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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Biggs, General. Baton Rouge Arsenal Commandant's House Drawing, 1857-1858. 1 item. Location: E:65, vault:1. Original drawing and photographic reproduction of the commandant's house at the Baton Rouge Arsenal in Baton Rouge, La. Original is inscribed on back with "… done by General Biggs." For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4183.

Referenced in Guides: Baton Rouge

Bolton, George W. and Mimi. Papers, 1915-1992. 2.25 linear ft. Location: 4:27-28, G:21, OS:B. Literary authors. Mimi Bolton was also a graphic and fine artist. Manuscript writings, correspondence, photographs, and printed items document the personal lives and literary careers of George and Mimi Bolton and Mimi's career as a graphic artist. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4653.

Referenced in Guides: Women, Baton Rouge, Literature

Boudreaux, C. Dreaux. Papers, 1972, 1974. 3 items. Location: Misc.:B, OS:B. Resident of Baton Rouge. Papers include a proposal for the establishment of an aviation museum in Patterson, Louisiana, and bound copies of correspondence, clippings, pictures, and other items relative to Boudreaux's research on the history of the Wedell-Williams Air Service. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3236.

Referenced in Guides: Baton Rouge

Bower, Garner and Harrison. Papers, 1863-1888 (bulk 1863-1868). 0.25 linear ft. Location: E:51. New Orleans commission merchants. Letters of New Orleans, Louisiana commission merchants to a member of the firm at Baton Rouge, Louisiana (1863) and Natchez, Mississippi (1864-1868). Additionally, there is a receipt book (1866-1867). At the end of the volume are loose financial items (1869-1888). For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1388.

Bowers, Laura Boddie Jones. Papers, 1906-1990, undated (bulk 1931-1955). 3.25 linear ft. Location: E:119-121. Librarian in Louisiana. Primarily correspondence documenting the family life, student life, and early career of Bowers in New Orleans, Baton Rouge, and Natchitoches, Louisiana. Newspaper clippings, notes, post card collection, printed items, and a scrapbook are also present. For further information see online catalog. Mss. 3546.

Boyd, David French. Letter, 1873. 4 items. Location: MISC:B. Letter (May 15, 1873) and envelope from Boyd to E. G. Randolph, thanking him for a gift of military books. Boyd also mentions mismanagement of state affairs in Louisiana and "Radicalism." Included with the letter are two circulars describing facilities at Louisiana State University and soliciting contributions to the University. Mss. 3219.

Referenced in Guides: Politics, Baton Rouge, LSU

Boyd, David French. Papers, 1833-1934 (bulk 1860-1899). 9 linear ft., 10 microfilm reels. Location: D:12-19, MF.MSS:B, OS:B, MAP CAGE: DRAWER 34 (BACK WALL). Confederate officer, president of the Seminary of Learning at Alexandria, Louisiana, and president and professor at Louisiana State University (1884-1886). Papers contain correspondence, including correspondence with William T. Sherman; writings about Civil War figures; academic papers; photographs; financial papers; and printed items. Manuscript volumes consist of school notebooks; memorandum books; diaries, including a Civil War diary; morning reports from Kentucky Military Institute and Locust Dale Academy; and a minute book of the Demosthenian Society. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 40, 99, 794, 890, 893, 1400, 1612, 4234.

Boyd, David French. William T. Sherman letters (part of the David French Boyd papers), 1859-1891. 0.3 linear ft., 1 microfilm reel. Location: U:179, MSS.MF:B, Vault:26. Civil War officers, educators. Letters refer to higher education, political issues, rights of freedmen, Ku Klux Klan activities, and the jetty system in New Orleans. Civil War letters concern Boyd's imprisonment. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 890, 893, 3362.

Boyd, Leroy Stafford. Papers, 1806-1955 (bulk 1900-1936). 12.25 linear ft., 50 volumes. Location: 65:12; 79:71-73; D:55-63; 79:71-73; OS:B; R:12-16; VAULT:1; VAULT:21; VAULT:40, VAULT MRDF 14, 22. Librarian for U.S. Interstate Commerce Commission. Correspondence, genealogical materials, photographs, printed items, and scrapbooks. Materials reflect the political environment; Boyd's political activities; his interest in Louisiana State University (LSU), General William T. Sherman, and his father, LSU President David F. Boyd; and his involvement with Kappa Alpha Fraternity. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 99.

Referenced in Guides: Religion, Politics, Education, Baton Rouge, Medicine, LSU

Boyd, Thomas Duckett and Family. Papers, 1860-1966 (bulk 1872-1935). 6 linear ft., 29 volumes, 7 microfilm reels. Location: D:1-6, VAULT:2, OS:B, 145:57, MSS.MF:B. Younger brother of David French Boyd. Served as acting president of LSU upon David's resignation. Also served as the president of the State Normal School in Natchitoches. Papers are comprised of correspondence, financial papers, photographs, printed materials, and manuscript volumes. Also included is personal correspondence of Annie Fuqua Boyd and other family members. Photographs include those of Thomas Boyd, Annie Fuqua, and Governors Henry Fuqua and William H. Heard. Mss. 41, 241, 530, 744, 808, 893, 965, 1411, 1438, 1589, 1685, 1799, 1946, 2081, 2126, 2197, 2305, 2335.

Bradford, David, d. ca.1816. Family Papers, 1798-1882 (bulk 1833-1838). 50 items. Location: U:120. Planter of the Myrtles Plantation, Bayou Sara, West Feliciana Parish, Louisiana. Papers include Spanish land grants, surveys, plats, conveyances, appraisals, and mortgages for land owned by David Bradford and family, chiefly in West Feliciana and East Baton Rouge parishes. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 735.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Baton Rouge

Brady, James. Papers, 1971-2001 (bulk 1986-2000). 4 linear feet. Location: 10:61-63. James Brady (1944-2017) was a Louisiana lawyer, federal jurist and Democratic Party supporter. The James Brady Papers are comprised of legal documents from the 1986 Long v. Gremillion voting rights case, Democratic Party related materials, correspondence, and national convention materials from 1980-1996. It also includes application materials from his nomination by President Bill Clinton to a federal judgeship for the United States Federal District Court of the Middle District of Louisiana. Additionally, it includes campaign buttons and bumper stickers, photographs, and business cards. Mss. 5300.

Referenced in Guides: Politics, Baton Rouge, LSU

Breaux, John B. Papers, 1933, 1938, 1963, 1970-2004 (bulk: 1987-2004). Approx. 781 linear feet . Location: Room B6, Map Cage, Vault:54. Correspondence, briefing books, bills, reports, testimony transcripts, research files, news releases, printed materials, audio-visual and electronic files, photographs and memorabilia documenting the political and U.S. Congressional career of Louisiana Representative (1972-1986) and Senator (1987-2004) John B. Breaux, and the work of his office. In addition to Senate and House files, contains materials related to his campaigns, the Democratic Party, and the Washington Mardi Gras. Topics include, among others, flood control, abortion, transportation, energy, the environment, taxes, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and healthcare, consumer protection, wetlands conservation, base closures in Louisiana, commerce, trade, and agriculture policy, especially for sugar and rice. For additional information, see the online catalog. Mss. 4922.

Breazeale, Elizabeth, 1919-, interviewee. Oral history interview, 1993. 1 sound cassettes (50 min.), transcript (35 p.), index (13 p.). Location: L:4700.0304. LSU alumnae and Kappa Gamma House board president. Breazeale describes her experiences as a student at LSU and a member of the Kappa Gamma Sorority. She describes LSU social life; women's clothing; layout and use of the Panhellenic Building; dormitory rules; ceremonies and traditions; the push for the construction of sorority houses; her thoughts on LSU today; and problems with the Legislature and university funding. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4700.0304.

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

Breazeale, Nita Sims. Family Papers, 1811-1981 (bulk 1905-1943). 9.5 linear ft., 3 v. Location: 47:8-12, OS:B, N:9, 65:3, vault. Baton Rouge, La. resident. Papers relate to the Breazeale and Sims families of Baton Rouge, Donaldsonville, and Natchitoches, La. They consists of correspondence, legal documents, printed material, photographs, and artifacts related to World War I and World War II, Bundles for Britain, Inc., genealogy, and state and local history. For further information see online catalog. Mss. 2442.

Brian, Erastus F. Letterbook, 1897-1909. 25 items, 1 vol. Location: C:83, H:23. Resident of Baton Rouge. Letter press copybook of Erastus Francis Brian containing a few official letters as secretary treasurer of the Board of Pension Commissioners of Louisiana. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1172.

Referenced in Guides: Baton Rouge

Bridges, Tyler. Papers, 1882-2002 (bulk 1992-2000). 14.5 linear feet, 37 sound cassettes, 14 video cassettes. Location: UU:296-308, L:36, OS:B. Newspaper articles, interviews, and copies of court records and transcripts of wire taps compiled by journalist Tyler Bridges as research for his book, 'Bad Bet on the Bayou: The Rise of Gambling in Louisiana and the Fall of Governor Edwin Edwards.' For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4899.

Brooks Read Brer Rabbit Collection, 1950-1991 (bulk: 1950-1959). Ca. 29 linear feet. Approximately 500 reel to reel audio recordings, scripts, phonographs, correspondence, and subject files of Brooks Read, Baton Rouge storyteller, journalist, and political observer. Materials relate to Read's recorded productions of his original Brer Rabbit stories, as well as a few select Uncle Remus stories of Joel Chandler Harris. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4476.

Brooks, F. M. Bills, 1870, 1882, 1883. 3 items. Location: Misc.:B. Dr. F. M. Brooks, plantation and retail druggist of Baton Rouge. Bills from Dr. Brooks. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2555.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Baton Rouge, Medicine

Brooks, F. M. and Son. Business records, 1892-1894. 1 ms. vol. Location: M:15. Retail druggist of Baton Rouge. Record book containing copies of prescriptions from local medical doctors. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2506.

Referenced in Guides: Baton Rouge, Medicine

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