Serving the University Community & the Public

For Special Collections staff, providing service to the University community and the public is our first and most important goal. For information about using the collections, go to Where do I start? and Using the Collections.

Special Collections curators welcome opportunities to give customized presentations to classes, organizations, and other groups, and encourage university faculty and graduate students to incorporate Special Collections' teaching resources into their instruction plans. Civic and social groups are also welcome. Please contact a curator to schedule a guided tour of exhibitions or introductions to the library's holdings.

Special Collections staff provide reference service in person and by telephone. Public Services staff also answer mail, fax, and email queries, offering assistance with questions pertaining to Special Collections' holdings.

Many staff members who assist researchers in the reading room spend most of their time acquiring, organizing, and preserving research materials. Staff organize and preserve collections of documents and photographs so that researchers can find useful items within them. They create cataloging records and other finding aids available through the LSU online catalog, in the reading room, and on the Internet to facilitate use of the collections. In collaboration with the Louisiana Digital Library, staff digitize materials to provide remote access. Although these activities take place “behind the scenes,” they are an essential part of providing high-quality service to library patrons.

Since 1948 LSU has committed significant resources to the preservation of newspapers published in Louisiana through a program of microfilming. In the 1980s, the program expanded to become The Louisiana Newspaper Project part of the United States Newspaper Program, creating comprehensive cataloging records for filmed papers. Filming and cataloging of some 100 newspapers is ongoing. These microfilms are available in Special Collections and via interlibrary loan.

Special Collections can provide photocopies, photographs, digital images, microfilm, prints from microforms, and copies of audiotapes. Duplication decisions are made on a case-by-case basis. For more information, please request the separate brochure that explains duplication policies and procedures or consult it on the Special Collections Duplication & Reformatting web page.