Introduction

In 2005, LSU’s Center for French and Francophone Studies and the LSU Libraries’ Special Collections division began a collaborative project to produce a digital corpus of letters written in French by people living in Louisiana during the 18th and 19th centuries. The goal of this ongoing project is to enhance access to rare and understudied French language documents held in Special Collections by providing images of the original documents with transcriptions in the Louisiana Digital Library. For the initial selection, Dr. Carole Salmon choose 100 letters, taking into consideration factors such as the author’s gender, profession, and social status to create a diverse corpus that will be useful to a wide range of scholars and researchers in fields such as history, sociology, economy, geography, and linguistics. Conceived as a pilot project, the corpus will serve as a model and a springboard for providing further electronic access of French-language manuscripts in LLMVC, increasing opportunities for research in the rich and diverse Francophone heritage of Louisiana.

Acknowledgements

Funding for this project provided by the Louisiana Board of Regents.
Project Co-Principal Investigators:
Dr. Bernard Cerquiglini, Director, Center for French and Francophone Studies
Elaine Smyth, Head, LSU Libraries, Special Collections

Project Advisors:
Dr. Carole Salmon, University of Massachusetts-Lowell
Todd Jacob, Assistant Director, Center for French and Francophone Studies
Gina Costello, Digital Services Librarian, LSU Libraries, Special Collections
Tara Laver, Curator, LSU Libraries, Special Collections

Project Participants:
Transcriptions: Benjamin Forkner, Marianne Bessy and Sirirath Kobounsouk-Tardiff, LSU Department of French Studies
Digitization: Hamilton D'Aquilla
Digital Services and Website: Rachel Bergeron, LSU School of Library and Information Science