The Louisiana Research Collection has loaned a full set of twenty float plates from the Krewe of Proteus 1904 “The Alphabet” parade to the New Orleans Museum of art for its exhibit “Bror Anders Wikstrom: Bringing Fantasy to Carnival.” This is a very rare opportunity to see every float design from a single parade. The exhibit will be on view from December 14, 2017 through April 1, 2018.

NOMA's exhibit also showcases LaRC costume and float designs from 1898 and 1910 as well as selections from LaRC's image collection showing photographs of the completed designs. Designer Bror Anders Wikstrom (1854–1909), elevated the extravaganza of carnival through his fantastical designs fo…
The December 2017 Tulane Magazine features a story about two LaRC maps.

Two 150-year old maps detailing the location of New Orleans cotton presses in 1860 have been given new life thanks to the fast thinking of Leon Miller, head of the Louisiana Research Collection at Tulane Howard-Tilton Memorial Library.

Miller believes that the maps are the only existing ones of the Cotton Press District at that time. In the cotton manufacturing process, raw cotton was ginned of its seeds, and then formed into uniform bales for shipping and marketing.

In 2009, these maps were set to be discarded after they began to crumble as a result of the aging papers’ s acidic breakdown. In fact, Miller said the maps were already in a trash can when he found them. But he could not stand to see the historic maps tossed out.

“The maps were in hundreds of pieces,” said Miller. “But once I found one of the cartouches, I knew they would be worth saving.”

A cartouche, Miller explained, is an inscription that provides an e…
12.8.1863. Shortly before the conclusion of the Civil War, members of the Louisiana state government who had remained loyal wrote a petition for the release of a Confederate prisoner of war, John Gauche. Gauche was held captive at Camp Douglass for nineteen months, but swore to return his allegiance to the United States. President Lincoln granted and signed this petition on April 10, 1865, just five days before his assassination. Follow the link to see the other three pages of the petition, including the signatures of the petitioners.…/exhibi…/show/treasures/item/719

Something big is coming and you don’t want to miss it when it arrives. Be sure to tune in at 2 p.m., CST, TODAY, Friday, Dec. 8 for the kickoff of the campaign that will change Tulane’s future. The announcement will be live-streamed here:
Please remember LaRC in your end-of-year giving. When the Louisiana Research Collection agrees to preserve something, we make a commitment to preserve it permanently. "Permanently" means "forever," and "forever" is expensive. We therefore depend on private gifts to support many of our special projects.

Because they provide reliable ongoing support, our greatest need is for endowed funds and positions. Named funds offer a tremendous opportunity to honor someone in a permanent and prestigious manner. For more information, please contact Leon Miller, head, Louisiana Research Collection,, 504-314-7833.

You can also give to the Louisiana Research Collection easily and conveniently by credit card at To learn more about LaRC and how you can help, visit our website or view our new online brochure. Many thanks.

Image: Canal Street after the snow storm of 1895
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Happy Thanksgiving
Because food and foodways are central to Louisiana, documenting our state's food culture is a special mission of the Louisiana Research Collection. Not only does LaRC collect menus and other restaurant ephemera (which it has put online), it also makes a special effort to acquire Louisiana cookbooks. Many cookbooks from well-known chefs, restaurants, and presses are readily available, while others are more difficult to obtain.

Particularly difficult are self-published cookbooks that document a family's recipes or are sold by organizations as a fund-raising tool. LaRC recently acquired nearly a hundred self-published cookbooks from Louisiana churches, schools, social organizations, and families in parishes and small towns across the state, from the Episcopal School of Acadiana to the Baton Rouge Chapter of Sweet Adelines.

Such self-published cookbooks are essential for documenting an area's particular food interests. They are also often the only way to docume…