Postcards and Other Archival Adventures

September 17th, 2013 by Jessica Lacher-Feldman


In addition to holding and making available incredible physical collections, we are continuously adding to our digital collections as well.   One recent addition to the LSU Libraries Special Collections portion of the Louisiana Digital Library consists of two significant groups of postcards from our collections, which are now available to everyone online.

The Mississippi and Louisiana postcard collection, 1906-1939 contains 93 items and depict commercial buildings, residences, churches, monuments, hotels, schools, and streets mostly situated in Bay St. Louis, Miss. Among these buildings and structures are the Osoinach’s Opera House, Pass Marian lighthouse, and Our Lady of the Gulf Catholic Church, which was erected in 1850 and destroyed by fire in 1907. The collection also includes similar postcards of buildings and structures in several other Mississippi and Louisiana locations, including New Orleans and Baton Rouge. Others depict storm damage along an unidentified beach.

The Louisiana postcard collection, 1904-1951 is comprised of 517 items and depict subjects in towns and regions of Louisiana and some areas of Mississippi and Wyoming. Louisiana towns and regions best represented in the collection include Abita Springs, Alexandria, Baton Rouge, Bogalusa, Convent, Covington, Donaldsonville, Franklin, Hammond, Houma, Jennings, Lake Charles, Mandeville, Monroe, Morgan City, New Orleans, Plaquemine, Saint Francisville, Shreveport, and Thibodaux.

In addition to the images on the postcards, the backs of the postcards have been digitized, giving insight into life in a different time and place.  What can we infer from this cryptic note on the back of this ostrich postcard?  And how did they spend that Sunday in 1915?


To browse the postcard collection you can  click here. You may also view the finding aid for the analog version of the collection here.

The actual postcards are in the Hill Memorial Library and are available to view and use.  And all the work done to make them available to the public, both physically and virtually, happens in LSU Libraries Special Collections.  One simple postcard just like this can serve as the start of a project — whether it be an art project, a poem, an essay, or a research paper, or a pathway to new discoveries.  Visit Special Collections, in person, or online, and start your own adventure!



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