Manuscript Resources on Women's History

This guide describes manuscript collections documenting women's history in the Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections at LSU. It includes the papers of women, women's organizations, family papers with significant bodies of women's papers in them, and other collections that document women's history in one way or another.

LSU is fortunate because it collected women's papers very early, perhaps without systematically trying to do so. Women's voices, often buried in plantation collections and Civil War papers, have emerged from obscurity only in recent decades. Researchers coming to LSU can study the letters and diaries of plantation mistresses and teachers, the papers of women writers, and the papers of black women, among other sources. A number of our women's collections have been recently microfilmed by University Publications of America in its series on Southern Women and their Families, making these collections more widely accessible. 

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Anonymous Civil War letter, 1863 August 11. 1 item. Location: Misc:A. Letter from a young woman residing near Campbell County Court House, Virginia, reporting that a cousin, Robert Andrews, had distinguished himself at Winchester and had been wounded at the Battle of Gettysburg. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2121.

Referenced in Guides: Women, Civil War

Anonymous Civil War scrapbook, 1856-1863. 1 volume. Location: UU:110. Clippings, mostly from Mobile, Alabama, Advertiser and Register, of poems and Civil War news. Scrapbook also includes fashion designs from magazines. Available on microfilm 5750: University Publications of America Southern Women and Their Families in the 19th Century: Papers and Diaries Series E, Reel 1. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 893.

Referenced in Guides: Women, Civil War, Literature

Anonymous Confederate civilian letters, 1863 August 27-29. 2 items. Location: Misc:A Pages from a letter-diary of a plantation owner, possibly the wife of a Confederate soldier, recording daily activities, local news, plantation work, and slave health. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2997.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Women, Civil War, African Americans

Anonymous diary, circa 1847. 1 diary. Location: MISC:A. Woman's diary. She writes mainly of being at her aunt and uncle's house, possibly a plantation, near Biloxi, Mississippi. She writes of leaving New Orleans, Louisiana and reaching Biloxi (June 24); of a boat race around Deer Island (August 23); and of Governor Albert G. Brown dining at her aunt and uncle's house (September 23). Mss. 5359.

Referenced in Guides: New Orleans to 1861, Women

Anonymous dry goods store ledger, circa 1920-1929. 1 volume. Location: N:2. Ledger contains records of customer accounts and lists of purchases from a dry goods store, most likely located in New Orleans. Customers listed include Mrs. Andrew Stewart of Oak Alley Plantation, Mrs. Harry P. Williams (Marguerite Clark Williams), and Mrs. E. A. McIlhenny. Items sold include women and children's clothing, luncheon and bridge sets, bolts of fabric, and napkins. Mss. 5341

Referenced in Guides: Women, New Orleans 1866-, Business