as materials concerning the building of the Arcade Theatre Pavillion from 1986-1992. Also new at McNeese is the Business and Professional Women's Club of Lake Charles Collection, including the organization's minutes, lists of board members, scrapbooks, reports, and other records, 1931-1996. McNeese has also accessioned the Edwin F. Gayle Collection, correspondence from 1903-1906 and undated photographs concerning this Lake Charles attorney, educator, and civic leader.
The City Archives, New Orleans Public Library has received 50 sets of blueprints from the Vieux Carre Commission and a 3 cubic feet addition to the papers of former Council member Jacquelyn B. Clarkson. The addition includes Clarkson's files relating to the Mardi Gras "Anti-Discrimination" ordinance (1991-1992) and her City Council agenda files.
The Southern University Archives has received two significant collections in recent years. In 1995, the papers and materials of the late Albert Z. Young were donated by Mrs. Young. Young was a civil rights activist who became the first black man to head a Louisiana state agency. His countless civil rights crusades in the 1960s helped to open Louisiana institutions and government to generations of blacks. Young first made his mark by organizing a protest march from Bogalusa to Baton Rouge in 1967. The collection includes papers, family photographs, awards, plaques, certificates of appreciation and recognition, proclamations, and resolutions.
In 1995, the Southern University Archives received the papers and materials from the presidential years of Dr. Dolores R. Spikes, 1988-1996. Dr. Spikes had been with the Southern University System in some capacity since 1964 and served as system president from 1988 until January, 1997, when she accepted the post of President of the University of Maryland-Eastern Shore in Princess Anne, Maryland. The collection includes papers, letters, awards, plaques, certificates, scrapbook, commendations, resolutions, trophies, recognitions, photographs, memoranda, and proclamations.
The Southwestern Archives and Manuscripts Collection, University of Southwestern Louisiana has added the Judge Richard Putnam Case Files, 1960s-1970s, ca. 8 feet, containing mainly material related to integration of school districts in Lafayette, St. Martin, and Acadia Parishes. Also new at USL are the Altrusa Club Records, 1920s-1990s, ca. 3 feet, 6 volumes, consisting of the records and scrapbooks of the Altrusa Club, Lafayette, Louisiana. USL has also received a 5 feet addition to the Joel L. Fletcher, Jr. Papers, 1920s-1970s. Fletcher was a faculty member and administrator at Southwestern Louisiana Institute/University of Southwestern Louisiana from 1920 until 1966.
The Latin American Library, Tulane University, has recently acquired a collection of thirty black and white photographs by Peruvian photographer Lorry Salcedo-Mitrani. The photographs show the blacks of Peru and Brazil in daily life. In October, 1996, the photographer gave a public lecture on his work and the cultures it reflects. The Library has also acquired photographs and negatives by Sidney Markman, which are to be added to the Library's already extensive collections of Markman photographs of architecture in Guatemala, Mexico, and Ecuador.
Back to the top
Events, Exhibits, Meetings
At The Amistad Research Center, the William E. Bertram African Art Collection was on display in the Center's mini-gallery through March 28.
Amistad's Second Annual Visiting Artists/Scholars Program began on April 1 with the opening of the Center's exhibit of the works of famed watercolorist William Pajaud and noted painter, sculptor and educator John Biggers.
A Celestial Brightness: 150 Years of Evangeline, commemorating the sesquicentennial of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's poem, will be on view at The Historic New Orleans Collection's Williams Research Center from March 14th through September 20th.
History and mythology are often confused, to the detriment of both. Historical facts are often twisted into metaphor, but occasionally products of imagination intended to express poetic truths are interpreted as history. Such is the case with the mythic figure of Evangeline. Created in Longfellow's 1847 poem, Evangeline was the embodiment of Longfellow's Christian-humanist world view. In the poem, Evangeline's epic search for her lover, Gabriel, represented a quest for spiritual transcendence. But the popularity of Longfellow's poem soon gave its main character a life of her own. Once her story was separated from its imaginative context, many Americans came to believe that Evangeline had been a real historical figure, caught up by world events and transplanted from Nova Scotia to Louisiana.
This exhibit of books, photographs, paintings, manuscripts, and video traces the mythic image of Evangeline and analyzes influences that altered it through 150 years.
A new exhibit, Freshly Brewed: The Coffee Trade and the Port of New Orleans, opened on April 18 at The Arsenal, Louisiana State Museum.
Since the first part of the 19th century, one of the most valuable products to make the trek to the Port of New Orleans has been coffee. In 1846 alone, over $8 million in mostly Brazilian coffee came through the port. Now, nearly a century later, New Orleans is the number one coffee port in the country.
The exhibit explores New Orleans' coffee legacy. Items on display include a coffee salesman's trunk, a "cupping" table complete with tasting cups, sample pans, tasting spoons and two roasters. Vintage photographs, including several of beans being unloaded on the docks in the early 20th century and the Reily Company's roasting room c. 1920 provide a nostalgic look back. Colorful trade labels from local blends are also featured. In addition, the exhibit touches on the introduction of chicory and describes local specialties such as caf‚ brulot and caf‚ au lait. Freshly Brewed will remain on view through 1997.
Upcoming exhibitions in Hill Memorial Library, Louisiana State University, include A Link with the Past: Architectural Drawings of LSU by Theodore Link. Link (1850-1923) was already a well established architect when he began work on the site plan and buildings for the LSU campus dedicated in 1926. Curated by Jo Jackson, University Archivist, the exhibition will feature drawings by Link, brief histories of the buildings with photographs of them then and now, as well as architectural commentary by Professor Michael Desmond, LSU School of Architecture. The exhibition will run through June in the first floor exhibition gallery of Hill Memorial Library.
On view at Hill Memorial earlier this year was The Art of Chess: Sets from the Collection of Dr. David S. Miller, a display of chess sets from the private collection of Dr. David S. Miller. The exhibition featured some twenty sets from around the world, cut and carved in a variety of styles, from stone, wood, and other materials.
The Archives and Special Collections Department, McNeese State University is exhibiting Lake Charles High School memorabilia from the classes of 1944-1947 through July.
Currently on view in the Louisiana Division, New Orleans Public Library is African Americans in New Orleans: The Music, NOPL's third annual exhibit in honor of Black History Month. The exhibit draws upon City Archives materials, photographs from the Louisiana Photograph Collection, and materials from the Louisiana Division's book and periodicals collections to celebrate the wide-ranging contributions of African-American New Orleanians to the music scene, locally, nationally, and internationally. The exhibit will be on view through the end of May, and an online version can be seen at home.gnofn.org/~nopl/exhibits/black97.htm.
A new exhibit, Crescent City Memory, inspired by the Library of Congress' American Memory, will open in June to showcase the variety and richness of the Louisiana Division and City Archives collections.
In March and again in April, the Louisiana Division hosted Introduction to Genealogy classes attended by some 75 students. On May 10, the Division will present its second annual Spring Genealogy Seminar in the auditorium of the Main Library. Speakers will be Irene Wainwright, "NUTRIAS and Genealogy: NOPL's Web Site"; Albert Robichaux, "German Emigration to America in the 18th Century"; and Yvette Boling, "Successful Searching at the New Orleans Public Library."
The research staff of the Cammie G. Henry Research Center, Northwestern State University, assisted with the layout and interpretation of eight panels placed on display during the Creole Heritage Day Celebration on January 25 in the St. Augustine Parish Hall in Natchitoches Parish. The exhibit featured images and text from the Research Center depicting the people and culture of the creoles of color in the Cane River Region of Natchitoches Parish. Most of the images displayed were digitally reproduced from the Research Center's Imaging Lab. The exhibit was also displayed from January 28 to February 28 in the front reading room area of the Watson Library.
Pati Threatt and Sonny Carter worked together to create a portable exhibit of digitally scanned images of objects and documents reproduced from the Research Center depicting Ft. Jessup for "Legend Keepers," the Fort's Living History Seminar. The exhibit will remain on display at least until the end of the year.
Also on display at the Research Center during January and February was Mardi Gras Madness, an exhibit of 19th-century invitations and dance cards from the Krewes of Comus, Rex, and Proteus; a 1986 duke's costume from the Krewe of Endymion; 1980s photographs of New Orleans and Baton Rouge Mardi Gras scenes; a 1930s Zulu magazine and a more recent Zulu coconut; magazine and newspaper articles on the Mardi Gras Indians and Acadiana Mardi Gras; an assortment of beads, doubloons, cups, hats, and running shirts; and commemorative doubloons designed by Paul Stauls, Jr.
In March, Sonny Carter created a photography exhibit featuring the Joseph Dellmon Collection which remained on view until April 30. The Dellmon Collection consists of approximately 8000 photographs dating from the Civil War through the 1970s, most depicting the life and development of Central Louisiana.
In May and June, the Research Center will display a "Creole of Color Awareness" exhibit, including photographs, land documents, and letters chronicling the creoles of color in the Cane River Region.
Tulane University's Hogan Jazz Archive is providing photographs for an exhibition in connection with the upcoming Sidney Bechet Centennial Celebration at LaBelle Gallery, April-May, 1997. The archive will also participate in Bechet Conference activities in May.
Through February, the Latin American Library at Tulane University mounted an exhibit, The Maya Rubbings of Merle Greene Robertson, featuring rubbings made by Mrs. Robertson in the 1960s and 1970s of the relief sculpture on stone monoliths, temples, and structures at Maya sites in Mexico and Guatemala and at other sites in Central America. This extensive collection has been donated to the Latin American Library. The exhibit shows the process by which the rubbings were made and includes a number of small rubbings and photographs in exhibit cases and eight large rubbings mounted on the wall.
The Tulane University Manuscripts Department sponsored an exhibit from its extensive original Carnival costume design collection from November through March. The exhibit was originally created for a Friends of the Tulane University Library meeting by Manuscripts Department member Mary LeBlanc and volunteer Ann Henriquez. Further information about the exhibit can be found at www.tulane.edu/~lmiller/Comus.html.
On display in the Louisiana Room, University of Southwestern Louisiana, from January to April was an exhibit of USL faculty publications. The exhibit was also shown during February in the USL Alumni House for a meeting of the Louisiana Board of Trustees.
Back to the top
SOLINET to Offer Preservation Workshop at The Historic New Orleans Collection
SOLINET will offer a diverse series of three coordinated, intensive workshops on Managing for Diverse Collections for 1997/1998. Designed for staff with full or part-time responsibility for preservation at public and academic libraries, archives, museums, and other institutions, the five-day workshops include lecture, group exercises, tours, and hands-on experience. The workshops are spaced several months apart to allow for follow up projects at participants' own institutions. Completion of the series will give a participant the framework for a comprehensive preservation plan and the tools for implementing an integrated program.
The series begins with The Nature of Library and Archival Materials, held July 15-19 at SOLINET in Atlanta. Environmental Hazards to Preservation will follow in the fall, on October 14-18, at the Historic New Orleans Collection in New Orleans. Collection Management Issues in Preservation concludes the series in March, 1998 at Vanderbilt University in Nashville. Between sessions, participants will work on projects at the home institutions, applying what they've learned. The projects will be reviewed and discussed at subsequent sessions. Each workshop includes presentations from recognized experts in the field of library and archive preservation.
For institutions in the SOLINET region, the cost for the entire series is $400, excluding travel and accommodations. Individual sessions are $200; any two sessions are $300. There is a discount of $25 for registration received by June 1, 1997.
Session Two: Environmental Hazards to Preservation, offered at THNOC, will focus on the following: environmental control and monitoring; mechanical systems; identifying hazards; integrated pest management; mold control; disaster planning; developing a disaster plan; identifying sources of assistance and supplies; and staff training. The session features a large-scale, hands-on exercise in disaster recovery.
Partial funding for the series is provided by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Division of Preservation and Access.
For further details, contact Sharla Richards (1-800-999-8558, ext. 228) or Christine Wiseman (1-800-999-8558, ext. 241).
Back to the top
Publications and Access
The Amistad Research Center announces that a new serigraph print based on the Jacob Lawrence Toussaint L'Ouverture Series is now available. "Flotilla," based on image #37 of the series, portrays ships bearing Napoleon's troops under General LeClerc arriving on the shore of Haiti. These prints are from a signed and numbered limited edition of 13 original serigraphs based on the Toussaint series of 41 gouache paintings made by Jacob Lawrence as a very young artist.
Jacob Lawrence was inspired to paint his first historical series after being exposed to legendary deeds and exploits of black people by the street orators of Harlem. Toussaint was exhibited at the 1940 Chicago Negro Exhibition, where it made the 23-year-old artist famous. Lawrence followed up with series of paintings on Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, and his well-known Migration Series. Toussaint was acquired by the Harmon Foundation and was transmitted to Amistad in 1982. Lawrence began making new prints based on the original paintings in 1986.
Amistad offers these numbered and signed prints for sale to support its program of collecting and preserving the ethnic heritage of the United States. Prints are exhibited at the Center store during public hours. For further information, contact Paula Allen, Curator, at (504) 865-5535.
The Historic New Orleans Collection invites all those who would like to receive the HNOC Quarterly to send a note with name and address to Mailing List, Historic New Orleans Collection, 533 Royal St., New Orleans, LA 70130.
The Louisiana State Museum's newest publication is A Medley of Cultures: Louisiana History at the Cabildo, a 300-page paperback companion to the permanent Louisiana history exhibit on view in the Cabildo. The volume contains over 50 essays on Louisiana history written by Kimberly Hanger, Ph.D., former Museum historian; it was edited by current museum historian Karen Trahan Leathem, Ph.D.
The book offers a topical approach to Louisiana's history. Each chapter focuses on a particular subject such as recreation and leisure, disease and death, ethnicity and race, or education. In addition, individual chapters look at three major events in Louisiana history: the Battle of New Orleans, the Civil War, and Reconstruction.
Complimentary copies have been sent to every elementary and secondary school in the state as well as to parish, academic and special libraries. Publication and distribution costs were underwritten by a generous grant from the Booth-Bricker Fund; initial research was supported by a grant from the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities. Copies are available for purchase by mail through the Louisiana State Museum or through the Friends of the Cabildo gift shop located in the 1850 House in the Lower Pontalba on Jackson Square. For more information or to order a copy, call the Louisiana State Museum toll free at (800) 568-6968.
The Louisiana Division of New Orleans Public Library announces the May, 1997 publication of the third edition of its Genealogical Materials in the New Orleans Public Library's Louisiana Division and City Archives, by Collin B. Hamer, Jr., Wayne Everard, and Irene Wainwright. This publication, funded by the Friends of the New Orleans Public Library, offers a comprehensive guide to the genealogical materials available at NOPL and will be debuted at the annual "Friends Fest" at the Latter Memorial Library in May. The full text of the guide can also be accessed at www.gnofn.org/~nopl/guides/genguide/ggcover.htm. For further information, contact the Louisiana Division at (504) 596-2610.
The Noel Memorial Library, Archives and Special Collections, LSU, Shreveport, will be featured in the June, 1997 issue of Preservation in Print, published by the State Historic Preservation Office and the Preservation Resource Center.
Back to the top
Louisiana Archives on the WEB
This new feature debuts in this issue of the Newsletter. Included this month are submissions sent by five Louisiana repositories describing their World Wide Web sites. In the future, this spot will welcome additional descriptions and encourage the announcement of additions and changes to the archival web sites around the state. For those of you who want to browse, the LAMA website contains a list of Louisiana archives and manuscripts collections currently represented on the Web.
The web site for the Diocese of Shreveport became a reality in February 1997 through the efforts of Patricia Pillors, Director of Information Systems Management. Components include a page for archives, an online version of the diocesan newsletter, and the ability to contact staff by e-mail. The archives page features a brief history of the diocese with statistics, area map and diocesan coat of arms. Features on the web site change monthly. www.dioshpt.org
The Historic New Orleans Collection's web site is a microcosm of what the Collection has to offer to the public. The site is composed of a general description of THNOC's collections, a tour of the Louisiana History Galleries and The Williams Residence. Also included is a pictorial of THNOC buildings, and a complete listing of Collections publications that are currently available. The site has a calendar of events, information on the Williams Prize and the shop. The Current Exhibitions pages include brief exhibit descriptions and the Evangeline exhibit page has an online brochure with links to associated sites.
The site is constantly changing, much like a periodical. Plans for the site include a graphical redesign for the homepage to include frames and mouseovers, the addition of sound to the site with interviews from the Russell Jazz Collection, the addition of comment forms, video views of the Williams Center reading room and Royal Street courtyards, and future addition of all of THNOC's catalog records, accessible via a web-based search engine. www.hnoc.org.
The Louisiana State Museum web site is continually expanding. Currently, LSM offers several on-line tours of LSM exhibits, including The Cabildo: Two Hundred Years of Louisiana History; Elegance After Dark: Evening Wear in Louisiana, 1896-1996; and So Much More Than Just a Map: Perspectives on Louisiana and the New World. An education site called "Classroom Corner" is currently in development, and plans are underway to include published catalogs and booklets online. An online index and catalog to the Museum's maps collection is slated for completion in late 1997. www.crt.state.la.us/crt/museum/lsmnet3.htm.
NUTRIAS, the web site of New Orleans Public Library, includes detailed finding aids to many of the Louisiana Division's archival and manuscripts collections and information about the Louisiana Division's holdings and services. Among the archival collections fully described online are the City Archives' pre-1862 records and the records of the Mayors of New Orleans. Searchable indexes to several Orleans Parish civil courts and to the City Archives' collection of building plans have also been mounted at the site. Full text versions of several of the Louisiana Division's publications have also been added t, including How to Research the History of Your House (or Other Building) in New Orleans and Genealogical Materials in the New Orleans Public Library's Louisiana Division and City Archives.
NUTRIAS also features an Images of the Month Gallery, a changing online exhibit of photographs and other images from the Louisiana Division and City Archives holdings, as well as online versions of exhibits mounted by the Louisiana Division/City Archives and other NOPL staff. home.gnofn.org/~nopl
The web site of the Southwestern Archives and Manuscripts Collection, University of Southwestern Louisiana, is part of the Dupre Library's site. SAMC has mounted its collection-level guide, which includes both "Collections" (collections of over 2 « feet) and "Manuscripts" (collections less than 2 « feet). The guide consists of a brief narrative description of each separate collection. SAMC has also mounted guides for some of its larger or more important collections and hopes to include more of these in the future. www.usl.edu/Departments/Library/departments/larm.html
LAMA has its own web site, which includes information about the organization, the LAMA Bylaws, how to join, how to submit items to the Newsletter, a list of officers and board members, current and past newsletters, and (NEW!) links to Louisiana archives and special collections web sites. home.gnofn.org/~nopl/links/archives/lama.htm
Web sites that have previously linked to the LAMA site should note that the URL has changed slightly in recent months. Please update your link to the LAMA home page or create a link to our site on your own page if you haven't already done so!
Back to the top
Awards, Grants and Projects
The Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collection, Louisiana State University, has been awarded a Louisiana Education Quality Support Fund (LEQSF) grant for 1997. The $146,333.00 will be used to buy equipment for the LLMVC's Electronic Imaging Laboratory, the Bolton Library at Louisiana State University-Alexandria, the LSU History Department, and the Museum of the Tunica-Biloxi Indians in Marksville. The pilot project will be "Louisiana Remembers: The Tunica-Biloxi Indians of Louisiana," and will involve creating Internet access to primary sources relating to Louisiana's Native Americans. For more information, contact LSU Libraries Special Collections.
The Newcomb Center for Research on Women recently received funding through an LEQSF grant for the establishment of an online "virtual Center." This funding will allow for the development and support of a multimedia computer cluster, the addition of computers for use by researchers in the Vorhoff Library, and equipment for providing online access to materials in the Newcomb Archives. The Center invites comments on its new and expanded web page, as well, where more information on upcoming events and projects are also listed. The Center's home page can be found at www.tulane.edu/~wc.
At the Cammie G. Henry Research Center, Northwestern State University of Louisiana, Sonny Carter continues to digitize the Natchitoches Scrapbook series of the Melrose Collection. Although the recent Alexandria Town Talk newspaper article that was reprinted by numerous newspapers across the state stated that the Research Center would place the scrapbooks on the Internet and this electronic access would be made available soon, the Research Center is not planning to place the entire scrapbook series online. There are plans to mount some photographs on the Internet as examples of the types of images that may be found in the scrapbooks.
Tulane Unviersity Special Collections announces that during the late Spring and Summer of 1997 it will move into a new home. Beginning in August, Tulane Special Collections will be located across the street from Howard-Tilton Memorial Library in Joseph Merrick Jones Hall. The new quarters will provide modern services such as network computer connections at researchers' desks, a larger research room, better lighting, modern telecommunications, and an archival-quality HVAC system. Beginning April 4, through the end of the move, the Special Collections departments at Tulane will be closed on Fridays. The Louisiana Collection will continue normal hours. Tulane will post on its "Move Central" web page (www.tulane.edu/~lmiller/move.html) notices of scheduling changes and other disruptions to normal service as the move draws nearer.
Back to the top
Portrait of a Louisiana Archivist: Laura Street
Louisiana State University, Shreveport
Laura Street has been a member of the staff of Louisiana State University, Shreveport's Noel Memorial Library Archives since 1978 and Acting Archivist since 1994. In 1996, she joined the LAMA Board of Directors. When asked for biographical and career information for a LAMA Newsletter "profile," Laura responded with the following--which can't be said any better than she has said it herself and is thus presented in Laura's own words.
I was born in Lake Charles, but came to Shreveport when I was two weeks old. Louisiana and LSUS have always been my home.
I graduated from Byrd High School and started college at LSUS in 1968 when it was just a two year school. I finished with a B.B.A. from Northeast Louisiana University in 1972 and immediately came back to Shreveport and took a job at LSUS as secretary to Chancellor Donald E. Shipp. In 1976 I moved to the library as a library associate in the serials department, moving again (and for the last time) in 1978 to the archives department to work with Pat Meador.
Pat had come to LSUS in 1975 to start the archives with little more than a large, empty room and a couple of collections that had been donated to the library. With great energy, determination, and the support of a caring library director, Mr. Malcolm Parker, Pat rapidly built a successful archives program.
When I came to work with Pat in 1978 I knew nothing about archives. I would look back years later and realize God had been looking out for me. He had placed me in exactly the right spot at the right time. I started out processing collections. My first was the Willis Butler Papers. Dr. Butler had been the coroner of Caddo Parish from 1916 through the 1970s. Dr. Butler had been called in to investigate every suspicious murder in Caddo Parish for over 50 years, and he was one of the first forensic pathologists to use photographs of crime scenes in forensic investigations. His papers included not only pathology reports, but also his notes and photographs relating to the cases. He was involved in so many interesting cases that before he retired he wrote a book based on his experiences called Will Somebody Call the Coroner. The collection was fascinating and I was hooked!
Pat was very supportive and encouraged my involvement in SSA and later LAMA. She also encouraged me to return to school, but at the time, married, with a small child, I thought it would be overwhelming. Besides, the only program available was in Baton Rouge. Leaving my family for an extended period was not an option.
Pat and I worked together for eleven years until she returned to teaching full time in the history department at LSUS in 1989. For the first time I was named "Acting Archivist." Between 1989 and 1994 the archivist position was filled twice, the last time by Steve Hussman. When Steve left in 1994 I was again named "Acting Archivist."
It was a very busy time. The new Noel Memorial Library building had just been completed and we were scheduled to move in July. The Archives and Special Collections would be sharing the third floor of the new building with the Noel Rare Book Collection. That summer, planning and executing the move, was the most exciting and exhausting experience of my career.
While a professional library moving company had been hired to move the main library, they did not want to move the archives--too many odd sized and fragile materials. So we were subcontracted out to a little family outfit I lovingly referred to as "Bubba and his pickup." For weeks my coworker, Domenica Carriere, and I carefully tagged every item in the archives and every shelf in the new building with corresponding numbers to facilitate the move. One look at Bubba and I knew the numbers were not going to be helpful. After balking at placing any of the materials in the back of a pickup, Bubba went to K-Mart and rented a moving van.
The Archives had grown to over 450 major collections, almost 200 miscellaneous manuscripts, thousands of architectural drawings, over 200,000 photographic prints and negatives, and hundreds of maps and oral history tapes and transcripts. In the old building we had grown haphazardly--now was the chance to have everything in perfect order (an archivist's dream), along with room to grow! I was determined that everything would be moved without a hitch. For the next three weeks, Domenica and "Bubba" and I worked fourteen hours a day, seven days a week. I ended up with fallen arches, but perfectly arranged and ordered shelves!
Moving to the new building has been a huge boon to our archival program. One of the first collections to come in after the move was the papers of Robert Oakley, a former Shreveporter who went on to a distinguished thirty-four year Foreign Service career that culminated as President Clinton's ambassador to Somalia. The collection covers his service in the Sudan, Paris, Beirut, Viet Nam, Zaire and Somalia and is the first collection in the Noel Memorial Library, Archives and Special Collections of international significance.
Last year we worked closely with Dr. Ann McLaurin, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts at LSUS, and the alumni of Byrd High School on a book, Glimpses of the City of Byrd, 1925-1995. This was published in conjunction with the 75th anniversary of the school and the alumni were very generous in donating materials to a Byrd High School Collection established at the Noel Memorial Library archives. This collection grew to over 40 linear feet and completely documents the history of one of the largest high schools in the state.
Due to budgetary constraints the archivists position at Noel Memorial Library has not been filled since 1994. With the help of my associate, Domenica Carriere, I have continued as "Acting Archivist." I spend as much time as possible in the field collecting, speaking to groups and working with related organizations. I am currently working with a new African-American Museum group--the goal being to house their collection in the archives and loan them out on a rotating basis as needed for exhibit purposes. However, my favorite aspect of the job is working with patrons, helping them find the information they need, and showing off the treasures in our collections.
When my son started college last fall, I decided it was time to take the plunge and return to school. I am currently pursuing a master's degree in Library and Information Science at LSUBR through the new compressed video distance learning process. I hope to have my degree by the millennium!
Laura Street, Archives and Special Collections, Noel Memorial Library, LSU, Shreveport
Back to the top
The Amistad Research Center had added several new staff members: Shannon Burrell, archives clerk; Donna Braquet, archives clerk; Allyson C. Ward, Development Assistant; and Mark A. Phillips, library clerk.
LAMA President Brady Banta, Louisiana State University Medical Center Archives, has accepted the position of Archivist/Special Collections Librarian at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro. On March 15, he delivered a paper, "'Charity' Gets a New Name: Confederate Memorial Medical Center Becomes a Reality," at the Annual Meeting of the Louisiana Historical Association in Bossier City.
Kathie Bordelon, Archives and Special Collections, McNeese State University, has been named to the Frazar Memorial Library's committee to formulate a disaster plan for that facility. Kathy also attended SOLINET's workshop on Preserving Collections in a Hostile Environment: Environmental Control and Monitoring at LSU on April 24.
On February 20, Sonny Carter, Cammie G. Henry Research Center, Northwestern State University of Louisiana, attended a "Fair Use Guidelines for Educational Multimedia Videoconference" held at NSU. The conference consisted of educators, attorneys, and publishers assembled to establish guidelines that would clarify the spirit of the "Fair Use" section of the Copyright Act and reduce the risk of litigation for educators.
In October, Dorothy Dawes, O.P., St. Mary's Dominican Archives, attended the workshop, In Our Keeping, for Dominican archivists and historians, in Nazareth, Kentucky. On January 26, she also attended the SAA workshop on Arrangement and Description, held in Tempe, Arizona.
Margaret A. Donnelly has joined the staff of the Louisiana State Museum as Curator of Decorative Arts.
Wayne Everard, Archivist, New Orleans Public Library, has contributed an article on material available in the Louisiana Division for researching architectural history to be published in a forthcoming issue of Preservation in Print.
Kevin Fontenot, Tulane Manuscripts Department, passed his doctoral examinations in History on December 12 and is currently working on his dissertation, a biography of Louisiana governor and singer/songwriter, Jimmy Davis.
Florence Jumonville has been appointed head of Louisiana and Special Collections of the Earl K. Long Library, University of New Orleans.
A biography of Elizabeth D.A. Cohen, M.D. by Catherine C. Kahn, Touro Infirmary archivist, has been accepted by Jewish Women in America: A Historical Encyclopedia to be published by Carlson Publishing. Cathy was also interviewed by Brian Cohen of Applewest Productions for his film, Jews of Louisiana, to be shown on public television. Cathy has also written Legacy: A History of the Community Chest and the Greater New Orleans Foundation.
Irwin Jay Lachoff has joined the staff of Xavier University Special Collections. He also became a member of the Academy of Certified Archivists in 1996.
Karen Leathem, Louisiana State Museum, delivered a paper, "'Luring Young Girls to Their Ruin': Liquor, Women, and the 1908 Gay-Shattuck Law," on March 14 at the Annual Meeting in Bossier City of the Louisiana Historical Association.
Tim Lupin is the Louisiana State Museum's new Curator of Science and Technology.
The LSU Libraries note with sadness the passing of John Stauffer McIlhenny, on April 3, 1997, after a brief illness. He was 87. A research chemist by profession, he had a keen interest in wildlife ecology and conservation, and he supported the work of many research scientists, providing funding and equipment that enabled them to conduct important work both in the laboratory and the field. In 1971, he donated to the LSU Libraries the E.A. McIlhenny Natural History Collection, which he continued to support and add to throughout the years, developing it into an important resource for scholars in many fields.
LSU Libraries also reports the death of photographer Jane McCowan (LSU Class of 1934), who recently donated her personal archive from a long and successful career as a free-lance photographer. Her work was featured last fall in an exhibition, A Life of Seeing Beautiful: The Photography of Jane McCowan at Hill Memorial Library. The photographs she donated to the Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections span a career of four decades and range from early work for Macy's in New York and Paris to later independent work as a portraitist and fashion photographer in Los Angeles. Her pictures from the early period reflect the imagery and myth-in-the-making of the "perfect" modern American household in the 1950s. In addition to its aesthetic appeal, her work is of interest for the technical mastery it displays, as well as adding an important component of social history to the LLMVC's extensive photographic holdings.
Bill Meneray, Assistant University Librarian for Special Collections, Tulane University, presided as President of the Louisiana Historical Association over the LHA's thirty-ninth annual meeting, March 13-15. His presidential address concerned colonial Louisiana social history. Bill also attended a reception at the Japanese Embassy in Washington, DC, April 8. The reception was in honor of the opening of an exhibit of items from the Tulane Special Collection Division's Lafcadio Hearn collection. The exhibit is touring the country and is currently on display at the Embassy of Japan Cultural and Information Center Gallery April 8-May 9. It will then move to Atlanta for a week. A three-city tour of Japan is currently in the planning stages.
On April 26, Lee Miller, Tulane University Manuscripts Librarian, spoke to the Multicultural Genealogical Research Society on "The Internet as a Research Tool" in a meeting held at the Amistad Research Center. Lee also spoke to members of the Jefferson Genealogical Society on February 13 on "So Others May Live On: The Mission of Archives Today." Lee addressed the Louisiana Historical Society on November 12 on "The Internet as an Archival Research Tool." In April, in his role as ACA's regent for Outreach, he attended a board meeting of the Academy of Certified Archivists in Denver. In May Lee will present the paper "Web Page Design for Archives" to the annual meeting of the Society of Southwest Archivists in Galveston, Texas.
Beatrice Owsley, Earl K. Long Library Archives, University of New Orleans, retired at the end of 1996. The article "Congressional Papers: Collection Development Policies" by LSU Libraries' Faye Phillips appeared in the (recently issued) Summer 1995 issue of The American Archivist.
Bruce Raeburn, Curator of Tulane University's Hogan Jazz Archive, gave extensive interviews to documentary film maker Ken Burns for an upcoming television documentary series, Jazz. This series, the third in Burns' trilogy on American civilization, is scheduled to appear on PBS in the Fall of 2000 in eight 90 minute segments. Bruce is also on the Board of Advisors for the series.
Ivy Restituto is the new Exhibits Curator at the Louisiana State Museum.
For the quadrennium, 1996-2000, Rob Sherer, Tulane University Archivist and LAMA Vice-President/President Elect, is chair of the Commission on Archives and History for the Louisiana Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. Nationally, he is on one of the teams evaluating petitions for re-certification for the Academy of Certified Archivists. For the Society of American Archivists, Rob is chairing the committee that is revising the SAA Guidelines for College and University Archives and is working with a sub-committee of the SAA Publications Board to publish second editions of the SAA Fundamentals Series. Rob will host a coffee in behalf of the Academy of Certified Archivists at the annual meeting of the Society of Southwest Archivists in Galveston, Texas, May 30. Rob serves on the ACA's Certification Maintenance Committee and will discuss with participants archival recertification procedures.
Judy Smith has been promoted to Head of the Louisiana Section at the State Library of Louisiana.
Virginia Smith has been promoted to Coordinator of User Services at the State Library of Louisiana.
Brenda Square has been promoted to Head of Archives and Library at The Amistad Research Center. Brenda also recently became a member of the Academy of Certified Archivists.
Pati Threatt, Cammie G. Henry Research Center, Northwestern State University of Louisiana, attended a week-long SOLINET workshop in Atlanta concerning the current and future plans to catalog archives and manuscripts collections into MARC and EAD. On February 20, she attended a "Fair Use Guidelines for Educational Multimedia Videoconference" held at NSU. On January 11, Pati and Mary Linn Wernet discussed a wide range of genealogical research strategies before the Winn Parish Genealogical Association. At the Tenth Annual Northwestern State University Research Day, Pati and Sonny Carter presented a session entitled "Digital Scrapbooks" and discussed the imaging project currently underway at the Research Center.
On March 14, at the Louisiana Historical Association Annual Meeting, Bruce Turner, Archives and Special Collections, University of Southwestern Louisiana, read his paper "'Dear Southwesterners': Observations of the Home Front in Joel L. Fletcher's Newsletters."
Gary Van Zante, Curator of the Southeastern Architectural Archive, Tulane University, is currently curating an exhibition of nineteenth century photographs, New Orleans in 1867: Photographs for Emperor Napoleon III, from the collection of the Napoleon Museum, Arenenberg, Switzerland. The exhibition will be seen in Berlin, Vienna, Cologne and Zurich, following its opening in New Orleans in Spring, 1998. The catalog will be published by Merrill Holberton, London. Gary was also recently elected to the board of directors of the Society of Architectural Historians, Southeast Chapter.
Irene Wainwright, City Archives, New Orleans Public Library, has been appointed to the Academy of Certified Archivists' Outreach Committee.
Mary Linn Wernet, Cammie G. Henry Research Center, attended the Friday, March 15, sessions of the Louisiana Historical Association Annual Meeting. On March 8, Mary Linn presented a session entitled "Research Opportunities in the Cammie G. Henry Research Center" at the Natchitoches Genealogical and Historical Association's Genealogical Workshop. At the Tenth Annual Northwestern State University Research Day, she read a paper entitled "The U.S. Senator John Holmes Overton Collection and the History it Holds Relating to the Control of Floods in the Alluvial Valley of the Mississippi, 1936-1948."
Marie E. Windell, Earl P. Long Library Archives, University of New Orleans, chaired the session "Order and Disorder in Nineteenth-Century New Orleans" at the Louisiana Historical Association Annual Meeting on March 14.
Back to the top
Earn ACA Recertification Credits for Participating in LAMA Activities
Archivists recertifying by petition for continued membership in the Academy of Certified Archivists may gain substantial credit for participating in LAMA activities.
Recertification by petition rewards archivists for their efforts to improve their professional knowledge. It also allows archivists to gain recognition for their contributions to the profession. It does this by granting points for archival activities. The activities must have been performed during the five years immediately preceding the date of the petition (for this year, that would be activities performed between January 1, 1992 and December 31, 1996).
The Academy of Certified Archivists recognized early on that participation in organizations such as LAMA was an invaluable professional experience benefiting not only the archivist but the entire profession. Certification maintenance (or recertification) acknowledges the value of involvement in LAMA by devoting two of the five recertification petition sections to professional participation. In fact, you may earn three-quarters of the recertification points you need through those two sections alone.
For example, you may earn ten credits for presenting a paper at a LAMA meeting and six credits for serving as a chair or commentator for a LAMA session. You may also earn points for serving as a LAMA officer, and participating on a LAMA committee.
While the "Professional Participation and Outreach" and "Professional Services" sections pertain specifically to professional involvement, contributing to organizations such as LAMA informs almost every section of the recertification petition.
For example, you may earn five credits for contributing an article to the LAMA Newsletter, and fifteen credits per year for editing this newsletter. You may also earn recertification credits for attending LAMA meetings, and even for working on the LAMA web page.
The ACA mailed recertification forms to academy members in late February. You must return them by June 1, 1997. If you did not receive your recertification packet or if you have any questions about the recertification process, please contact Willow Powers, 45 Ellis Ranch Road, Santa Fe NM 87505, ph: 505-466-0560, fx: 505-827-6497, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
You are also welcome to contact The Academy of Certified Archivists, Capitol Hill Management, 48 Howard ST, Albany NY 12207, ph: 518-463-8644, fx: 518-463-8656.
Irene Wainwright, ACA Outreach Committee
Back to the top
Back to the LAMA