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Introduction

Though Louisiana is better known for its politics and laissez les bons temps rouler approach to life, the state also has a long and colorful literary history. The exhibition Louisiana for Bibliophiles explores little-known aspects of the history of reading in this corner of the South from the eighteenth century to the 1940s. Featured items include books from the colonial and antebellum periods; materials on women’s reading, libraries, and scientific knowledge; and newspapers, perhaps the most common and accessible reading material. Four Louisiana Creole authors are profiled in the context of America’s “forgotten literature,” i.e., American literature written in languages other than English.

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