From Grand Village to Bluff City: 300 Years of Natchez History
June 13 – September 3, 2016
in Upper and Lower Main Galleries
LSU Libraries Special Collections presents the exhibition “From Grand Village to Bluff City: 300 Years of Natchez History, on display at Hill memorial Library from June 13 – September 3, 2016. The exhibition is free and open to the public.
The Mississippi River’s fertile flood plain coupled with its role as a major economic artery connecting north and south firmly established the links between Natchez, Miss., and Louisiana early in their development as outposts of the colonial empires of multiple European powers. That connection continued into their respective American territorial periods, and by the antebellum era planters in the area had fully exploited this geographic partnership, taking up residence in Natchez city proper while keeping a firm eye on their profitable plantations across the river. Joined more than divided by the river, Natchez and Louisiana continue to have social, cultural, and economic ties.
It is these connections that informed LSU history professor Edwin Adams Davis as he began in 1935 systematically to collect the papers of the families that settled and prospered in the region. He gave no thought to distinguishing among those who were divided by the almost artificial political boundaries of the states; his interest was in documenting and preserving the rich history and culture of the Lower Mississippi Valley. Over the years, the department he founded at LSU, now known as LSU Libraries Special Collections, has developed into one of the premier repositories for such materials in the nation.
The Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections (LLMVC) within LSU Libraries Special Collections documents the history and culture of this region, of which the diverse and complex city of Natchez is part. 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, microfilm of Louisiana newspapers, historical manuscripts and photographs. The LLMVC is recognized for its collections 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 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.
A variety of topics are explored in the exhibition, reflecting the diverse materials, stories and people of Natchez that are part of our holdings. Subjects showcased include archaeological reports and early French accounts regarding the Natchez Indians; political and economic upheaval in the eras of colonial, territorial and statehood history; slavery, Civil War and Reconstruction; 19th century Natchez in photographs; 20th century economic development and the civil rights era; literary notables of Natchez; and tourism.
The exhibition is free and open to the public. For more information, contact the library at (225) 578-6544.
Jazz Fest 101
A Showcase of Student Oral History Research
April 4, 2016 – June 4, 2016
in Lecture Hall
This exhibition features the fruits of LSU undergraduate research. Students conducted oral history interviews to create primary sources that contribute to a broader understanding of the culture and history of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. The project stems from a partnership established in 2011 among the LSU Libraries T. Harry Williams Center for Oral History, LSU Department of Geography & Anthropology, New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and Foundation Archive, and Nicholls State University Department of Languages and Literature. The exhibition is presented to coincide with both LSU Discover Day activities in April 2016, and the 2016 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival (April 22nd – May 1st).