Louisiana’s Archives are in a ‘State Of Emergency,’ According to Local Historians

Louisiana’s archival and historical records are in a state of emergency. Their destruction “would represent nothing less than a devastating and irreparable loss” of the state’s historical and cultural heritage, according to historians who recently gathered for the Louisiana Historical Association’s annual conference.

A summary by the Louisiana Historical Association called Louisiana’s historical archives “endangered treasures.”

The association identified several important uses of archival records by members of the public including searching for information about family histories, by teachers using historical records for lesson plans and classroom discussions and by attorneys who use documents to establish chains of title in property transfers.

Details may be found in an article by Lex Talamo in the Miami Herald at: http://hrld.us/2pqdeY0.


It is with great regret that the situation in Louisiana is not alone. Many of our States legislators have the preservation of records as a very low priority. And many records in various repositories are totally decaying due to the lack of adequate preservation. I have been in mice infested archives and it isn’t fun. Also many Courthouses, especially in the south where records are on acid paper and deteriorating. Water is a huge problem. Last year I was in a southern texas town and water had seeped into the storage area and the entire town newspapers are not molding mush due to leakage. History that is now lost forever. We need to be vigilant in all of our states to do everything we can to preserve and to convince legislators and benefactors and philanthropist to help in these most important of preservation’s.

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I am sitting here in New Orleans reading the blog (as I do every morning), and I can say that I have not read or heard one word by the local press on this “mess.” I urge others in Louisiana to start banging the warning drum, as I will start to do so. Louisiana people are proud of their storied history, and will, I am sure, rally to the cause if they are informed. I suggest the first call to make would be to LT Governor Billy Nungesser, whose office is responsible for the State’s museums, etc. The website is: http://www.crt.state.la.us/lt-governor/index


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