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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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

Brown, Reddin. Papers, 1835-1838. 5 items. Location: OS:B. Resident of East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana. Papers pertain to the mortgage of land and slaves, and include a land conveyance, an appraiser's certificate, and other legal documents. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 668.

Referenced in Guides: Baton Rouge, African Americans

Brown, Sarah Goodwin. Collection, 1840-1944. 31 items. Location: U:181. Materials documenting the history of Baton Rouge and Clinton, Louisiana. Included are two letters referring to the enlistment of a Northern school teacher in the Confederate army. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1573, 1986.

Referenced in Guides: Women, Civil War, Education, Baton Rouge

Brown, Silas H. Letter, 1863 May 22. 1 item. Location: Misc:B. Civil War soldier. Letter written at an unnamed army camp in Baton Rouge to his family. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4573.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War, Baton Rouge

Brunot, James M., d. 1856. Family Papers, 1827-1877. 27 items. Location: E:52, OS:B. Lawyer of Baton Rouge. Letters from Brunot to family members in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, deal with the death and estate of his brother Felix; economic development in Baton Rouge; and Louisiana inheritance laws, among other topics. A printed letter (1873) in French from the General Union of the French Societies of Mutual Aid in the United States supports republican government in France. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1242.

Referenced in Guides: Baton Rouge, French

Buckner, George W. Letterbook, 1866-1890. 1 ms. vol. Location: M:19. Baton Rouge lawyer. Letterpress copybook. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2212.

Referenced in Guides: Baton Rouge