Manuscript Resources on Acadian History

In 1755, a group of French-speaking people were exiled from their homeland by British military tactics in a part of Nova Scotia then known as "French Acadia". Those Acadian immigrants who relocated to Southern Louisiana adapted to the unique challenges the region provided, to become known as the "Cajuns," an ethnic and cultural group much celebrated, and sometimes misunderstood.

The collection of manuscripts pertaining to the Cajuns that may be found in the Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections (LLMVC) of the LSU Libraries is varied in nature, ranging from the large group of records compiled by the Acadian Handicraft Project to a single French Acadian Music Festival program. Oral history interviews, personal papers, cartoons, photographs, scripts, and other artifacts are present in the manuscripts groups. A range of dates from the late nineteenth to the late twentieth centuries are present (see chronological listing).

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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.

Burnside Gun Club. Record book, 1894. 1 volume. Location: M:20. Record of members' scores of the Burnside, Louisiana, Gun Club from June to September 1894. Mss. 49.

Referenced in Guides: Acadiana

Byrne, Joseph F. Moss gin photograph, circa 1890s. 1 photograph. Location: E:66. Copy print of a photograph of a moss gin owned by Joseph F. Byrne, Bayou Paul, Iberville Parish, La. Mss. 3202.

Referenced in Guides: Acadiana

Clark, Gladys, b. 1918. Papers, circa 1890-2004 (bulk 1940-1997). 0.75 linear ft. Location: 128:. An accomplished spinner and weaver in the Acadian tradition, Clark received numerous awards during her career. The collection includes correspondence, photographs, and printed materials that document her artistic works and awards received, including a National Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts in 1997. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4953.

Referenced in Guides: Women, Acadiana, French

Coco family. Papers, circa 1885-2009 (bulk 1964-2008). 12 linear ft., 1 compact disc. Location: AA:, OS:C, X:4-13. Residents of Mansura, Avoyelles Parish, Louisiana. Materials include personal and professional correspondence, printed items, personal papers, recordings (available for access on compact disc), and photographic items. Personal correspondence pertains primarily to the lives of Merlin, Lucy, Greg, and Linda. Major topics include family life and local matters in Mansura, the education of Greg and Lucy, and Greg's enlistment in the U.S. Army and activities in Vietnam during the Vietnam War. Professional correspondence documents mostly Greg's career as a park ranger in Gettysburg. Printed items, personal papers, and photographic items pertain chiefly to Coco family history and the lives of the aforementioned Coco family members. Recordings were created by Greg while in Vietnam and document his experiences there. Mss. 5019.

Coco, M. S. Business records, 1911-1961. 217 ms. vols. Location: 36:5-9. General merchandise store, Bordelonville, Avoyelles Parish, Louisiana. Volumes contain daily cash entries in ledger form. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2460.

Referenced in Guides: Business, Acadiana

Comeaux, Louis, 1911-, interviewee. Oral history interview, 1993. 1 sound cassette (45 minutes), Index (3 pages). Location: L:4700.0744. Retired sugarcane sharecropper and life-long resident of Four Corners, an unincorporated community south of Franklin, Louisiana. Recollections of Comeaux's childhood as the son of a cane farmer. He recalls his work in an Avery Island salt mine; farming as a sharecropper; the routine of sugarcane planting and harvest; cane syrup production; farm labor; and early transportation. Comeaux also recalls traditional Cajun foods including couche-couche and cracklins; the boucherie; and social conditions in Four Corners. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4700.0744.

Referenced in Guides: Sugar, Transportation, Acadiana

Day, Anita G., Digital Prints. 2000. Forty (40) 5 inches X 7 inches digital prints, matted to 11 inches X 14 inches. Location: 91:3. The collection consists of 40 digital prints of images created at the 1999 Festivals Acadiens, an annual cultural event that began in 1972. The Lafayette Jaycees, along with the help of Rubber Boots, Inc., organize the principal components of Festivals Acadiens, including four separate festivals: Festival de Musique Acadienne; La Vie Cadienne Wetlands Folklife Festival; Heritage Pavilion, and; Bayou Food Festival. These festivals are held in Girard Park in Lafayette, Louisiana. The 1999 festival, during which these images were created, was held from Friday, September 17, through Sunday, September 19. These prints were part of the exhibition, "Preservation as Public Spectacle: Festivals Acadiens," displayed in Hill Memorial Library in 2000. Mss. 4993.

Referenced in Guides: Performing arts, Acadiana, French

Delcroix, Eugene A. Photographic prints, circa 1930-1950. 8 items. Locations: MISC:D, OS:D. Professional photographer of New Orleans, Louisiana. Eight photographic prints depict Louisiana oak trees, Oak Alley Plantation, Grand Isle, and a New Orleans courtyard and patio. Mss. 5356.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, New Orleans 1866-, Acadiana

Dietz, Walter F. Papers, 1901-1962. 470 items, 86 volumes. Socialist party member of the Lake Charles, Louisiana, local (1903-1934); state secretary (1909-1914); national committeeman and state secretary (1928-1931). Correspondence, broadsides, financial reports, pamphlets, writings, newspaper clippings, bound printed volumes, and manuscript volumes for the national Socialist Party, the state organization, and the Lake Charles local organization. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1894.

Referenced in Guides: Politics, Acadiana, 20th Century Wars

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