Special Collections has over ten thousand unique items digitized and available online through the Louisiana Digital Library.
The Louisiana Digital Library (LDL) is an online library containing photographs, maps, manuscript materials, books, oral histories, and other items that document the history and culture of Louisiana. Items come to the LDL from institutions across the state, including libraries, museums, archives, and historical organizations. Information about the LDL can be found on the digital library's About page.
Browse even more LSU-related material in the LDL here.
|Actors and Musicians Photographs, 1880-1920 |
Publicity photographs of actors and musicians who appeared at New Orleans theaters during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Handwritten notes on the back of many of the photos identify the individuals, the theater where they appeared, and the name of the play or event. Identified New Orleans houses are the Tulane, Athenaeum, Orpheum, Dauphine, and Crescent Theaters, as well as the French Opera House.
|'Andrew D. Lytle's Baton Rouge' Photograph Collection |
A native of Cincinnati, Lytle arrived in Baton Rouge around 1857, and over the next fifty years or so, he and his business partners, including his son Howard, photographed people, places, and community events such as parades. Lytle photographed Baton Rouge during the war, including scenes of naval vessels on the river, Federal encampments, damage and streetscapes, and soldiers and sailors.
|Armand Duplantier Family Letters |
The Armand Duplantier Family Letters date from 1777 to 1841 and contain items from four generations of the Duplantier family, including Armand Duplantier, his uncle Claude Trenonay, Armand's son Armand Allard Duplantier, and granddaughter Amelie Augustine Duplantier Peniston. The collection's historical significance lies not only in what it can tell us about the history of Baton Rouge and nearby Pointe Coupee Parish, but also in what it reveals about the state's colonial period, Francophone Louisiana in the territorial and antebellum era, and the enduring legacy of the state's French antecedents.
|Charles L. Thompson Photographs |
Charles L. Thompson, a resident of New Orleans, La., collected materials related to the history of New Orleans and Louisiana. This digital collection consists of selected photographic prints of port and street scenes, ships, and other images of the city of New Orleans.
|Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park Photographs |
The collection contains twenty-nine albumen photoprints of the grounds of the Park, taken circa 1894. There are eight photographs from Missionary Ridge (Tenn. and Ga.) and twenty-one photographs from Chickamauga (Ga.). Information is provided on the back of the prints.
|Civil War Photograph Album, 1862-1900 |
The Civil War Photograph Album contains portraits of military personnel who fought during the American Civil War, 1861-1865. The album has 50 pages; each page has a capacity for four (4) photographs, and most of the photographs (cartes-de-visite) are Confederate enlisted men and officers.
|Col. Joseph S. Tate Photograph Album |
The original Joseph S. Tate photograph album (unbound) contained 103 black and white photographic prints mounted on paper. The images show scenes from several locations in Louisiana during the 1920s including lumbering and shrimping operations, city scenes, and a number of scenic bayou images. It is not known whether Joseph S. Tate was the photographer, but it is known that the album was his property.
| Digitizing Louisiana Newspaper Project (DLNP) |
The Digitizing Louisiana Newspaper Project (DLNP) includes 78 newspaper titles published between 1836-1922, a total of 220,000 pages. By the end of 2015, 49 additional titles will be available. LSU has participated in the NEH National Digital Newspaper Program since 2009. Digitized collections are available through the Library of Congress' Chronicling America site.
|Donn Young Photographs |
Photographs by New Orleans photographer, Donn Young, salvaged from his Lakeview home after Hurricane Katrina. These images are a sampling of the over 32,000 images saved from his home and studio after floodwater damage.
|Doussan family papers, 1827-1872 |
The Doussans were an émigré French family who settled in East and West Baton Rouge Parish, La., in the wake of Napoleon's downfall. Comprised of correspondence, financial papers, and personal papers of family members, the collection, which dates 1827-1872, reflects the Doussans's planting operations in West Baton Rouge Parish, financial and legal transactions in Louisiana and France, family activities, interests, and concerns, and the experience of French émigrés in Louisiana as they encountered Anglo-American culture and society. Correspondence includes letters to and from friends and family in France.
|Early Louisiana French Correspondence |
The Early Louisiana French Correspondence collection is a digital corpus of 100 handwritten French letters, personal and letters of business, written in Louisiana in the 18th and 19th centuries. These letters, showing the living conditions and social and political climate of the time, were transcribed and digitized to provide greatest access to the information through a collaboration between LSU's Center for French and Francophone Studies and Special Collections.
|Edith Dabney Doll Collection |
The Edith Dabney Doll Collection contains approximately 80 dolls manufactured across the world, from the early 18th century to the late 20th century. A former Associate Professor of Speech at Louisiana State University, Edith Dabney's personal collection of dolls comprised over 300 dolls, 80 of which the University's Special Collections inherited after her death. The digital collection reflects this cultural diversity while also demonstrating the evolution of doll-construction and materials. [more]
|Fonville Winans' Aerial Views of Baton Rouge |
Baton Rouge photographer Fonville Winans shot at least thirteen rolls of 35mm black & white film in 1947 from his small private airplane. The shots are predominantly of the most developed streets in Baton Rouge such as Plank Road, Scenic Highway, Choctaw Street, Florida Street, and Florida Boulevard. One roll is entirely devoted to images of the current Louisiana State University campus and vicinity. Copyright is retained by descendants of the creators in accordance with U.S. copyright law. Permission for publication must be obtained from Robert L. Winans, son of Fonville Winans.
|Free People of Color in Louisiana |
This project brings together materials from LSU Libraries Special Collections, The Historic New Orleans Collection, the Louisiana Research Collection in Tulane University Special Collections, the Historical Center at the Louisiana State Museum, and the Louisiana Division of the New Orleans Public Library. Digitizing these records reunites collections from the same families that were divided across repositories as well as scattered documents, making these materials accessible in one place for the use of historians, genealogists, students, teachers, and the general public. Funded by NEH.
|G. H. Suydam Photograph Album |
Commercial photographs of twelve Baton Rouge buildings (e.g., the Louisiana State Capitol and the Deaf, Dumb and Blind Asylum) and street scenes and eight photographs of Admiral David G. Farragut's fleet on the Mississippi River. Memoranda handwritten on the reverse side of the photographs identify the Federal camp, headquarters of the generals, the provost marshall's office, and the general hospital; scenes at the grounds of the Baton Rouge Arsenal; and gunboats (e.g., the "Essex") and other vessels of Farragut's fleet.
|George C. Strong Photograph Album |
The album contains two photographs of sites around the United States Military Academy, West Point, New York, and forty-two photographic portraits of cadets in the classes of 1857 and 1858. The album pages contain holographic inscriptions stating: the place; the name of the sitter; whether the sitter graduated in the class of 1858 rather than the class of 1857; if the sitter did not graduate at all; an occasional personal note about the sitter, and; if they fought as a "rebel" in the American Civil War, 1861-1865.
|George Francois Mugnier New Orleans Scenes |
A collection of images of New Orleans buildings and monuments. Included are scenes of the French Market, a levee, Chalmette Monument, City Hall, a Confederate Navy submarine, the U.S. Mint, Jackson Square, the Louisiana Sugar and Rice Exchange, a plantation home, mansions, Negro quarters, and general views of streets of New Orleans.
|Gras-Lauzin Family Papers |
This collection is comprised of approximately 70 Civil War era letters and documents from the Gras-Lauzin Papers manuscript collection at LSU Libraries, Special Collections. The majority of items are letters between Henrietta Lauzin and her friends and family between 1861-1867. Henrietta Lauzin was the great-grand-daughter of Antonio Gras, an early settler in Baton Rouge in the 18th Century. Some letters include full-text searchable transcriptions.
|Hermann Moyse Sr. World War I Collection |
The Hermann Moyse Sr. World War I digital collection is comprised of over 150 letters from February 1917 to November 1919. The majority of the correspondence is between Hermann Moyse and Rosalie Gottlieb, and details his military training in Arkansas and Texas, eventual deployment to France, and subsequent wounding. Moyse and Gottlieb married in 1920. This digital collection has 20 folders, which each contain multiple letters from a specific time period.
|Historic Images of Baton Rouge from LSU Libraries |
This collection is comprised of assorted images of Baton Rouge found in the Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley manuscript collections at LSU Libraries, Special Collections. The images are predominantly from the 19th Century and focus on the downtown Baton Rouge area.
|Huey P. Long Photograph Album, 1928-1935 |
Black and white photographs depict Louisiana governor Huey P. Long; Russell Long; former Louisiana Governor Oramel Hinckley Simpson; James P. O'Connor, Public Service Commissioner; Louisiana Governor O. K. Allen; John Overton; U.S. Senator Hattie Carraway; and others.
|John James Audubon in Louisiana |
A collection of hand-colored lithographs and engravings published in Audubon's Birds of America. Audubon painted these birds during a 4-month stay at the Oakley Plantation near St. Francisville, Louisiana, in 1821. Many were later published in various incarnations of Birds of America. The Audubon prints chosen for digitization are both large, loose folios (30" x 40") and octavo book plates (7" x 11") and from the "John James Audubon Collection," part of the LSU Libraries' Special Collections E.A. McIlhenny Natural History Collection.
|John Langdon Ward Lantern Slides |
The collection consists of 107 lantern slides documenting the aftermath of the Siege of Port Hudson, Louisiana from May 23 - July 9, 1863. John Langdon Ward may have created these slides dating from circa 1880.
|Lettres de Louisiane |
This collection was compiled by the LSU Center for French and Francophone Studies and funded by the French government , includes letters written in French by Louisianans about the French Revolution. This corpus highlights Louisiana's strong cultural, linguistic, and social ties with France. The ongoing collaborative project will enhance access to rare and understudied French documents held in the LSU Libraries Special Collections and Tulane University.
|Louis Hasselmans' Musicians Photographs |
This collection includes autographed studio portraits of Metropolitan Opera singers, Lionel Barrymore, and several unidentified individuals. Louis Hasselmans was the son of the Belgian harpist Alphonse Hasselmans and the grandson of Joseph Hasselmans. He received his musical education at the Paris Conservatoire where he studied cello, composition, and conducting.
|Louisiana Coastal Ecology, Richard J. Russell Collection |
Maps, aerial photographs, audio files, geographic surveys, and interpretative materials on Louisiana's coastal zone. Materials were used by geologist and geographer Richard J. Russell. Russell, who established a reputation as a world expert on the Mississippi and other delta regions, as well as on coastal erosion and coastal ecology.
|Louisiana Early English Corpus |
This collection was compiled by the LSU Center for French and Francophone Studies and funded by the Louisiana Board of Regents. It includes documents spanning the time of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803 through the end of the 19th century from LSU Libraries Special Collections and Tulane University Special Collections. The documents were written by Louisiana farmers, planters, transporters, sawmill operators, and lawyers; the subject matter ranges from personal and family gossip to long business letters and news from across the Atlantic.
|Louisiana Ecology and Conservation, The Percy Viosca Jr. Collection |
While employed by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Percy Viosca, a pre-eminent herpetologist, documented the coastal Louisiana landscape between 1921 and 1932. He traveled the state for his work that included mosquito control, riparian and marshland studies, flood control, taxonomic work with native Louisiana irises, newts, and snakes, culture of crawfish and environmental impact of oil refinery practices. The images in this collection document locations on or near the Louisiana coast and a few sites inland.
|Louisiana Purchase Bicentennial Collection |
The materials in this collection consist of primary sources that document the heritage, peoples and cultures of the area that was to become the state of Louisiana during a critical and tumultuous period in its history, 1800-1815. Collection contributors include LSU Libraries Special Collections, New Orleans City Archives, and the New Orleans Public Library and was funded by IMLS in 2001.
|Louisiana Railroad Depot Photograph Collection |
The scene of comings and goings in small towns and large across Louisiana and a hub for their commerce, train stations and railroad depots were at the crossroads of community social and economic life. This collection is comprised of images of 129 stations in the state from Houma to Bastrop and points in between, and dates from 1905 to 1984, reflecting the heyday of rail travel to its decline. Railroads represented in the collection include the Illinois Central, Kansas City Southern, Louisiana and Arkansas, Missouri Pacific, Santa Fe, Southern Pacific, Texas and New Orleans, and Texas and Pacific, among others.
|LSU Architectural Drawings by Theodore Link |
Theodore C. Link designed most of the buildings for LSU when the campus was relocated in the 1920's. This group of approximately 200 drawings provide architectural, wiring, heating and plumbing specification for buildings across the campus. Many of the architectural plans provide detailed views of unique stuctural elements. The drawings are arranged in series by the names of buildings.
|LSU Libraries Civil War Collection - Civil War: Context and Conflict |
To mark the sesquicentennial of the Civil War, LSU's Special Collections digitized selected items from the Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections (LLMVC). This collection represents the cultural and political aspects of the conflict, and life in antebellum Louisiana. Sources include books, periodicals, maps, manuscripts, state documents, and microfilm that support scholarly research in many areas, including religion, plantation management, slavery, French Creole identity and relations, and Southern nationalism.
|LSU Libraries Louisiana Waterways Management Collection |
The "Controlling the Waters: The United States Army Corps of Engineers and the Lower Mississippi River Valley" collection is comprised of a variety of technical documents that demonstrate the vital role that the US Army Corps has played in the history and economy of Louisiana and its waterways. This project made possible by funding from the Louisiana Board of Regents.
|LSU Libraries Mardi Gras Collection |
The collection is an assortment of Mardi Gras-related materials from 1875 to 1980. Mardi Gras celebrations in both New Orleans and Baton Rouge are represented in the photographs, programs, invitations, and other selected items availabe in several manuscript collections found in Special Collections.
|LSU Libraries Postcard Collection |
This collection contains two different postcard collections found in the LSU Libraries Special Collections Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley manuscript collections. The Mississippi and Louisiana Postcard Collection contains 93 items and spans from 1906-1939 and the Louisiana Postcard Collection contains 517 items from 1904-1951. Many landmarks in Louisiana and Mississippi are featured in the postcards.
|LSU Special Collections Online |
A showcase of books, manuscripts, photographs, and other materials from the LSU Special Collections Library. Based on the 2006 exhibition, "Special Delivery: A Showcase of LSU Libraries' Special Collections."
|LSU University Archives Photographs Collection |
The photographs in this collection provide a rich look into LSU's past. Focusing on the years 1886-1925, the collection shows the buildings and grounds, students and student life, athletic teams, faculty and administrators, classrooms, and laboratories at the "Ole War Skule."
|LSU University Archives Print Materials Collection |
This collection of printed LSU materials includes early catalogs and commemoration programs of anniversaries, dedications, and other significant events.
|Maps of Louisiana Collection |
Historic maps from the French Colonization of Louisiana and Louisiana Purchase Map Collection.
|Marshall Dunham Photograph Album |
Photograph album compiled by Sgt. Marshall Dunham of the New York 159th regiment consists of photographs taken in Louisiana during the Civil War.
|Medieval Manuscript Facsimiles Inventory |
This collection contains representative images of Medieval Manuscript Facsimiles found in the LSU Libraries Special Collections Library. Information about the original manuscripts is included in the data for each one. The facsimiles may be viewed in Hill Memorial Library.
|Mingo Family African American Photographs, 1887-1955 |
The collection consists of 32 photographic images of unidentified African Americans, believed to be members of the Mingo family of Port Allen, La. Includes cabinet card portraits of men, women, and children, real photo postcards made in Hot Springs, Arkansas, and photographic prints created in Cairo, Illinois; New Orleans, La.; and St. Cloud, Minnesota. It is possible that some of the individuals in the images are members of an African American theatrical troupe specializing in minstrel shows.
|Mississippi River Flood of 1927 Photograph Album |
A visual record of one of the worst natural disasters to occur in the U. S. The flood took the lives of thousands, made refugees of hundreds of thousands, and caused vast destruction. The photo album was prepared for O. K. Allen (1882-1936), Chairman, Louisiana Highway Commission and later Governor, and presumably used for securing Federal disaster aid.
|Natchez, MS photographs, circa 1900-1950 |
Primarily mounted and unmounted studio portraits of African Americans. Also includes images of Natchez houses, a downtown fire aftermath, and a Fourth of July celebration.
|Native Flora of Louisiana - Watercolor drawings by Margaret Stones |
Watercolor drawings of Louisiana's native plants by botanical artist Margaret Stones from the E.A. McIlhenny Collection at Louisiana State University Libraries Special Collections.
|New Orleans Centennial Exposition Stereoscopic Views |
Stereoscopic views of the World's Industrial and Cotton Centennial Exposition in New Orleans, 1884-5.
|New Orleans Image Collections at the LSU Libraries |
The majority of the images are from the New Orleans French Quarter Scenes, circa 1900, collection and the Vieux Carre photographs. Other manuscript collections represented include: New Orleans Dock Views, Horticultural Hall at World's Cotton Centennial and Industrial Exposition Photographs, New Orlean's Jackson Square and St. Louis Cathedral, and an assortment of Mardi Gras images. The original images are located at the LSU Libraries Special Collections Library.
|New Orleans Negative Exposures and Prints, circa 1900-1930 |
The majority of the images document New Orleans architecture and famous buildings such as the Cabildo, the Presbytere, the Pontalba Building, the Old Absinthe House, the Hotel Monteleone, and others, urban public spaces, and boats on the river near Girod Street pier just upriver from the French Quarter. A minority of the images documents private residences and United Fruit Company pier-side operations. The original images are located at the LSU Libraries Special Collections Library.
|Perine-Giles-Sartain engravings, circa 19th century |
This collection contains engravings by George Edward Perine, John Lawrence Giles, and John Sartain. The three were 19th century engravers who depicted historical events, political figures, artists, and other notable individuals. The original engravings are located at the LSU Libraries Special Collections Library.
|Sidonie de la Houssaye Collection |
This collection contains the collected works of nineteenth century Louisiana French writer Sidonie de la Houssaye and accompanying materials such as correspondence, a scrapbook, and newspaper clippings about her life and writings. The Sidonie de la Houssaye Papers, which are housed at the Louisiana State University Special Collections Library, consist of twenty-two volumes of handwritten stories and poems in French.
|Sobre las Olas - Mexican Music from Nineteenth-Century New Orleans |
In 1884, Payen's Eighth Cavalry Mexican Band performed to great acclaim at the New Orleans World Cotton Centennial Exposition, setting off a popular craze for Mexican and Cuban music in the city. This collection contains forty-eight pieces of sheet music performed at the Exposition or written by Mexican composers who worked in Louisiana in the late 19th century.
|Tensas River National Wildlife Refuge Ivory Billed Woodpecker Records |
The 95 photographic negatives and 100 photographic prints document 6 field seasons during the years of 1935-1941 during which James T. Tanner and associates studied the ivory-billed woodpecker and its environment on the Sanger Tract, Madison Parish, Louisiana, in what is now the Tensas River National Wildlife Refuge. Also included is Tanner's hand-drawn, two-sided map documenting nesting sites and other signs of the ivory-billed woodpecker's presence in the Singer and Ayer Tracts, Madison Parish.
|Thomas H. and Joan W. Gandy Photograph Collection |
Collection contains glass plate and celluloid negatives of Natchez photographers Henry Norman, Henry Gurney, and Earl Norman, collected by Dr. Thomas and Joan Gandy. Images include scenes of Natchez, historic buildings, civic events, sports, family groups, and portraits.
|William Barth Photographs of Mississippi and Atchafalaya River Operations |
The photographs in the William Barth Papers, 1917-1959 Series I "Engineering and Levee Revetment documents, ca. 1925-1959 contain the subseries "Photographs of levee work, ca. 1928-1945." The nearly 250 images depict various stages and types of work on the levees of the lower Mississippi River and Louisiana's Atchafalaya Basin.
|William J. Thornton Music Collection |
This collection consists of nearly 60 digital recordings of music composed by LSU alumnus William James Thornton Jr. between 1940-1984. Approximately 30 recordings also have printable digitized scores available in PDF form.
|William Waller Survey Collection |
William G. Waller and his brother Henry were parish surveyors for East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana during the latter half of the nineteenth century. This collection contains plats, legal documents, notes, and correspondence related to surveys of the City of Baton Rouge; East and West Baton Rouge Parishes; and Greensburg, St. Helena, and Southeast Land Districts. Plats of other parishes in south Louisiana are also included. Collection contains the work of the Waller brothers and other surveyors, including Renier Swart, William McColloch, and Andre Lesage.
|Wright-Boyd Family Papers at LSU Libraries |
The Wright family owned plantations in Rapides Parish, La. Esther Gertrude Wright (1844-1915) married David French Boyd (1834-99), President of Louisiana State Seminary, later Louisiana State University. The digital collection consists of daguerreotypes and photographic prints belonging to the Wright family.