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 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

Bennett, Harry Jackson, 1904-. Papers, 1942-1973, undated 3 linear ft. Location: 7:67-69. Professor of zoology at LSU and director of the LSU Marine Laboratory on Grand Isle. Professional papers consist of correspondence, proposals, reports, photographs, and other materials pertaining to the LSU Marine Laboratory; and materials pertaining to oyster bed surveys conducted by Bennett along the Louisiana Gulf Coast. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2948.

Referenced in Guides: Baton Rouge, LSU

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

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