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A Newsletter Applauding Recent LSU Libraries Faculty Accomplishments


Issue no. 14.

May 19, 2009

Stephen Benseman
Jennifer Cargill
Alexis Carrasquel
Sigrid Kelsey
Michael Taylor
Bradley Wiles
Faculty Presentations


“Mariners, Meridians and Monsters: Exploring the History of Maps in Fact and Fiction”

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word “map?” Is it the tattered road atlas stuffed under the seat of your car, or the large wall map in your dreaded high school history class? Or perhaps romantic images of desert islands, one-legged pirates and secret hordes of buried treasure where “X” marks the spot? A new exhibition at LSU Libraries’ Special Collections explores the many different kinds of maps that have been produced from ancient times to the present. “Mariners, Meridians and Monsters: Exploring the History of Maps in Fact and Fiction,” will be on display in the upper gallery of LSU’s Hill Memorial Library beginning March 23 and running through Aug. 15. Highlights of the exhibition include Abraham Ortelius’ 1579 world atlas, Peter Heylin’s Cosmographie (1679), early maps of the Pacific and the poles, an 18th-century reproduction of the ancient Roman road map known as the Peutinger Table, archeological maps from Napoleon's expedition to Egypt and even a map for the blind. There are also sections on humorous maps, maps in fiction and mythology and bird’s-eye views. he second half of the exhibition is devoted to maps of Louisiana. Included are Louis Hennepin’s 1683 map of North America (the first to name Louisiana), important maps of the Mississippi River, an early Spanish plan of Baton Rouge, manuscript maps of local plantations, and a wide selection of other maps tracing the history of the Civil War, LSU and tourism in the Bayou State.

“A Century of Standard Oil in Baton Rouge”

This exhibition features early 20th century images from a photographic album, currently on loan to the LSU Libraries’ Special Collections from Marna and Melvin Shortess. Mrs. Shortess is the grand-daughter of J. A. Bechtold, who was an accountant with Standard Oil when the company was first chartered in East Baton Rouge Parish on April 13, 1909. Bechtold photographed a variety of subjects in 1909 and the years following: mule teams clearing the land for the plant’s construction, workers performing calisthenics, and the Stanocola baseball team and band, to name a few. Bechtold’s captivating photographs, along with supplemental material from Special Collections including items from the Louis Link Papers, highlight Standard Oil’s impact on and relationship with LSU and the larger Baton Rouge community. The exhibition runs through August 15. The exhibition was curated by Elaine Smyth, Head of Special Collections. The LSU Libraries hosted a reception honoring the Shortesses and special exhibition viewing on Sunday, May 17 at Hill Memorial Library. The event is free and open to the public.

"Louis Braille Bicentennial Traveling Exhibit"

The LSU Libraries will host the Louis Braille Bicentennial Traveling Exhibit from June 18- July 12, 2009. National Braille Press has produced a 20 panel traveling display, in print and Braille, that takes a viewer through the highlights of Braille’s life, the Braille production process, and why Braille remains important today. Complementary exhibits will be mounted in Education Resources, Government Documents, and Special Collections.