Did you know that Louisiana offers an online, digital library with “more than 144,000 digital items from Louisiana archives, libraries, museums, and other repositories, making unique historical treasure accessible to students, researchers, and the general public in Louisiana and across the globe?”
Sounds exciting, huh?
So let’s see what’s there. First, here’s the handy dandy link: http://www.louisianadigitallibrary.org/
The library draws on a number of other archives: the Louisiana State Museum, state universities, Vermilionville Living History Museum (a must if you’re ever in Acadiana), etc.
Some of it is interesting. Some of it is not, at least to me. But some of it gets more interesting than you’d at first think.
I took a dive into the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center New Orleans. Frankly, I wasn’t expecting to be enthused. But I found a yellow fever collection that intrigued me. Everything you’d want to know about yellow fever is in there.
Buried in the collection is a report on New Orleans yellow fever deaths in 1878.
Nicholls has a collection on veterans of Southeast Louisiana.
The university interviewed local veterans and collected photographs and stories from them. The interviews were videotaped. You can look through the gallery of photos online.
LSU-Shreveport has collected photos of the Strand Theater in downtown Shreveport. This is a grand theater that hosts movies and plays. My parents took me to see “Singin In the Rain” there when I was a kid. It was a special screening (I’m not that old!), and I was so struck by the palace-style movie theater that it was hard to watch the movie itself! Howard Hughes once holed up in a hotel just around the corner from the Strand when he was staying in Shreveport for a bit.
The Louisiana State Museum collection doesn’t disappoint. It has amassed a treasure trove of materials, including photographs and oral histories.
Just of the museum’s collection is a series of house photos. You’ll find residences that no longer stand.