Documenting Louisiana's Environment

A special mission of the Louisiana Research Collection (LaRC) is documenting our state’s environment. Recently, LaRC made available a small collection of correspondence, handwritten notes and maps, and notated photographs of transect locations of Martin Burkenroad’s work for the Freeport Sulphur Company. Burkenroad studied the high mortality rate of oysters in Port Sulphur, La., the Freeport Canal, and other locations.

Martin David Burkenroad (1910 March 20 – 1986 January 12) was a marine biologist who specialized in decapod crustaceans and fisheries. Burkenroad was born in New Orleans and attended Tulane University for a short time. While he published several scientific papers at Tulane, he left the University without earning a degree. Afterwards, he worked for the Marine Biological Laboratory in the Dry Tortugas part of the Florida Keys and the Louisiana Department of Conservation, specifically focusing on the state’s fisheries. In 1934, he entered Yale University and participated i…

Joseph H. Epstein, Jr., collection of New Orleans commercial real estate photographs, circa 1930 - 1965

Margaret Epstein has donated the photograph collection of her late husband, Joseph H. Epstein, Jr., to the Louisiana Research Collection. It comprises roughly 600 photographs (about 1 linear foot) spanning the 1930s through the early 1960s. Mr. Epstein saved the photographs from being discarded while working as a commercial realtor for Latter and Blum Inc. All but two of the photos are from the East Bank of New Orleans and almost all are exterior scenes recording street life. Some include lot descriptions, price, or rental income. The great majority were taken by Charles L. Franck. Click to enlarge the photos.

A New Orleans native, Joseph Hugo Epstein, Jr., (1932 – 2018) attended Isidore Newman School and graduated from the University of Michigan with honors in journalism. He served in the U.S. Navy aboard the U.S.S. PCE 904 and was its Commanding Officer at the time of decommissioning. After his military service, he returned to New Orleans and joined his father at Fitzgerald Advertisi…

Fresh from the conservator: 1861 sheriff's sale

J. Rock vs. His Creditors. Second District Court, Parish of Orleans, No. 18, 537. Sheriff's Sale! By John P. Walden, Sheriff of the Parish of Orleans. Will be sold at public auction, on the premises hereinafter designated, on Wednesday, December 4, 1861, at half-past 10 o'clock, A.M., for account of the creditors of said insolvent: The contents of a hat and cap store, situated at 105 St. Charles street, in the First District of this City, as per inventory on file. Seized in the above suit. Terms cash on the spot.

Printed on cheap acidic newsprint, this 1861 broadside had been folded in quarters for decades, causing it to break into several pieces along the folds. The acid in the paper had made it brittle, with the edges torn, friable, and missing paper along the periphery. It also suffered from attempts in the past to repair it with the bane of archives, Scotch tape.

The goal of conservation is not merely to repair a document, but also to make it stable and usable for researcher…

Donors making a difference: March/April 2018 acquisitions

The Louisiana Research Collection depends on donors dedicated to preserving our past. During March and April, donors helped permanently preserve materials pertaining to a wide range of New Orleans and Louisiana fields, including fish and fisheries, LGBTQ life in the French Quarter, civic associations, vintage real estate photographs, Carnival, family life in the early 1900s, and Rufus C. Harris, who was president of Tulane University from 1937 to 1960.

Henry L. Bart, Jr., of New Orleans has donated field notebooks, correspondence, specimen collecting permits, and other materials pertaining to Professor Royal D. Suttkus (1920 - 2009), biologist, natural historian, and head of the Tulane Natural History Museum (now The Tulane University Biodiversity Research Institute).

Louis M. Bernard, Jr., of New Orleans donated four binders of photographs taken for the French Quarter magazine The Rooster, which was published from 1987 to 1989 and served the New Orleans LGBTQ community.

Janie Creel of…

New LaRC Digital Collections April 2018

With roughly four linear miles of holdings, LaRC's vast collections will never all be available online. However, we constantly add to our extensive digital resources in order to make our holdings as widely and easily available as possible. LaRC's online holdings are available to everyone on an equal basis; researchers never need a user-ID or password to view them. Here are three of our newest digital collections.

The Registre du Comite Medical de la Nouvelle Orleans, 1816 - 1854, is the official document of the Eastern licensing district of the state of Louisiana and records the names of licensed pharmacists and physicians.

Algernon Badger Family Papers, 1813-1920. Badger is best-known as Chief of the Metropolitan Police of New Orleans from 1870 to 1875. He was on the front lines of the increasing political unrest between Southern white conservatives and Louisiana’s Reconstruction-era government and defended the city from multiple riots and attempted insurrection by the White Le…

LaRC People and Places April 2018

Part of being a professional is accepting an ethical obligation to give back, both to their profession and to their communities. Giving back to their profession can involve various ways to move their profession forward, such as serving on committees, presenting and publishing research papers, participating in professional meetings, and holding leadership positions. Giving back to their communities can include serving on the boards of civic organizations, giving talks to civic and social groups, and liaising with local and national media to help educate the public about libraries and archives. From the Sons of the American Revolution to WGNO to the Louisiana Historical Association, here are some of the ways LaRC gave back in March and April of 2018.

On April 12, 2018, Sean Benjamin, LaRC's Public Services Librarian, was interviewed by a reporter from Gambit magazine as part of a series on "Forgotten New Orleans." On April 12-15, Sean attended the annual meeting of the Loui…