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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Polk, William, collector. Pictures, 1879-1880. 11 items. Location: B:11. LSU cadet. Photographs of Polk and other LSU cadets taken by Baton Rouge photographer Andrew D. Lytle; and a picture of the Deaf and Dumb and Blind Institute in Baton Rouge when it was housed on the campus of Louisiana State University. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2364.

Referenced in Guides: Education, Baton Rouge, LSU

Pope, C. J. (Clarence Joseph). Account book, 1928-1936. 1 volume, 4 loose pages. Location: N:2, MISC:P. Resident of Bunkie, Louisiana and worked as a teamster and as a manager of an ice plant, possibly Louisiana Ice & Utilities, Inc. Account book contains a note (page 1) that describes Pope's purchase of timber from J. A. Richard. Other notes and entries pertain to contracts, receipts, and disbursements involving various companies, plants, and individuals in Baton Rouge, Plaquemine, St. Francisville, and Ouachita Parish. Mss. 3942.

Referenced in Guides: Business, Baton Rouge

Powers, C. M. Papers, 1912-1914. 1 vol. Location: G:7. Retail grocer and saloon-keeper of Baton Rouge. Annual inventory book of stock and movable equipment. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1100.

Referenced in Guides: Business, Baton Rouge

Powers, C. M. Papers, 1914. 106 items, 1 printed vol. Location: A:5. Retail grocer and saloon-keeper of Baton Rouge. Bills and receipts for Baton Rouge restaurant equipment, groceries, and liquors. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 577.

Referenced in Guides: Business, Baton Rouge

Rabenhorst, Alvin E. (Alvin Eugene), 1875-1946. Photograph Collection, 1897-1899. 0.25 linear ft. (69 prints). Location: UU:263. Baton Rouge funeral home and insurance company executive. Collection of prints copied from an album of photographs taken by Rabenhorst of Baton Rouge businesses, homes, and public buildings; social events; and residents of the city. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4110.

Referenced in Guides: Business, Baton Rouge

Ramirez, Arnold G. Letter, 1895. 1 letter. Location: Misc. Letter from Arnold G. Ramirez, Donaldsonville, La., to the Recorder at Baton Rouge, La., requests information on Spanish land grants held in that office and on any granted to his grandfather, Antonio Ramirez, who had served in the Spanish colonial army in Louisiana. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 238.

Referenced in Guides: Baton Rouge

Randolph, E. Sidney. Papers, 1912-1967. 7 linear ft. Location: 92:29-37. Civil engineer from Baton Rouge. Papers reflect Randolph's involvement with engineering projects at the Panama Canal. Includes published items concerning the Panama Canal, Civil Defense, and the 'Plowshare Program' or Project Sedan' a program to use nuclear weapons for excavation. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2410.

Referenced in Guides: Baton Rouge

Rauhman-Turner Family Papers, 1855-1924 (bulk 1855-1872). 1.2 linear ft. Location: 7:66-67. The Rauhman and Turner families conducted business in Baton Rouge in the mid-to-late nineteenth century. Account books, scrapbooks, printed items, manuscript materials, and photographs, several by Andrew D. Lytle. Several items pertain to H. Avery. One daybook was maintained by P. and T. LaCroix of Covington, Louisiana. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4159.

Referenced in Guides: Business, Baton Rouge

Rauhman-Turner Family Papers, 1855-1924 (bulk 1855-1872). 1.2 linear ft. Location: 7:66-67. The Rauhman and Turner families conducted business in Baton Rouge in the mid-to-late nineteenth century. Account books, scrapbooks, printed items, manuscript materials, and photographs, several by Andrew D. Lytle. Several items pertain to H. Avery. One daybook was maintained by P. and T. LaCroix of Covington, Louisiana. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4159.

Referenced in Guides: Business, Baton Rouge

Record, George L. Family Papers, 1845-1922 (bulk 1873-1899). 19 items. Location: E:40. Family of Louisiana and Mississippi. Papers concern financial matters and include Civil War reminiscences of Jesse Craven of the 16th Arkansas Infantry. Craven fought at Port Hudson, Louisiana; was captured near Baton Rouge; and was imprisoned in various northern cities. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 683.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War, Baton Rouge

Reed, Rex. Letters, 1983. 2 items. Location: Misc.:R. Film critic. Two short letters addressed to Anna Perrault, Humanities Bibliographer, LSU Library, on New York Post stationery. Both letters concern his book 'Valentines and Vitriol' and his favorable reception during a visit to Baton Rouge. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3742.

Referenced in Guides: Baton Rouge, Literature

Register records, The, 1948-1980. 13 linear ft. Location: 5:54-66. The Register was published in Baton Rouge from 1949-1980 by Elton Huckabay and edited by his wife Orene Muse. The magazine profiled local social events, prominent individuals, often in the context of fundraising, and events in private enterprise. Records document events and activities of selected Baton Rouge-area individuals, businesses, and social clubs. Orene Muse's activities related to the establishment and promotion of the annual charity event, the Mad Hatters Brunch, are also reflected. Scrapbooks contain photographs, newspaper clippings, correspondence, and ephemera related to The Register, Mad Hatters, and radio and television broadcasts. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3529.

Referenced in Guides: Women, Business, Baton Rouge

Reiff, Anton. Journal, 1856-1857. 1 ms. vol. 1 microfilm reel. Location: Misc.:R, Mss.Mf:R. Musician touring with the Pyne and Harrison Opera Company from New York to New Orleans. Diary records daily activities, comments on theater facilities, musical performances attended, music in churches visited, scenery and social customs, and other matters. Reiff recorded his impressions of steamboat travel and his visits to Memphis, Tennessee; Natchez, Mississippi; Baton Rouge; and other cities. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3274.

Reilly, Robert M. Papers, 1955-1996. 9.3 linear ft. Location: UU:235-244. Native of Chicago who moved to Baton Rouge in 1962. Reilly's career in Baton Rouge centered around an interest in military history. He was also an advocate for historic sites and decommissioned ships such as the U.S.S. Kidd. Photographs, film negatives, drawings, clippings, research notes, correspondence, papers, speeches, newsletters, maps, and brochures document Reilly's research on U.S. firearms, the Civil War, and World War II naval history. The largest portion of the collection consists of research materials, arranged alphabetically by topic. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4662.

Reynard, Charles A. and Marian Reynard Baun. Papers, 1927-1997 (bulk 1956-1993). 0.6 linear feet. Location: 107:17-18, J:25. Charles Reynard was a law professor at Louisiana State and an advocate of desegregation in Louisiana schools. Marian Reynard Baun was a psychology professor and community activist in Baton Rouge. The papers include correspondence, meeting minutes, newspaper clippings, photocopies of scrapbooks, and other printed materials. Her collection contains personal papers, records from her involvement with the Committee on Campus Life and Committee on Women, and papers from her work as a member of the Friends of Public Education Board. For further information, online catalog. Mss. 4772.

Reynaud Family. Postcards, 1907-1913, undated. 35 items. Location: 10:62. Louis Favrot Reynaud (1842-1921) was a physician and medical instructor born in Baton Rouge, La., and residing in New Orleans. The collection consists of picture postcards from the early 20th century. They depict scenes in New Orleans, Baton Rouge, and Shreveport, Louisiana. About half of the postcards are blank, while the majority of the others are addressed to L. F. Reynaud from his daughters. Mss. 5233.

Referenced in Guides: New Orleans 1866-, Baton Rouge

Richardson, Carrie. Margaret Dixon scrapbook, 1935-1972. 1 ms. vol. Location: M:21. A native of New Orleans, Margaret Dixon was a journalist, editor, and dean of the Louisiana Capitol Press Corps. Scrapbook, compiled by Mrs. Roger W. Richardson, containing newspaper clippings, photographs, and other items which document Dixon's career as a journalist and editor of the Baton Rouge paper, Morning Advocate. Included are obituaries of Dixon. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3003.

Richardson, Roger, interviewee. Oral history interview, 1983. Transcript (22, 25 pages), 2 sound cassettes (1 hour). Location: L:4700.0052. Roger and his wife, Carrie Johnston, were LSU students. Carrie's father, Hamilton Johnston, and Roger Richardson were professors in the College of Engineering. Interview deals with Roger and Carrie Richardson's experiences as students at the old and new campuses of LSU in the 1920s. It mentions attending football games with Huey Long, Hamilton Johnston's involvement with the construction of John M. Parker Auditorium, and Roger Richardson's LSU career. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4700.0052.

Referenced in Guides: Education, Baton Rouge, LSU, Long Family

Risley, Alice Farmer and family. Papers, 1856-1939 (bulk 1860-1930). 174 items; 4 volumes; 3 reels. Location: 9:29, J:21, OS:R; MSS.MF:R. The family papers and photographs of Phoebe Farmer, Alice Risley, and Sam Risley include material on life in Civil War Louisiana (especially New Iberia and New Orleans), participation in Grand Army of the Republic and National Association of Army Nurses of the Civil War, poetry, education, and Civil War hospitals. Within the collection are a Civil War diary of Alice Risley of her life in New Orleans and 91 period photographs. For more information, see online catalog. Mss. 2269, 4901.

Robinson, Chester B. Photographs, 1950. 0.2 linear ft. Location: 19:10. Commercial photographer specializing in photographic wall decor. Color 35mm slides, color 120mm negatives, black/white 4 x 5 negatives, and 35mm black and white negatives are present. Scenes depicted include Louisiana landscapes, agriculture, the seafood industry, plantations, Mardi Gras in Baton Rouge and New Orleans, the State Capitol, and Louisiana State University. Portraits of African Americans include the caretaker of The Cottage plantation. Mss. 4685.

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