Archive for March, 2010

Hill Library closed April 2 & 3

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

The Special Collections Library will be closed Friday April 2 and Saturday April 3 for the Easter holiday. The Library will resume regular business hours on Monday April 5. As a reminder, the Hill Reading Room and Exhibition space are open until 8:00 p.m. on Tuesdays during the semester.

LSU Libraries to Digitize Louisiana Newspapers

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

The LSU Libraries is pleased to announce the list of historical Louisiana newspapers that will be digitized as part of a grant funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). Based on input from an Advisory Board of historians, educators, and archivists, project staff have selected 56 titles representing the main regions of Louisiana, rich with articles on historical events, interesting advertisements, and much more contained in newspapers published from 1860 through 1922.

Project Graduate Assistant, Laura Charney, collects data from each microfilmed page to determine the feasibility of digitizing the reel.

Project Graduate Assistant, Laura Charney, collects data from each microfilmed page to determine the feasibility of digitizing the reel.

“The goal for this first-round selection is to cover a wide range of the places, eras and history of Louisiana,” said Elaine Smyth, Head of Special Collections and project co-director. Continued Smyth, “People will be able to explore the digitized newspapers in ways that are not possible with microfilm. The online version of the paper will be full text searchable, so individuals can search by any term they choose, and go straight to the page of their choice.” Louisiana newspapers will be available for free online at the Library of Congress’ Chronicling America website by July 2011.

“From the list of top-ranked titles chosen by the Advisory Board, the staff analyzed every reel in order to identify the best candidates for digitization,” explained Digitizing Louisiana Newspapers Project Manager Athena Jackson. “A good candidate reel contains images with very little deterioration due to age or sometimes the poor physical state of the original newspaper that was filmed. We need good images to ensure that all the features of online searching are possible.” Project staff carefully reviewed each reel and determined the titles best suited for digitization.

The next step of the project is to duplicate and digitize the microfilmed newspaper.  “This is an ambitious project because there are many technical specifications in a digitization project to consider, as well as providing a useful resource that enriches access to historical newspapers,” said Gina Costello, project co-director.  The digitized images will be converted to keyword searchable files and added incrementally to the Library of Congress’ website.

The project is part of the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP), a partnership between the NEH and the Library of Congress (LC) launched in 2005 to provide enhanced access to United States newspapers.  Currently NDNP has 22 state partners. Louisiana is one of seven added in 2009, to digitize 100,000 newspaper pages. Visit the Chronicling America website to explore newspapers from across the country, and stay tuned this fall for the first batch of papers to begin appearing from Louisiana.

Full title list.

Occult exhibition extended

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010

The exhibition “Occult Science & Philosophy in the Renaissance” has been extended through Thursday, April 1, 2010, due to popular demand.


Image: Woodcut from Ambroise Paré.  Des Monstres, Des Prodiges, Des Voyages.  Paris: Livre Club du Libraire, 1964. Rare Laughlin QM690 .P37 1964

Papers of Huey Long Contemporary Now Available

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010

An exhibition featuring items in the recently opened Harvey G. Fields Papers is now on display in the Reading Room at Hill Memorial Library. Fields was a colleague and avid supporter of Huey Long.

Flyer for The American Progress, a weekly newspaper sponsored by Huey P. Long, ca. 1934.

Flyer for The American Progress, a weekly newspaper sponsored by Huey P. Long, ca. 1934.

Harvey Goodwyn Fields was born in Marksville in Avoyelles Parish, Louisiana, in 1883. A graduate of Tulane Law School, he served in the Louisiana Senate from 1916-1920, as District Attorney for Union Parish (1922-1925), Chairman of the Louisiana State Democratic Central Committee (1926-1929), a member of the Louisiana Public Service Commission (1928-1936), and United States Attorney for the Western District of Louisiana (1937-1941). He was also a law partner of Long for a short time in Shreveport, Louisiana.

His papers consist of correspondence addressing political issues in Louisiana, the State Democratic Central Committee, Franklin Roosevelt and some New Deal programs, and Huey Long. Political files consist of speeches, minutes of Democratic Executive Committee meetings, a number of political circular letters, and notes dealing with local election returns. Newspaper clippings, magazine articles, and printed volumes are included which deal with Louisiana politics and political figures, and a number of political fliers concern Louisiana politicians, including Huey Long. For additional information, see the collection finding aid.

Mr. Fields’ grandson, Thomas L. Fields of Farmerville, La., donated the papers last year. He has written a book based on the collection, I Called Him Grand Dad: The Lost Political Papers of Harvey G. Fields.

-Submitted by Caroline Richard and Tara Laver.

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