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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Audubon, Victor Gifford. Letter, December 24, 1838. 1 letter. Locations: VAULT:53, MISC:A. Eldest son of John James Audubon. Letter from Victor, Edinburgh, Scotland, to Mrs. [Euphemia] Gifford in Dinton (near Aylesbury), England. Gives news of the Audubon family and Victor's return to the United States to see to his father's business. Mss. 5191.

Referenced in Guides: Women, Business

Babcock, Mrs. George. Diaries, 1871. 1 item and 2 ms. vols. Location: J:5. Wife of a New Orleans merchant. Travel diaries record a trip to Europe and give descriptions of places and events in England, Scotland, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, and France. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 791.

Referenced in Guides: Women, New Orleans 1866-

Bacon, Edmund, 1776-1826. Letters, 1802-1820. 14 items. Location: B:16. Virginia native, lawyer, and cotton planter educated in Augusta, Georgia, and Litchfield, Connecticut. He settled in Savannah, then moved to Edgefield, South Carolina. Letters to Bacon's sister Agnes and her husband Colonel Joseph Pannill of Loftus Heights, Mississippi, pertaining to legal, business, and agricultural matters; family and local news; difficulties with Creek Indians in the area; and travel. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2178.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Women

Badley Family papers, 1834-1940, undated (bulk 1845-1865). 0.3 linear feet. Location: W:2, OS:B, F:2. Badley family, plantation owners in Port Hudson and East Baton Rouge Parish. Personal papers and printed items document their plantations, landholding, and political and professional activities. Works Progress Administration manuscripts collection notes and botanical specimen books are also present. For further information see online catalog. Mss. 3062.

Bain, Emily Johnston. Papers, 1757-2002, (bulk 1940-2000). 4.25 linear ft. Location: 106:5-6. Louisiana artist and educator who served as a Home Demonstration agent to the Louisiana Cooperative Extension Service and as Louisiana State Supervisor of Art for the Department of Education in addition to her teaching career. Papers comprise materials related to her education and career as a teacher and artist in Louisiana and Texas. Records include Bain’s genealogical research, autobiographical and creative writing, photographs, slides, correspondence, printed materials, ephemera, and clippings. Mss. 5172.

Referenced in Guides: Women, Education, Baton Rouge, LSU