Welcome to LSU Libraries' Special Collections on the web! We have many resources available to researchers both at this site and in our reading room in Hill Memorial Library. We hope the following information will help you get started using Special Collections at LSU.
- Our Location and Hours
- Next, explore our five major collecting areas:
How do I find specific research materials?
Search the Catalog
First, search the LSU Libraries' Online Public Access Catalog (OPAC). The OPAC includes records for books, journals, manuscripts, microfilm, maps, and other materials found in Special Collections. Records for nearly all the books and other published materials in Special Collections can be found there, including an extensive collection of Louisiana newspapers on microfilm. The OPAC also includes records for about one quarter of our manuscript collections.
Books and Published Materials
The library’s book collections are searchable in the online catalog. You may wish to limit your search to a specific collection depending on the topic you are researching. You may also limit your search by language, publication year, and material type. For detailed guides to published materials in selected subject areas, see Tips for Finding Books.
Manuscripts and Unpublished Materials
If you're looking specifically for manuscripts and other unpublished materials, learn more about our holdings on the the Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections (LLMVC) page. We have more than 5,000 manuscript collections. The document "Finding Manuscript Resources in the LLMVC," (also available in PDF) will orient you to our finding aids, manuscript subject guides, online catalog, and indexes available only in the library. You may also view an online tutorial about locating manuscript resources.
Official Records of LSU
If you're looking for the official records of LSU, check the University Archives inventories. LSU's archives adhere to a Records Retention schedule. For manuscript collections about LSU (but not the official records of the University) visit the LSU Subject Guide.
Oral History Materials
U.S. Civil War Materials
If you're studying the U.S. Civil War, you can explore the Index of Civil War Information available on the Internet (maintained by Dick Weeks). For manuscript collections on this topic, use our Civil War Subject Guide.
How do I use the research materials?
Like all special collections libraries, we have very specific rules about how people can use our materials. We encourage researchers to use our materials, but we need to preserve them for future scholars to use as well. For this reason, we do not allow library patrons to take materials out of the building. Fortunately, we have a beautiful reading room in Hill Memorial Library where anyone can register to use our materials. We require that you present a photo identification card (your driver's license or student i.d.) when you register, so please be sure to bring one to the reading room.
Learn more about using Special Collections materials:
- Use of the Collections, General Orientation
- Hours of Operation
- Photoduplication Policy
- Visiting LSU and Baton Rouge
Finally, if you can't visit our reading room, you can ask a Reference Question online. Please remember that we can only answer questions specifically about our collections. For more extensive research, please make plans to visit us in Baton Rouge. We do not accept requests for copies through our e-mail reference service, but you can request a limited number of specifically identified copies by letter (see the Photoduplication Policy for details). Also, if you have an idea for how we improve our services, please make a suggestion.
What else is there to see here?
Hill Memorial Library has two exhibition galleries that are open to the public free of charge, Monday through Friday 8 to 5 and most Saturdays 9 to 1. Check Current exhibits and Coming Exhibits to see what's on. We also feature online exhibits on topics ranging from “Sugar at LSU” to “British Voices from South Asia.” In addition, you can see images of Special Collections materials in the Louisiana Digital Library.
We hope you find our collections useful to your research. Thank you for visiting and come again soon!