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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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

Brooks, Overton. Papers, 1898-1970 (bulk 1936-1961). 23.5 linear ft. 36 vols. Location: 35:67-77, 31:81, 50:81 P:15, OS:B, vault:3, 21. Baton Rouge and Shreveport, Louisiana, WWI veteran, attorney and U.S. congressman from Louisiana. Correspondence pertains largely to Brooks' congressional career, particularly his membership in the House Armed Services committee and the House Science and Aeronautics committee. Collection also contains photographs and diaries. Included in the correspondence are political and personal letters from Presidents Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Johnson and items related to Brooks's own war service. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2492, 2520.

Referenced in Guides: Politics, Baton Rouge, 20th Century Wars

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