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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Simpson, Lewis P. Papers, 1923-2004 (bulk 1980-2000). 24 linear ft. Location: 95:83-106. Professor of English at Louisiana State University, 1948-1980. Collection documents the professional life of Simpson and includes correspondence, essays, drafts, conference materials, articles, memos, photographs, reviews, speeches and lectures, reports, meeting minutes, bibliographies, awards, clippings, poems, film projects, television scripts, contracts, and curriculum vitas. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4412.

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

Sims, Robert Nicholls. Address, 1903. 1 item (typed transcription). Location: MISC:S. Louisiana educator and public official, and New Orleans banker. Address given at the ground-breaking services for Alumni Hall on the old campus of LSU. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2347.

Sims, Robert Nicholls. Diary, 1885-1886. 1 vol. Location: M:20. Father of Nita Sims Breazeale, and father-in-law to H. Payne Breazeale, prominent Baton Rouge, Louisiana, residents. Diary kept while Robert Sims attended LSU describe academic life when Sims was a student at LSU. Entries concern his studies, student life, and social life. Diary entries For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2442.

Referenced in Guides: Education, Baton Rouge, LSU

Skimmers Club. Records, 1921-2005. 2 linear feet. Location: 92:20-21. Social group and unofficial book club formed by wives of LSU faculty in 1927. Includes scrapbooks (1946-2000) containing clippings, photos, banquet invitations and napkins, guest lists, bylaws, bulletins, correspondence, Thank You cards, memorials, and obituaries. Collection also includes historical data, rules, bylaws, officer and member lists, treasurer's reports and meeting minutes and agendas, and book lists. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4625.

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

Skipwith, Fulwar, 1765-1839. Records and account book, 1794-1815 (bulk 1794-1799). 3 items, including 1 vol., 1 mf reel. Location: Vault, Mss.Mf:S. Consul to France during the French Revolution and later a planter in Baton Rouge. Account book contains official and personal accounts while Skipwith was consul in Paris, France. Entries report names of American ships, descriptions of cargo, and accounts of individuals including James Monroe and Thomas Pinckney. Two loose items are a record of the import and sale of American cotton in the 1790s and a deposition dealing with the sale of cotton in 1815. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2000.

Referenced in Guides: Politics, Transportation, Business, Baton Rouge

Skipwith, Fulwar, 1765-1839. Correspondence, 1797-1826. 37 items, 1 mf reel. Location: Vault:22, Mss.Mf:S. Consul to France during the French Revolution and later a planter in Baton Rouge. Most of the correspondence is addressed to Skipwith at Montesano Plantation near Baton Rouge, and relates to political and civic matters, and financial affairs. Collection also includes an account book (1795-1797). For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2024.

Referenced in Guides: Politics, Plantations, Baton Rouge

Skipwith, Fulwar, 1765-1839. Document, 1807. 1 item. Location: Misc:S.. Consul to France during the French Revolution and later a planter in Baton Rouge. Official letter from the director of the General Liquidation of the Public Debt of France. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1257.

Referenced in Guides: Politics, Business, Baton Rouge, French

Skolfield, Grace Lane. Papers, 1909, 1949. 9 items. Location: Misc.:S. Blank lumber forms and legal documents from members of the Skolfield Family of Baton Rouge. Included is a United States Office of Price Administration Rental Dwelling Form (1942). For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2510-83.

Referenced in Guides: Baton Rouge

Slowey, Robert M. Photographs, circa 1961-1979. 1,912 color slides [35mm]. Location: V:48. 1941 graduate of Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, La. Images depict various plantations (buildings, grounds, and remains), historic markers, churches, banks, schools, museums, courthouses, hospitals, cemeteries, ruins, landscapes, and other architectural sites in Louisiana and Mississippi. Mss. 4598.

Smith, J. L. Letter, 1844. 1 item. Location: Misc.:S. Resident of Pointe Coupee Parish, Louisiana. Letter from Smith to a brother in North Carolina, telling of the sinking of the steamer Belle of Nashville by the steamer Louisiana above Baton Rouge. Part of the George DeForest Collection. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1525.

Referenced in Guides: Baton Rouge

Smith, Mrs. Bel W. Letter, 1865. 1 item. Location: Misc.:S. Resident of Baton Rouge. Letter to Mrs. Daigre regarding the rental of her home. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 396.

Referenced in Guides: Women, Business, Baton Rouge

Smith, Winifred Thomas. Papers, 1901-1958. .5 linear ft. Location: D:80, LSU alumna and Baton Rouge resident. Daughter-in-law of James Monroe Smith, Sr., past president of LSU. Photographs, correspondence, printed items, illustrations, and other materials related to the football career and later life of Arthur J. 'Tommy' Thomas, Winifred's father. Items related to Winifred's academic and social life at LSU are included. Some items in the collection belonged to James Monroe Smith, Sr. Vault. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3517.

Referenced in Guides: Women, Baton Rouge, LSU

Snee, J. E. (Joseph Emmett), 1895-1966, Photograph collection. 1914-1944. 41 items (35 are photographic copies, 6 are photocopies). Resident of Baton Rouge, employee of the Standard Oil Company, and director of the Stancola Refinery Band. Photographs made or collected by Snee of LSU students, Governor Ruffin G. Pleasant's inauguration, World War I military service, Baton Rouge landmarks, and Standard Oil Company. Collection also includes two band programs and other ephemera. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4069.

Sommer, Ray. Concert programs, 1929-1960. 268 items. Location: W:2. LSU assistant registrar (1926-1971). Programs collected by Sommer of various types of musical performances, given chiefly in Baton Rouge, including operatic, orchestral, and individual and choral performances. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2600-73.

Referenced in Guides: Performing arts, Baton Rouge, LSU

Southern Mutual Insurance Company. Register, 1859-1862. 1 ms. Vol. Location: M:20. Insurance company in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Register contains subscribers to capital stock of the company. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 992.

Referenced in Guides: Business, Baton Rouge

St. James Episcopal Church (Baton Rouge, La.). Papers, 1843-1895. 12 items, 5 vols. Location: A:17. Protestant Episcopal Church of Baton Rouge. Papers, pamphlets, and volumes pertaining to the St. James Episcopal Church. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 893.

Referenced in Guides: Religion, Baton Rouge

St. Vincent's Academy panoramic photograph, circa 1920s. 1 item. Location: OS:S. Catholic boys' academy in Baton Rouge. The academy was founded in 1894 and became Catholic High School for Boys in 1929. Panoramic photograph depicting Brothers of the Sacred Heart and students in front of St. Vincent's Academy. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4586.

Referenced in Guides: Religion, Education, Baton Rouge

Standard Oil Company of Louisiana. Baton Rouge office photograph, August 13, 1930. 1 panoramic photograph. Location: OS:S. Panoramic photograph is a group shot, most likely of employees, outside of the Baton Rouge office. Mss. 5145.

Referenced in Guides: Business, Baton Rouge

Steele, Oliver Brice. Andrew Lytle photograph collection, 1816-1904. 36 items. Location: D:96. Confederate veteran, Baton Rouge banker, and Louisiana state auditor who collected these photographs by Andrew David Lytle, a Baton Rouge photographer. Collection contains various photographic media. Included are cabinet cards and prints of etchings of Louisiana governors (ca. 1816-1904), cabinet cards of LSU officials and cadets, and 8x10 enlargements of photographs of steamboats. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4028.

Referenced in Guides: Politics, Transportation, Civil War, Baton Rouge, LSU

Stevens, John B. Diary, 1863 April 21-August 21. 1 vol. ; 17 x 8 cm. Location: Misc.:S. Farmer from Petersham, Massachusetts, enlisted in the United States Army, Massachusetts 53rd Infantry, Sept. 15, 1862. He served as a private until he was mustered out Sept. 3, 1863. Civil War diary gives an account of Stevens' stay in a Baton Rouge hospital. Suffering from dysentery, he described his condition and treatment; he also mentioned the deaths of fellow soldiers. One entry (June 17, 1863) tells of preparations made for more wounded arriving from Vicksburg, Mississippi. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4711.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War, Baton Rouge, Medicine

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