Manuscript Resources on Baton Rouge History

Baton Rouge, Louisiana, was first discovered and named by the French explorer Iberville in 1699, almost three centuries ago. In the eighteenth century, it was ruled successively by the French, British, and Spanish. Incorporated in 1817, Baton Rouge became the state capital in 1849, though it lost that status during the Civil War and would not regain it until 1882.

This guide to manuscript resources on Baton Rouge and East Baton Rouge Parish, of which it is a part, includes a wide variety of materials on the history of the area, among them the papers of Baton Rouge families; the records of businesses and organizations; photographs; newspapers; maps; and oral histories. Although Louisiana State University has been a major part of Baton Rouge for many years, collections relating to LSU are included only if they also relate explicitly to Baton Rouge--for example, the papers of an LSU professor who was also active in community organizations and whose papers documented those organizations. Similarly, the papers of individuals in state government are not included unless they also relate explicitly to Baton Rouge.

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Bagwell, Harrison G., 1914-1973. Papers, 1916, 1947-1969, undated. 4 linear ft. Location: 6:33-36, OS:B, 98:. Attorney of Baton Rouge and state Republican Party leader. Correspondence and other papers pertain to the development of the Republican Party in Louisiana; the presidential campaigns of 1952, 1960, and 1964; and Harrison Bagwell's Louisiana gubernatorial campaign of 1951. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2840.

Referenced in Guides: Politics, Baton Rouge

Bain, Emily Johnston. Papers, 1757-2002, (bulk 1940-2000). 4.25 linear ft. Location: 106:5-6. Louisiana artist and educator who served as a Home Demonstration agent to the Louisiana Cooperative Extension Service and as Louisiana State Supervisor of Art for the Department of Education in addition to her teaching career. Papers comprise materials related to her education and career as a teacher and artist in Louisiana and Texas. Records include Bain’s genealogical research, autobiographical and creative writing, photographs, slides, correspondence, printed materials, ephemera, and clippings. Mss. 5172.

Referenced in Guides: Women, Education, Baton Rouge, LSU

Bankston, Jesse. Papers, 1924-2010 (bulk 1956-1992). 2.3 linear ft., 1 sound disc. Location: 116:24-25, OS:B, VAULT:1. Correspondence, political files, newspaper clippings, campaign material, and photographs reflecting Jesse H. Bankston's involvement in Louisiana state government and the Louisiana Democratic Party Bankston served under multiple Louisiana governors, including as director of the Department of Institutions, which supervised all mental, tuberculosis, and general hospitals. Mss. 5078.

Referenced in Guides: Politics, Baton Rouge, Medicine, LSU, Long Family

Bannon, Lois Elmer. Research Papers, 1983 ca. .5 linear ft. (115 items). Location: U:154, Misc:B. Papers pertaining to the history, structure, and National Register nomination of Magnolia Mound Plantation and the history of the Louisiana State Penitentiary, both in Baton Rouge. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2810.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Baton Rouge

Barbari, Marjorie Washburn. Papers, 1926-2002 (bulk 1966-1996). 5.25 linear ft. Location: 38:76-81. Writer of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Papers consist mainly of personal correspondence, poems, and photographs. Other writings include manuscripts of aphorisms, reflections, short stories, novels, and a novelette. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3386.

Referenced in Guides: Religion, Women, Baton Rouge, Literature

Barnard, Mills H., 1837-1914. Letters, 1862-1912 (bulk 1862-1863). 9 items. Location: Misc:B. Sergeant in the 25th Connecticut Infantry during the Civil War. Letters include a description of Baton Rouge and the Union occupation of the city, references to the Battle of Port Hudson, and comments on Barnard's duties in the commissary, supplying troops engaged in the siege of Port Hudson. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3235.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War, Baton Rouge

Barrow & Pope (Firm). Records, 1858-1961. 1 vol. Location: M:19. Firm located in Baton Rouge, serving as attorneys for the Baton Rouge, Grosse Tete, and Opelousas Railroad Company. Letterbook contains correspondence related to legal cases handled by Barrow & Pope. Some correspondence concerns the Baton Rouge, Gross Tete, and Opelousas Railroad Company. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 471.

Referenced in Guides: Business, Baton Rouge

Baton Rouge census document, 1782. 1 item [photocopy]. Location: Misc.:B. Census of the District of Baton Rouge lists names of heads of families, free African Americans, and slave population; their professions; number of dwellings; production of indigo, tobacco, rice, corn, and lumber; and the number of militiamen. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2514.

Referenced in Guides: Baton Rouge, African Americans, French

Baton Rouge Land Survey Document, 1848. 1 item. Location: Misc:B. Land survey document dated April 11, 1848. Includes property drawing and description by prominent Baton Rouge surveyors and civil engineers Henry and William Waller. The survey was made at the request of the mayor of selectmen of Baton Rouge to assess the dimensions of a Mr. Vincent's house and gallery on the corner of North and River Streets. For further information see online catalog. Mss. 5016.

Referenced in Guides: Transportation, Business, Baton Rouge

Baton Rouge view engraving, 1855. 1 printed item. Location: OS:B. Engraving from Ballou's Pictorial Drawing-Room Companion depicts Baton Rouge as seen from the west bank of the Mississippi River. The page also includes a brief description of the town. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3020.

Referenced in Guides: Baton Rouge

Baton Rouge funeral notices, 1884-1897. 142 items. Location: U:7. Funeral notices for persons being buried in Baton Rouge by families in the city, fraternal organizations, and families from the surrounding areas. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 643.

Referenced in Guides: Baton Rouge

Baton Rouge aerial views, ca. 1920s. 3 items. Location: E:. Photographs of taken from a rooftop near North Boulevard and Third Street First image looks southwest toward the Old State Capitol. Second image shows the intersection of Saint Louis Street and North Boulevard. Third image looks north along Third Street. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3693.

Referenced in Guides: Baton Rouge

Baton Rouge post cards, undated 3 items. Location: E:. Three postcards of Baton Rouge and LSU. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3726.

Referenced in Guides: Baton Rouge, LSU

Baton Rouge Arsenal. Papers, 1848-1927. 5 items [photostats]. Location: U:7. Plats and a survey from the late U.S. Surveyor General's Office, Louisiana, now a part of the records of the State Land Office. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 893.

Referenced in Guides: Baton Rouge

Baton Rouge Audubon Society. Records, 1962, 1974-1988 (bulk 1975-1988). 8 linear feet. Location: 109:35-38. Newsletters, brochures, newspaper clippings, correspondence, press releases, publicity information, by laws, and miscellaneous organizational records document the activities of the Baton Rouge Audubon Society (BRAS). Includes copies of the BRAS newsletter BARRED OWL (1975-1985), and numerous publicity and press releases pertaining to events and environmental awareness. Lists of the Christmas bird counts also included. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4133.

Referenced in Guides: Baton Rouge

Baton Rouge Ballet Theatre. Programs and brochures, 1959-1994. .4 linear ft. Location: E:38. Non-profit company organized in Baton Rouge in the late 1950s as the Baton Rouge Civic Ballet, and incorporated in 1960 as the Baton Rouge Ballet Theatre. Programs of performances and brochures. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4610.

Referenced in Guides: Performing arts, Baton Rouge

Baton Rouge Barracks. Papers, 1821. 4 items. Location: Misc.:B. Report from Colonel Talbot Chambers, commander of the military post at Baton Rouge to General Edmund P. Gaines, with accompanying statements from the quartermaster and surgeon at the post. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2115.

Referenced in Guides: Baton Rouge, Medicine

Baton Rouge Board of Trade. Letter, 1911. 1 item. Location: E:Imprints. Form letter advertising exhibition of the Gates Biplane on the Kleinert Tract. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2395.

Referenced in Guides: Baton Rouge

Baton Rouge Business and Professional Women's Club. Papers, 1925-. Location: MISC:B, OS:B, 5:. Papers consist of newspaper clippings, photographs, committee reports, monthly minutes, yearbooks, programs, scrapbooks, a history (1925-1950), and other items. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2738.

Referenced in Guides: Women, Baton Rouge

Baton Rouge Civil War broadsides, 1860-1864 (bulk 1862-1864). 22 broadsides, 26 photocopies. Location: MISC:B, OS:B. Broadsides include a political poster of the Constitutional Union Party; a resolution of the Confederate city government of Baton Rouge; and broadsides posted by federal occupation authorities. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2779.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War, Baton Rouge

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