Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Happy Holidays!

The Schiro Reading Room will be open during normal hours through Tuesday, December 23, 2014, and then close for Winter Recess.    Normal hours will resume on Monday, January 5, 2015.

Please note, however, that the main Howard-Tilton Memorial Library building has closed down because of construction, and tentatively plans to resume operations on Monday, January 5, 2015.   More information about the construction project is available on the library web site.

Have a safe and happy holiday season, and a prosperous new year!  

Caption:  handmade glass ornaments, Newcomb Art Dept. Holiday Studio Sale, Dec. 5, 2014.

Photograph and post by Susanna Powers


Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Visual keepsakes of Minette Sterbcow

Minette Henrietta Dreyfus Sterbcow (1916-1999) was a daughter of Morris Dreyfus and Julia Hirsch Dreyfus of New Orleans.  She collected family photographs throughout her life, along with school and social ephemera and other meaningful papers.  In the late twentieth century, she was a widow with no children, but wished for these items to be donated to Tulane University.  Her visually and culturally rich collection is now held in LaRC as Manuscripts Collection 1068.

Her papers include handwritten and typed correspondence, greeting cards, post cards, poetry, legal documents, biographical and genealogical information, her own and her mother's New Orleans school papers, invitations, announcements, keepsakes, synagogue programs, B'nai B'rith items, numerous family photographs including matted or framed formal portraits created in New Orleans studios as well as candid amateur family photographs, negatives, Carnival and masonic items, printed color posters, advertisements, scrapbooks, newspaper clippings and other printed items. A portion of the collection is devoted to the actor Lionel Adams (d. 1952), an uncle of Minette Sterbcow's whose original name was Moise Hirsch.  The collection includes numerous photographs of Lionel Adams in performance in the New York theater.  Minette continued collecting everything about her well-known uncle’s career, including the advertisements in which he appeared as a model in his later years.  Many of the photographs are undated or uncaptioned, but the collection spans the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, as well as a variety of styles and subjects.

Allied Jewish families or friends represented in the collection include Weil, Leopold, Abramson, Steeg, Goldfarb, Friedman, and others. New Orleans schools represented include Robert M. Lusher School, McDonogh No. 13 and 15, Isidore Newman School, Eleanor McMain High School, Francis T. Nicholls Vocational School for Girls, and L. E. Rabouin Memorial School.

This collection will be of interest to those doing historical research in Jewish studies, genealogy, photography, New Orleans education and business, New Orleans Carnival and other social activities, American theater, and advertising.

Captions: Minette with her husband Lewis Sterbcow in 1942 (Collection 1068, oversized folder 2); advertisement featuring Lionel Adams (oversized folder 3); uncaptioned Carnival festivities (box 6, folder 7); and formal studio photograph of Minette in 1930, by photographer C. Bennette Moore of New Orleans (box 2, folder 6).  Images of items in the Louisiana Research Collection may not be re-published without permission.   

Posted by Susanna Powers

Saturday, November 1, 2014

American soldiers' writings

To honor American soldiers and veterans of all generations, the following is a sample listing of LaRC archival collections which include original soldiers' writings, in their letters or in diaries.  Several represented here spent time as prisoners of war on American soil. Some died during military service, while others lived long celebrated lives.

Manuscripts Collection 416 

Manuscripts Collection 958 

Manuscripts Collection 614 

Manuscripts Collection 400 

Manuscripts Collection 545 

Manuscripts Collection 79 

Manuscripts Collection 916

Manuscripts Collection 246 

Manuscripts Collection 449

Manuscripts Collection 711

Manuscripts Collection 476

Manuscripts Collection 493 

Manuscripts Collection 78 

Manuscripts Collection 3 

Manuscripts Collection 87 

Manuscripts Collection 690

Manuscripts Collection 213 

Manuscripts Collection 104 

Manuscripts Collection 967 

Manuscripts Collection 1065

Manuscripts Collection 1066 

Manuscripts Collection 1067 

Manuscripts Collection 329 

Manuscripts Collection 498 

Manuscripts Collection 580

Manuscripts Collection 815 

Manuscripts Collection 134 

Manuscripts Collection 1011 

Manuscripts Collecton 996

Manuscripts Collection 167 

This list is the result of a search in the library catalog.
Howard-Tilton Memorial Library "Classic Catalog" advanced search. 
Search: Soldiers' writings, American
[all of these]    [subject keyword]
combined with
Type:   Archival material.
Click on the link to learn more about each collection.

The Schiro Reading Room will be open for normal hours on Veterans Day.

Posted by Susanna Powers

Monday, October 13, 2014

LaRC books-- the fiction of Rhodesia Jackson

In her Pecan Candy trilogy, Rhodesia Jackson narrates the life-changing experiences of young Peggy Lavizzo of Orleans Avenue, as she falls in love and marries architect Clint Johnston.   Although both native New Orleanian African-Americans, the two characters are very different in socio-economic background and circumstances, age, family, skin color, education, life experience, religion, and point of view.

Pecan candy & huck-a-bucks / by Rhodesia Jackson.  2nd ed.  New Orleans, LA : Orgena Enterprises, c1995. 
 PS 3560 .A24197 P4 1995 LACOLL
(also in a Kindle ed. From

Sweeter than candy / Rhodesia Jackson.  1st ed.  New Orleans, LA : Orgena, c1997.
 PS 3560 .A24197 S92 1997 LACOLL

Three times sweeter, love, home & family / Rhodesia Jackson.  1st ed.  New Orleans, LA : Orgena Enterprises Ltd., c2000.
[pre-order process in LaRC]

Yes, there’s candy-making, mini-snowballs, delicious aromatic food, music, sensual situations, romantic and family love, shopping, generosity, babies, adorable children, a Saints player, prayers, and hilarious vulgar dialogue.   There is even a trip to New York for cultural contrast.   But this is no pre-Katrina fairy tale.   Racial and intra-racial prejudice, male chauvinism, female opportunism, domestic abuse, poverty, materialism, political corruption, homophobia, mental illness, Voodoo curses, drug abuse, AIDS, crime, gun violence, and tragedy are themes throughout the ambitious trilogy.    

The author currently lives in New Orleans, working through websites and continuing her writing in the form of  screenplays and other projects, as cinematic-style dialogue is a strength of her work.    In a 2013 interview here, she comments on the effect of the Katrina disaster on herself, her family, and her writing.  

LaRC collects literary works by Louisiana authors, particularly when the Louisiana setting is of prominent importance in the narrative, verse, or text.  Works of fiction often serve the purpose of cultural preservation; poetry and nonfiction contribute to the knowledge and sense of the times.    

Posted by Susanna Powers

Friday, September 26, 2014

New Orleans art schools' calendars

New Orleans art schools' calendars (LaRC Manuscripts Collection 522) is a grouping of locally-produced calendars featuring years between 1902 and 1938.   It contains original color or monochrome linoleum-block or wood-block prints and printed reproductions designed by various artists and published through art schools in New Orleans. These were compiled into annual calendars, mostly bound with string, and produced through the Newcomb College Art Department, and art classes of the Isidore Newman School, in New Orleans.  With art and music education being presently reduced in the primary and secondary schools, this collection is evidence of a slower-paced era when creativity and patience were valued.

Many of the designs incorporate carved-in students' initials; the collection also includes designs by Mary Frances Baker and Rosalie Urquhart. Subjects depicted in the calendars include New Orleans buildings, bridges, boats, natural scenes, the Shushan Airport, and Mayan masks and figurines. One of the calendars features famous women of New Orleans, and includes portraits of Baroness Pontalba, Margaret Haughery, Sophie B. Wright, Grace King, and Dorothy Dix, plus images of nuns, an African-American woman, and a Mardi Gras queen.

Other similar prints and calendars are cataloged separately in the Louisiana Collection (LACOLL), which is part of the Louisiana Research Collection.

Captions:  top: a printed cover of A New Orleans calendar, 1905, designed by Rosalie Urquhart (Newcomb College), located in 522-1-2;  bottom, an original 1937 print featuring an unnamed African-American woman (art class, Newman School ... "This calendar designed and cut by art class of Newman School, New Orleans, Louisiana"), located in 522-1-13.    Images of items in the Louisiana Research Collection may not be re-published without permission.

Posted by Susanna Powers

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Patriot Day

Tulane remembers 9/11, a joint effort,
as installed on the LBC quad today

photos & post by Susanna Powers

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Labor Day weekend

The Schiro Reading Room will be closed Saturday, August 30 - Monday, September 1, 2014, for Labor Day.    Hours of the main library building are available on the Howard-Tilton Memorial Library website.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

9th anniversary of Katrina

August is Katrina Month in New Orleans.   August 29, 2014, will mark the ninth anniversary of the storm, the flood, and one of the worst disasters in American history.

Creative and informative writing on Katrina continues to be published and collected by the library, and especially by the Louisiana Research Collection.   Recently-retired Tulane University president Scott Cowen has written a scholarly memoir of his presidency which strongly focuses on the disaster and continuing recovery of the university and the city.   Copies are held in the main Howard-Tilton stacks as well as in LaRC:

                Cowen, Scott S.  The inevitable city : the resurgence of New Orleans and the future of urban America / Scott Cowen, with Betsy Seifter ; foreword by Walter Isaacson.  First edition.  New York, NY : Palgrave Macmillan, 2014.

Howard-Tilton Stacks
HT177.N49 C69 2014

Jones Hall Louisiana Research Collection
HT177.N49 C69 2014

Rather than simply taking credit for his own personal leadership during the aftermath of the storm,  Scott Cowen carefully describes a wide variety of examples of individuals and groups who contributed to the direction of recovery.  He doesn’t rewrite the painful and divisive conditions of the 2005/2006. 

“In my seven pre-Katrina years in New Orleans, I was, in a way, a tourist.  But since Katrina, I feel more like I’m “from here.”  I’ve become engaged with everything New Orleans—the music, the food, the artists, the history; the hurricane parties, the Mardi Gras floats, the smell of jasmine, the glitter of the river.  I’ve met remarkable people, like the late Jefferson Parish sheriff Harry Lee, who figured out how to get Tulane’s database files out of a downtown building when the city was under martial law, and like Quint Davis, the mastermind and producer of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, who almost singlehandedly brought the city’s music—everything from the Mardi Gras Indians’ chants to Professor Longhair’s blues—to national prominence.  And then there’s Bob Breland, my regular cabdriver, whose colorful turns of phrase, careening sense of humor, and encyclopedic mind for city detail remind me of Ignatius from John Kennedy Toole’s A Confederacy of Dunces.” –p.10-11.

“It’s tempting to blame everything on Ray, but circumstances shape things more than we like to think.  The troubled racial history of the town inevitably surfaced after Katrina, and if it hadn’t been Ray with his chocolate city speech, it would undoubtedly have been someone else stirring the pot.  At the same time, character matters.  Leadership matters.  Our job as civic leaders was to work with the difficult realities, including the realities of racial distrust, political dissension, and the traumatic effects of loss and dislocation.” – p. 38.

 “Urban revitalization requires leaders, both direct and indirect, who are committed to both the daily grind and the visionary goal.  In the end, the resurgence of New Orleans is the result of people who took responsibility and took charge, of leaders from all over who did the work and found the means to achieve what looked like an impossible goal.  And once again in its long, dramatic history, New Orleans has proved itself to be the inevitable city.”   p. 217.

Posted by Susanna Powers


Thursday, July 17, 2014

Louisiana as it was in 1873

Samuel H. Lockett (1837-1891) was an engineer and professor of engineering, who worked in an official capacity with the United States, and during the American Civil War, with the Confederate States. He conducted a topographic survey of the state of Louisiana from 1869 to 1872. 

The Samuel H. Lockett manuscripts (LaRC Manuscripts Collection 826) consists of handwritten descriptive text and illustrations of two works by Samuel H. Lockett. Included in the collection are: Louisiana as it is (1873-1874); and The coast of Louisiana (undated). The second work is also included as a bound typescript. Throughout the first manuscript are small hand-drawn sketches of Louisiana scenes, and edited clipped proofs for possible publication; photographs are grouped together in a folder. A handwritten sheet listing an 1870 population table by parish and race, derived from the federal census, is an informative addition to the description of the state's natural topography and geography.

This collection will be useful to environmental scientists interested in the changes in the Louisiana coast over time, as well as to historians, cultural researchers, and students of Louisiana in the visual arts.  

Caption: mounted photographs from Manuscripts Collection 826, Box 1, Folder 8.  Images of items held in the Louisiana Research Collection may not be re-published without permission.

Posted by Susanna Powers

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

pardon our progress

New furniture is being constructed today by workers from DKI Office Furniture.   The reading room is closed until they finish the installation, possibly Tuesday afternoon.

UPDATE, Wed. July 16, the reading room has returned to our normal hours as posted on the LaRC website.   It is always a good idea to check there for possible exceptions.

Photo and post by Susanna Powers

Monday, July 14, 2014

Closed Tuesday morning, 7/15

The Schiro Reading Room will be closed 
Tuesday morning, July 15, 2014,
 for furniture installation.    

Friday, June 6, 2014

D-Day Love-Letter

Today marks the 70th anniversary of D-Day, when Allied Troops landed on the beaches of Normandy in an invasion that ultimately turned the tide of the Second World War. The Louisiana Research Collection preserves the papers of Murrel H. Kaplan, who served in the Army Medical Corps at the 64th General Hospital in Italy during World War II. In this letter to his wife, penned while listening to the radio broadcast of the battle, Kaplan recounts his and his fellow Medical Corps officers' experience of the event, as well as his eagerness for the war to end.

                                                                                                                                        6 June '44

         Today is a memorable day. it is never to be forgotten. The invasion across the channel began, which is a long way for saying that it marks the beginning of the end of Hitlerism. It significances, altho manifold, is interpreted as having but one meaning -- that soon this European conflict will be over, and we will be on our way home to our loved ones. Since early this morning, all ears have been glued to the radio, even tho we knew that there would be nothing to say about the first day's fighting. It just sounded so wonderful to hear the announcer read Gen'l Eisenhower's order of the day. The repetition, instead of becoming boring, served the opposite effect, for the reality of such a long awaited event had to be driven home. As you can well visualize, the joy of this excitement was so great that hardly anyone could get any work done. The frequent consultations, the comparison of notes and of words made each of us forget for the moment that we were thousands of miles away. We could only pinch ourselves to make sure we weren't dreaming. Oh darling, this war will be over soon, and we will be together again. 
      Because I felt that I was of no value today on my ward, I decided to go back to Maj. Holabaugh and let him check me. He found everything quiescent, which pleased me as usual. he thanked me for the compact you sent his wife. he appreciated it very much for it was only a small way of finding out how grateful I've been for all his attention. 
     Last night, I saw Wallace Beery in "Rationing." it was a typical picture, with a few laughs and a lot of slap-stick comedy. tonight it was Bing Crosby in "Star Maker." Altho it was an old show, I enjoyed it thoroughly. movies always fascinate me. It add so so much to this otherwise drab existence. 
     There was very little mail today. i am sure the boys at the A.P.O. took off a half day to listen to the news. I don't blame them; I would have too! 
     Please excuse this rotten letter, but it has been an exhausting day. My sweetheart, I feel so happy, I could shout aloud. The invasion has actually taken place! We are that much nearer to being together. Gosh, how I love and adore you - and how I miss you. 
     Love to the fallen, my heart to you, 
     Your Sweetie

Posted by Samantha Bruner

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Discoveries in Jones Hall-- birthday parties on Constantinople Street

Cornelia Dean Genella Sansum (1868-1960) and her her husband, Samuel Sansum (1858-1945), a lawyer, lived at 1636 Constantinople Street in New Orleans during the twentieth century. Mrs. Sansum's mother was Mary Louise Kennedy (1836-1899). Cornelia and Samuel Sansum were married in 1902. 

Mrs. Sansum donated her rather small amount of personal papers to the library in 1950, and they are held in the Louisiana Research Collection as Manuscripts Collection 586.  This collection consists of handwritten correspondence, affectionate birthday greetings from Sam to Cornelia, a business card, a calling card, advertisements, their marriage announcement, a reception invitation, Samuel Sansum's 1918 certificate of naturalization, and Cornelia Sansum's small prebound datebook into which she wrote birth, death, and marriage dates of some of her relatives. Names represented include members of the Sansum, Genella, and Kennedy families of Louisiana and Mississippi.

In the late 1940s, when Mrs. Sansum was elderly, she held her own birthday parties at her grand home. Gathered from twenty-first century research interviews, John Kennedy Toole biographer, Cory MacLauchlin, relates in Butterfly in the Typewriter, that as an adolescent, Toole attended Mrs. Sansum's birthday parties, where he was required to recite poems for her, and a friend of his performed piano sonatas.  Afterward, the young people enjoyed cookies and petits-fours, and would have fun riding up and down in Mrs. Sansum's elevator.

John Kennedy Toole may have been related to Cornelia Sansum, as they shared the ancestral name of Kennedy, which is the maiden name of the author's mother's grandmother.  It seems probable that the young Toole might have been sent to these parties of an aging great-aunt, as a family obligation. Also, it seems more than a coincidence that Constantinople Street in New Orleans figures prominently in Toole's A Confederacy of Dunces, although we imagine that the fictional Ignatius Reilly and his mother lived down on the other side of Saint Charles Avenue.

Captions: the naturalization certificate of Samuel Sansum; 
a notation in Cornelia Sansum's datebook: Born ... 1840, John Kennedy, Biloxi, Miss. 

Butterfly in the Typewriter by Cory MacLauchlin is available in LaRC with call number:
 PS 3570 .O54 C666 2012 LACOLL. 
 Another copy is located in the Howard-Tilton Memorial Library main stacks. 

Images of items in the Louisiana Research Collection may not be republished without permission.

Posted by Susanna Powers

Friday, May 23, 2014

Memorial Day

Above is a translation and transcription of an unattributed wartime letter, written in French,
presumably by a member of the American de Marigny family of New Orleans, during World War I. 
 These documents are in the de Marigny family papers, LaRC Manuscripts Collection 416, Box 1, Folder 4.
The French original in the collection is itself a handwritten copy.
Text of the letter's typed translation, from French into English:

I am returning from the trenches/ where I suffered greatly/ I remained 48/ hours in muddy water/ up to my stomach, under a/ very violent firing from German cannons/ For a rest,/ we stay in the cellars/ of a ruined village,/ bombarded night and day./  Dead bodies everywhere a/ stench, it's a little like hell, nevertheless/ our troops an excellent morale,/ nothing seems to affect them.  This was/ is a massacre with/ all the refinements of/ cruelty that human intelligence/ has been able to discover./  The flooded lands where/ we have worked are/ a frightening picture/ of desolation/ here and there/ - some ruins emerge from the water/ everywhere are half-sunken dead bodies which the pigs and crows/ fight over all day./  Along with that the continual rain/ and the freezing sea wind/, all full of sand/ which sticks to one's lips/ and makes one thirsty. - Fatigue/ and lack of everything/ make us sluggish/.  One finally can not suffer/ because one has suffered too much.-/  The men never complain/ they are heroes/ the Germans moreover are in worse/ shape than we - this is what consoles us./  The food provisioning/ is done/ perfectly and we are/ never hungry.

Images of items in the Louisiana Research Collection may not be re-published without permission.

Posted by Susanna Powers

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Civil Rights and the First Unitarian Church of New Orleans

The Louisiana Research Collection has recently acquired the records of the First Unitarian Church of New Orleans. Among First Church’s records are the papers of Reverend Albert D’Orlando, who was a vocal Civil Rights activist in the 1960s. Reverend D’Orlando was especially active in the fight for the integration of New Orleans public schools. Below is a letter co-authored by Rev. D’Orlando and Charles Foster, the president of the church’s Board of Trustees, which describes the church’s the efforts  to support the families of children attending integrated schools, as well as teachers and protesters during this turbulent period in New Orleans’s history. 

January 4, 1961
Dear Friends,
                Brotherhood itself is on trial today in New Orleans. At stake here is the future course of integration itself; for, it is clear that New Orleans will mark the turning point for or against further implementation of the Supreme Court Decision.
                We are grateful to Unitarians everywhere who have written us words of encouragement in recent weeks. Your interest and concern have given us new courage in continuing to grapple as we have for many years, with a problem that has many ramifications.
                You will be glad to know that from the very beginning, The First Unitarian Church of  New Orleans has been very much involved in this situation. Ours is the only church in the city to have issued a public statement in support of integrated schools. Moreover, although some voices (a few clergymen, some businessmen, part of the faculty at Tulane University, and an independent group of parents) have urge d compliance with the Supreme Court Decision, our church is the only voice insisting that beyond the legal aspects of the problem the issue is one that must also be solved on ethical and moral grounds.
                On the level of direct participation, many of our members have made outstanding contributions: some are in positions of responsibility with the S.O.S. (Save Our Schools); others provided transportation to children attending integrated schools, until this function was assumed by the Federal Marshalls; and two of our members now face prosecution (one is charged with criminal anarchy) for having initiated and led a group in the first down-town “sit-ins”.
                We are now entering a period when Unitarians everywhere can give expression to their long cherished ideals. This is a time of great tension for New Orleanians; it is marked by a constant increase in threats, intimidation, vandalism and economic pressure on many families, particularly on those who continue to send their children to integrated schools. Meanwhile, a legislature that is almost hysterically passing new segregation was, has now appointed a Committee on Un-American Activities to investigate any person who speaks out for integration.
                The pressing need here is for funds which will enable us to keep alive and active the battle for integration. We must be in a position to do several things, such as; to encourage parents who have not withdrawn their children from school, by helping them through periods of economic reprisal when they lose their jobs and have their homes vandalized; to support teachers of integrated schools who are not receiving their salaries and to encourage other teachers who face the possibility of dismissal because of their views on the subject; to provide legal counsel for persons facing prosecution because of having been outspoken or active in bringing about integration; and, to embark on a program of education designed to relieve tension and to strengthen those democratic ideals that are now being undermined.
                To meet these needs, our Congregation already has established a Special Fund, and invites contributions to it by all Unitarians. This will be welcome news to many individuals who have asked us to suggest ways in which they might help. We believe that many other members and friends of your church will be glad for an opportunity to take direct and effective action by contributing to this project, and we would appreciate it if you would pass this information on to them as soon as possible that our progress may be more quickly implemented.
                We will report to you on our progress and needs, and at the end you will receive a full report on how the money will have been distributed.  Meanwhile if there should be any balance remaining at that time, this will be divided equally between the United Unitarian Appeal and the Unitarian Service Committee.
                . . . .
                                                                                                                Charles Foster, President
                                                                                                                Albert D’Orlando, Minister

A small portion of the First Church’s records are currently available for research. The finding aid can be viewed here. The remainder of the collection will be available within the next 2-3 months, after it has been fully processed. 
Samantha Bruner has joined LaRC as our Archives Processing and Digital Initiatives Associate.

Samantha is a recent graduate of the University of Texas at Austin’s School of Information. At the iSchool, she focused her studies on archival management and digital preservation. In Austin she gained experience in a variety of archival environments, including the Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary Archives, the George Bush Library and Museum, and the Archive of Indigenous Languages of Latin America. Samantha also served on the board of UT Austin’s chapter of the Society of American Archivists, and helped organize Archives Week, monthly repository tours, and other events.

In 2010, Samantha graduated from Tulane University with a Master of Arts in English Literature. During her time at Tulane, Samantha began working for the Hogan Jazz Archive, where she found her calling as an archivist. After graduating, she taught elementary level English in Japan before enrolling in UT Austin’s archival program. Samantha’s scholarly interests include literary studies, New Orleans history, LGBT history and social justice, digital preservation, and exhibit curation.
Please join us in welcoming Samantha to LaRC.

Monday, May 12, 2014

More about a literary tour featured an article by Chelsea Brasted which briefly describes the upcoming bus tour about John Kennedy Toole's New Orleans.

"John Kennedy Toole-themed bus tour will highlight sites, uncover documents of enigmatic author."

The day of the event (Saturday, June 7, 2014) will begin and end in Baton Rouge, although plans are being finalized for a New Orleans pick-up location.   The tour organizer and authoritative guide will be Cory MacLauchlin, the author of Butterfly in the Typewriter, a beautifully readable biography of John Kennedy Toole.

John Kennedy Toole papers, LaRC Manuscript Collection 740, is held by the Louisiana Research Collection, located in Jones Hall on the Tulane University campus.   The tour includes a stop at Jones Hall in the late morning.

Posted by Susanna Powers

PLEASE NOTE:  As of May 27, the June 7, 2014 tour has been CANCELLED.    It may be re-planned in the future.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Preservation and access

Howard-Tilton Memorial Library
Tulane University
New Orleans, 15, Louisiana

                                        December 19, 1946
Miss Marie Delavigne
2524 Columbus St.
New Orleans 19, La.

My dear Miss Delavigne:

                    Miss Renshaw has called to my attention the two fine and very interesting old documents which you have so kindly donated to the library.  I want to assure you of our very sincere thanks for your kindness and of our pleasure in being able to add this interesting information to our growing Archives Section.

                    As you may know, we are now enlarging our collecting enterprises in the manuscript field, and we are anxious to do what we can to assist in the preservation of valuable original documents relating to this region and to facilitate the access which reputable and qualified scholars need to get to this material.  This is of course not a new activity of this library, but we hope that its renewed emphasis may result in the proper preservation within the state limits of many valuable but fragile items.

                    With cordial good wishes of the season,  I remain

                                                                                        Yours gratefully and sincerely,

                                                                                        Garland F. Taylor

The Howard-Tilton Memorial Library has long been the recipient of generous archival donations.  The library organization and collection development policies have evolved, and the technologies have of course advanced, but this 1946 thank-you note from Librarian Garland F. Taylor, to local donor Marie Odile Delavigne, specifically recognizes the basic missions of preservation and access.  In 1950, she donated a larger collection of family documents, now held in the Louisiana Research Collection as Manuscripts Collection 502 (Delavigne family papers, 1803-1946), largely consisting of handwritten French-language correspondence.

Posted by Susanna Powers

Upcoming May closures

Please note that the Schiro Reading Room will be closed Saturday-Monday (May 24-26, 2014) for Memorial Day, as well as Thursday-Saturday (May 29-31, 2014) for the Society of Southwest Archivists annual meeting.

Regular reading room hours are Monday-Friday 10:00-5:00, and Saturday 9:00-1:00.   Saturday hours will change to 10:00-1:00 on May 17.  It is a good idea to consult the hours page on the LaRC website, for changes and exceptions, whenever planning a visit.

Monday, April 21, 2014

A letter from prison

                                             Military Prison, Johnson’s Island, Ohio, 7th May 1864.

Dear Parents:

            Father’s letter of the 25th Apr. reached me some days since.  There is no immediate prospect of an exchange of prisoners, so far as I can judge, although we have a great many rumors pro and con, and both sides are supported by much testimony.  For my own part, I am always hopeful, but believe nothing, except that every day that passes leaves one less to be endured.  My health continues as good as could be expected, and I hope to live to see the outside world, unless previously hung.  I am sorry we see things so differently and that our ideas of right and wrong are so much opposed on one another: but I am hopeful on that subject also, and confidently expect to see the day when we shall agree much better, or at least when our differences will be only on matter of history.  I could write quite a sermon on this subject, and the beauty of charity contrasted with iconoclastic zeal; but I presume you would never receive it if I did – and perhaps you are as charitable as I am, after all.  I suppose they are fighting in Virginia today – You are praying for one thing, and other good people are praying for another.  Doubtless all the prayers are heard, but Providence will order all for the best and defend the right.  I have that much faith, which I hope you will consider better than none.  Much love to all.  If I am moved from here you shall hear from me if possible before I go, whenever it may be.     


Henry Brown Richardson (1837-1909) was born in Maine, and in 1860 moved to St. Joseph, La., in Tensas Parish, where he worked as an engineer. He served in the Confederate Army in the American Civil War, and was captured and held at Johnson Island in Ohio from 1864-1865. His allegiance was firmly with the CSA; while in a military prisoner-of-war camp, he tried to explain his point of view to his parents, presumably still living in the northeastern United States, in words that would not result in censorship. After the war, he and his wife, Anna Howard Farrar Richardson (1846-1910), lived in New Orleans, at 1631 Foucher St., and raised their nine children. Members of allied families lived in New Orleans into at least the mid-twentieth century.

Caption: Farrar, Stamps, and Kempe families papers, 1856-1877 (Manuscripts Collection 493), box 1, folder 3.  Other letters written by H. B. Richardson are accessible in this collection, and also in the Richardson family papers, 1897-1961 (Manuscripts Collection 1069).  

Images of items in the Louisiana Research Collection may not be republished without permission.

Posted by Susanna Powers