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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Baton Rouge Civil War images, 1863. 3 items. Location: E:73. Three images (cartes-de-visite) taken in Baton Rouge during the Civil War: an African-American male in a wagon pulled by mules; a military encampment (possibly Pikes Hall); and a tree-lined street (Garrison Lane). The first is by McPherson and Oliver, and the other two are probably their work as well. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3272.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War, Baton Rouge, African Americans

Baton Rouge Community Concerts Association. Records, 1931-1983. 0.5 linear ft., 3 printed volumes. Location: OS:B, UU:197. Records, chiefly printed materials, document the activities of the Baton Rouge Community Concerts Association. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4592.

Referenced in Guides: Performing arts, Women, Baton Rouge, LSU

Baton Rouge Council on Human Relations. Records, 1965-2000. 1.5 linear feet. Location: W:123-124. Minutes, newsletters, newspaper clippings, correspondence, and committee records document the activities and concerns of the Baton Rouge Council on Human Relations, a non-profit civic organization created in 1965 that promoted racial desegregation and better race relations by counteracting prejudice and discrimination based on religion or ethnicity. Concerned specifically with the Baton Rouge community. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4813.

Referenced in Guides: Baton Rouge, African Americans

Baton Rouge Foreign Mission Association. Scrapbook, 1877. 1 ms. Vol. Scrapbook compiled by Cecil H. Hackney, president of the Baton Rouge Foreign Mission Association. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2087.

Referenced in Guides: Religion, Baton Rouge

Baton Rouge Garden Club. Records, 1938-1989. 4 linear ft. Location: 51:. Club organized in 1928 by members of the Baton Rouge Civic Association. It sponsors flower shows, lectures, courses in flower arranging and gardening, and civic beautification projects. Records include nine scrapbooks of newspaper clippings, programs, award ribbons, and other materials, for the years 1938-1941, 1952-1963, 1969-1971, and 1981-1983. Additional materials pertain to flower shows, awards, and study groups. A typescript of the club's history from 1929-1989, compiled by Beulah E. Bates, is included. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4191.

Referenced in Guides: Baton Rouge

Baton Rouge Gas Light Company. Record books, 1859-1874. 2 vols. Location: M:15. One volume is a register of subscribers to the Baton Rouge Gas Light Company's capital stock for 1859. The other volume contains business papers (1859-1864, 1871-1874) generated or received by the company. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 992.

Referenced in Guides: Business, Baton Rouge

Baton Rouge German Benevolent Association. Dance program, 1881 January 3. 1 printed item. Location: E:Imprints. Program of the Fifteenth Anniversary Ball of the Baton Rouge German Benevolent Association listing floor managers, dances, and composers. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3243.

Referenced in Guides: Performing arts, Baton Rouge

Baton Rouge Gilbert & Sullivan Society. Programs and brochures, 1978-1994. .2 linear ft. Location: E:38. Organized in Baton Rouge in 1976, the Baton Rouge Gilbert & Sullivan Society presented its first production in April 1977. It is sometimes referred to as the Gilbert & Sullivan Society of Baton Rouge. Programs of performances and brochures. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4611.

Referenced in Guides: Performing arts, Baton Rouge

Baton Rouge Little Theater, Inc. Programs and brochures, 1981-1995. 1 linear ft. Location: E:3. Little Theater group organized in Baton Rouge in 1946. Programs of both regular season productions and summer musicals, and miscellaneous brochures. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4614.

Referenced in Guides: Performing arts, Baton Rouge

Baton Rouge Opera. Programs, 1983-1991. 6 items. Location: N:28. Opera founded in 1981, governed by the Board of the Baton Rouge Opera Company, and financed through private donations. Programs. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4654.

Referenced in Guides: Performing arts, Baton Rouge

Baton Rouge Sacred Music Society. Program, 1845. 1 item. Location: E E:Imprints. Program for the first concert of the Baton Rouge Sacred Music Society, which was held at the Presbyterian Church. A. R. Fuertes, director, and William McCaughey, secretary, are listed as officers. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 893.

Referenced in Guides: Religion, Performing arts, Baton Rouge

Baton Rouge Scenes, c. 1920-1930. 14 items. Location: 111:1. Picture cards of various scenes from Baton Rouge, La., including the capitol building and Louisiana State University. For further information see online catalog. Mss. 4999.

Baton Rouge Transportation Company. Records, 1916-1919, 1935-1943. 2 ms. vols. Location: F:3. Log books of Baton Rouge ferry boats Hazel and City of Baton Rouge. The early volume records a few local items, the weather, and river conditions. The second volume contains entries for routine fire drills and inspection of equipment. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2388.

Referenced in Guides: Transportation, Baton Rouge

Beauregard House Association program, 1932. 1 item. Location: E:Imprints. Program for the play 'An Old Romance' by Grace King, presented by the New Orleans Beauregard House Association. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1834.

Referenced in Guides: Performing arts, Women, Baton Rouge, Literature

Bechtold, John Adam. Photographs, 1909 - 1950s. 1 linear foot. Location: 10:43. John Adam Bechtold was an executive of the Standard Oil Company of Louisiana and amateur photographer. He documented the establishment of the company in Baton Rouge in two photograph albums and collected approximately 135 loose photographs. Images include the early days of Standard Oil of Louisiana’s operation in Baton Rouge as well as scenes of everyday life in Baton Rouge. Mss, 5175.

Referenced in Guides: Baton Rouge

Beck's Studio. LSU campus photographs, 1938. 17 items. Location: 6:23. Photography business established in Donaldsonville, Louisiana, ca. 1937. 17 black and white photographs of the campus of LSU, Baton Rouge, taken in 1938. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2755.

Referenced in Guides: Business, Baton Rouge, LSU

Belcher, Eric. Collection, 1948, circa 1962-1973. 1 picture postcard, 2 mailing envelopes. Location: MISC:B. Picture postcard of Earl K. Long with notations on verso, written possibly by Blanche Long and Earl K. Long. Notations designate postcard as an invitation to Earl K. Long's inaugural ball. Mailing envelopes have the letterhead of Orleans Parish district attorney Jim Garrison printed on them. Mss. 5338.

Belcher, Fred, 1913-, interviewee. 1 sound cassettes (1 hour), transcript (69 p.). Location: L:4700.0721. Fred and Helen Belcher are the son and daughter-in-law of Arthur and Corrie Belcher, founders of the Volunteers of America in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Interview describes the Salvation Army and Volunteers of America with a focus on the community programs and projects including prison ministry, work with the African American community, New Orleans maternity home, the role of VOA in adoptions, and Hanson's Disease Center at Carville, Louisiana. They also discuss the racial composition of South
16th St., role of religion in the VOA, 1920s automobiles, and the flood of 1927. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4700.0721.

Referenced in Guides: Women, Baton Rouge, African Americans, Medicine

Belew, Louise E. Letters and writings, 1961-1969, undated. 12 letters, 1 article. Location: MISC:B. Resident of Baton Rouge, La. and New Orleans, La.; Korean war veteran; and student at the Louisiana State University (LSU) Graduate School of Library Science. Letters document Belew's ongoing feuds and criticisms that she had with staff of the LSU Library, the LSU Graduate School of Library Science, and the New Orleans Public Library. Mss. 2625.

Referenced in Guides: Women, New Orleans 1866-, Education, Baton Rouge, LSU

Bellemont Hotel. Collection, 1973-1992 (bulk 1980-1992), 1.5 linear feet. Location: UU:58-59, OS:B. The Bellemont Motor Hotel was a plantation-style hotel and convention center on Airline Highway in Baton Rouge, LA. The hotel was built in 1946 by developer A. C. Lewis and his partner, Jamar Adcock. The collection consists of hotel office files with information on advertising, rates and listings, guest services, staff and employees, invoices and service agreements, hotel inventories, promotional plans, and other documents relating to the hotel’s operation. Mss. 5219.

Referenced in Guides: Business, Baton Rouge

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