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.
The LLMVC is recognized as one of the nation's premier repositories of historical documents materials relating to the antebellum plantation, Civil War, and Reconstruction South and includes the papers of individuals and families, records of plantations, merchants and financial institutions, and the files of political, social, and labor organizations. The collection also contains the personal papers of many of the most important figures in the political history of the region, including those of Huey Long, Russell Long, and other Long family members, and Senators J. Bennett Johnston and John Breaux. Geographically, the manuscript collections cover the state of Louisiana and the Lower Mississippi Valley, from Memphis to New Orleans, with notable strength in holdings related to Natchez, St. Francisville, Baton Rouge, and New Orleans. The collections date to the French and Spanish colonial periods in the region to the present day as we continue to collect materials related to the region's social, economic, political, cultural, literary, environmental and military history.
In addition to its rich manuscript collections, LLMVC includes more than 50,000 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.
Since the 1930s, LSU Libraries has been collecting and preserving Louisiana newspapers, both historical and current. Long-term preservation microfilm began in the 1940s. In 1986, the Libraries began participateding in the United States Newspapers Program(USNP), sponsored by the Library of Congress and funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities. The USNP project identified, located, and saw the cataloginged of more than 1,700 Louisiana newspaper titles dating as far back as 1794. Read more...
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.