In 1984 the Friends of the Louisiana Archives published a directory to archival repositories in Louisiana. The booklet listed just academic and large public or private collections. In 1993 the Society of Southwest Archivists published a directory to archival repositories in its six state region: Arkansas, Arizona, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas. Alfred Lemmon, who compiled the entries for Louisiana, gathered information on more repositories than had appeared in the earlier guide. However, the new directory did not include many smaller repositories in the state which could be invaluable sources of material for local historians and genealogists. The SSA guide also did not include newer communication contact points such as e-mail addresses or Internet URLs. Therefore the Louisiana Archives and Manuscripts Association [the successor organization to the Friends of the Louisiana Archives] decided to support the compilation of a more detailed guide.
This volume is designed to assist genealogists as well as historians and other researchers. Some of the smaller associations list no archival holdings but are included as a contact point for those interested in the history or families of a particular locality. Addresses of the Clerk of Court for each parish are included since those offices contain so many documents of interest to people researching Louisiana subjects. This guide only lists Louisiana repositories. Much research material on the state is located elsewhere: the Library of Congress, the National Archives; the Southwest Branch of the National Archives [Ft. Worth, TX]; the Center for American History at the University of Texas-Austin; the Southern Historical Collection at the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill; etc. These repositories are not included in this guide.
The guide was made available on the Louisiana Archives and Manuscripts Association website in 1998. However, as always happens with this sort of publication, it quickly became out-dated as area codes, URL’s and email addresses changed. In addition many new local history organizations and museums have been recently founded in Louisiana which were not included in the directory. For several years LAMA has hoped to make a new version of the directory available. Beginning in 2006, Dr. Elizabeth Dow, the director of the archival studies program at the LSU School of Library and Information Science, secured the help of programmer James P. Tranowski to turn the directory into a searchable database. In 2009 several of her students, Leslie Bourgeois and Felicia Thomas, were hired to update the old information and create entries for additional appropriate archives, libraries, and museums.
We hope that this resource is useful to those undertaking historical and genealogical research on Louisiana topics.