Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections
The Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections (LLMVC) documents the history and culture of this region. The largest accumulation of materials on Louisiana and the lower Mississippi Valley in existence, LLMVC includes a comprehensive collection of books, periodicals, maps, prints, pamphlets, Louisiana state documents, and microfilm of Louisiana newspapers.
For additional information about the contents or use of the LLMVC, submit an electronic reference request.
What is now the manuscript component of the Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections was initiated in 1935 when LSU history professor Edwin Davis began systematically to collect the papers of the families that settled and prospered in the lower Mississippi Valley. Recognizing the role of the Mississippi River as the shaper of the land it drains -- from the contours of the land to the culture, economy, and politics of the communities that draw sustenance from it -- Davis endeavored to document and preserve the rich history and culture of the region. In 1985, these manuscript collections combined with the Louisiana Collection of books, periodicals, and maps to become the Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections.
In addition to its rich manuscript collections, LLMVC includes more than 120,000 volumes of books, periodicals, maps, newspapers, and other published materials that document the social, economic, political, and environmental history of Louisiana and its people. The collection is especially strong in books on plantation life, Civil War-era Louisiana, state and local politics, and fiction and poetry written by Louisiana authors.
For detailed guides to published materials in selected subject areas, see Tips for Finding Books.
The LSU Libraries Special Collections holds nearly a quarter million photographic images in its collections. The earliest is a daguerreotype portrait, created around 1845, of Varina Davis, wife of Jefferson Davis; the latest is a collection of digital and print photographs, created by New Orleans photographer Donn Young, salvaged from the wreckage of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. In between lays a range of materials documenting Louisiana - her citizens, places, and events - and people, places, and events much further afield. Read more...
The Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections houses a number of political papers collections, with an emphasis on elected officials at the state and national levels. Read more...
Scope of Collection & Collecting Areas
More than 5000 manuscript groups encompassing over 10 million items are preserved in LLMVC. Recognized as one of the nation's premier repositories for materials relating to the antebellum plantation, Civil War, and Reconstruction South, LLMVC includes the papers of individuals and families, records of plantations, merchants and financial institutions, and the records of political, social, and labor organizations. Read more...
LLMVC relies on donations from individuals, families, and organizations papers to build and enhance its research holdings. The LLMVC welcomes donations or printed materials, manuscripts, and photographs in its collecting areas.