Louisiana Historical Center
The Louisiana Historical Center, located in the French Quarter on the third floor of the Old U.S. Mint, is one of America’s great archives. Since it opened in 1977, the Center has served thousands of researchers from around the world. In addition to its priceless collections of Colonial-era manuscripts and maps, the Center houses a wealth of primary and secondary source materials in a wide range of media.
The Louisiana Historical Center’s archives are open to anyone with an interest in Louisiana history and culture- from professional scholars to family genealogists. All services are free of charge, during regular hours or by appointment. The Center is open to the public Monday and Tuesday from 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM, and by appointment Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM.
Part of the Louisiana State Museum, the Center also relies on private, corporate and foundation support for our mission to collect, preserve and provide wide access to Louisiana’s history through the documentary record. Contributions may be made through the nonprofit Louisiana Museum Foundation.
Finally, the Center invites donations of historically significant documents to build our collection. Please consider us as an ideal permanent home for family or institutional papers, diaries, letters, photographs, scrapbooks, rare books and albums, maps, prints, posters and other ephemera.
The general manuscript collections date from 1584 to the present. Included in the colonial period documents are the original 1724 Code Noir, signed by Louis XV and promulgated at New Orleans, and many abstracts and translations of colonial documents in other archives, such as the Dispatches of the Spanish Governors of Louisiana (1766-1796) in 27 volumes. Manuscripts documenting Louisiana’s antebellum economic, social and political history are housed in several collections including the John McDonough papers (1813-1846) and the John Slidell papers (1822-1918), and numerous plantation ledgers and notebooks. Other documents concern the Battle of New Orleans, War of 1812, Mexican War, and Civil War.
For information on the Historical Center:
Sarah-Elizabeth Gundlach, Curator
For research appointments:
Erin Kinchen, Reading Room Attendant