Tuesday, November 30, 2010

New fall finding aids

In light of the recent Thanksgiving holiday, we're thankful for our wonderful interns and student workers at the Louisiana Research Collection. With their hard work this fall, we've been able to make over 25 new finding aids available online. Here's just a sample:

New Orleans Street Railway Union records (Manuscripts Collection 26):
Perhaps one of the largest and most exciting finding aids we've unveiled this autumn, this collection contains the records of the Amalgamated Association of Street and Electric Railway Employees of America Division No. 194 in New Orleans from 1902 to 1948. Much of the collection was processed by our interns Mallorie Smith and Kathryn Rumer. More information about the collection can be found here.

Ambert O. Remington papers (Manuscripts Collection 89): This collection contains the Civil War letters of Ambert O. Remington, a Union soldier who spent time at Fort Pickens and was later wounded at Port Hudson (Louisiana), resulting in an amputated arm and his subsequent death. Our intern, Seth Rushton, created a wonderfully detailed finding aid for this collection, tracing Remington's evolving thought processes during the war. This collection adds greatly to our already strong holdings of Civil War letters, papers, and diaries.

St. Clair Adams records (Manuscripts Collection 291): This collection consists primarily of the documents of Richard Leche's defense attorneys. Former governor of Louisiana, Richard Leche, was charged with bribery, contempt, income tax evasion, mail fraud, oil fraud, and conspiracy to defraud the state. There are drafts of briefs, motions, pleas, projected questions for witnesses, lists of jurors, notes and supportive data for the defense, anticipated objections for cross examination, and witness testimony in the St. Clair Adams records.

Nicholas Low papers (Manuscripts Collection 383): Letters written between 1781-1811 to Nicholas Low, a New York merchant. Many of the letters are from Juan Baptiste Macarty, a merchant in New Orleans.

Friday Afternoon Club records (Manuscripts Collection 725): Records of the Friday Afternoon Club, a prominent local woman's social club.

Alfred S. Lippman collection of Civil War letters (Manuscripts Collection 993): This collection consists primarily of Antebellum and Civil War letters collected by donor Al Lippman. The letters were primarily written by Union soldiers in the south to their families in the north. The letters describe news of skirmishes and fighting, daily camp life, illness and disease, slavery and opinions and observations about their experiences. Many of the letters were written by soldiers stationed in Louisiana. The collection also contains 41 Civil War postal covers.

All of these collections are currently open for research to the public. For more information about using the Louisiana Research Collection's holdings, please see our website for more information.

Posted by Eira Tansey, Library Associate.

Friday, November 19, 2010

LaRC's new digital collection, “Louisiana Political Ephemera, 1860-1920”

The Louisiana Research Collection (LaRC) preserves an extensive collection of political literature, such as handouts, campaign flyers, and political brochures. Such small printed items are called “ephemera” because they are meant to be glanced at and then tossed away; they therefore have a brief, or “ephemeral,” lifespan. This selection from LaRC’s political ephemera collection spans 1860 to 1920. In addition to being colorful and fun, campaign literature can be of enormous importance to a surprising variety of researchers.

Campaign literature preserves a wealth of information, including a candidate’s name, race, sex, age, party, party faction, platform, resume, campaign slogan, business, offices held, endorsements, and a photograph of the candidate and or even the candidate’s family. It therefore is invaluable for a wide range of research topics and is often a useful place to start for many research projects. LaRC’s collection covers both local New Orleans elections, statewide Louisiana elections, and a few items relate to presidential campaigning in Louisiana. Subjects covered include Reconstruction-era politicians, polling and balloting practices, the Good Government League and many other topics.

The selection can be viewed online here. Additional digital collections from the Louisiana Research Collection's holdings can be found on LOUIS Digital Library.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Farewell to Mary LeBlanc

Our friend Mary LeBlanc has recently decided to retire from her volunteer service to the Louisiana Research Collection. In October 1973, Mary started working as a Howard-Tilton Memorial Library staff member in Special Collections, continuing for all those years through 2005. Since then, she kindly volunteered her time to process newly-acquired Carnival ephemera for inclusion in LaRC’s very deep and multi-faceted Carnival Collection. Over her career in the library, she worked closely with Bill Meneray, Lee Miller, and a very long list of co-workers.

Mary’s sociable manner and love of New Orleans will be fondly remembered. In fact, we look forward to her visits! Carole Hampshire, a long-time Special Collections colleague and good friend of Mary’s, said, “…there are many wonderful things that can be said about Mary—enough to fill her own manuscript collection! Mary deserves her own krewe, along with her own tiara and doubloon, which will be hot collector’s items. We will miss her tremendously here, and her effects on this department are beyond description.”

Caption: Mary LeBlanc and friends, 1988. Photograph from the cover of Vol. 5, no. 5 (Sept.-Oct. 1988) Tulane Significa, Newsletter of the Tulane University Libraries. Thanks to University Archivist Ann Case for identifying and providing this.

Posted by Susanna Powers