Grant Team

Metadata Guidelines


In April 2013 the National Endowment for the Humanities awarded a grant of $194,152 to the LSU Libraries Special Collections to digitize, index, and provide free access to family papers, business records, and public documents pertaining to free people of color in Louisiana and the lower Mississippi Valley.   With contributions from all of the participating partners, in total the grant is worth $330,192

Les Varietes du Carnaval; sheet music by Basile Bares; 1875; THNOC (86-1605-RL)

The project, entitled “Free People of Color in Louisiana: Revealing an Unknown Past,” brings together collections held by Special Collections and partners including the Historical Center at the Louisiana State Museum in New Orleans, the Louisiana Division of the New Orleans Public Library, The Historic New Orleans Collection, and Tulane University’s Louisiana Research Collection.  The collection is accessible through the Louisiana Digital Library. See full collections.

The grant activities took place between May 2013 and April 2015.  The end product includes 25,000 plus digitized items, data sets, full finding aids for the selected collections, links to collections related to free people of color at other repositories and online exhibitions, bibliographies, contextual information about free people of color, and other scholarly resources.


The Bellazire Meullion receipt for women's clothing is from LSU Special Collections’ Meullion family papers, 1776-1906 (bulk 1776-1796).

Relatively few collections of papers from free families of color survive in archives in Louisiana, nor are they numerous in archives elsewhere in the United States. The most extensive collections of family papers for free people of color held by Louisiana repositories are, in fact, split across institutions.  Digitizing these records will allow us to bring together divided collections and scattered documents, making these materials accessible in one place for the use of historians, genealogists, students, teachers, and the general public.

For additional information about the grant please contact a member of the grant team.


Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in herein do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.