Louisiana's history is as diverse as the ingredients that comprise the gumbo for which she is so well known.
Native American tribes such as the Bayougoulas and the Houmas were the first to leave their cultural imprints upon this land. They were followed by the French, Spanish, and English, each of which brought a distinct European influence to Louisiana. These influences can still be seen today in the architecture, language, cuisine, music, law, and government that is so uniquely Louisiana. But there are others who have shaped Louisiana's historical and cultural landscape the past three hundred years. Without the added contributions of peoples such as the African-Americans, the Germans, the Hungarians, and the Italians, the drama of Louisiana history would be an unfinished.
Through war, scandal, political intrigue, and economic uncertainty, Louisiana has evolved from a backwater colonial outpost to become a modern, prosperous state, whose blend of European romanticism and American pragmatism make her the most unique of these fifty United States.
The Secretary of State's office oversees three departments which play an important role in maintaining and preserving this rich heritage:
Louisiana State Archives
The Louisiana State Archives, a division of the Louisiana Secretary of State's office, is mandated to identify, to collect, to preserve, to maintain and to make available those records and artifacts that enhance our endeavors to understand the dynamics and nuances of our state's remarkable history. The majority of the records in the Archives' holdings are from governmental agencies, though donations are sometimes received from private individuals. Learn more about the Archives and its mission to preserve Louisiana's history.
Records Management Division
The Records Management division works in tandem with the Archives to assist state agencies and other governmental entities in properly scheduling and maintaining the records they produce, thereby ensuring that records of permanent status are preserved for future generations. Information on Managing Records is offered to state agency employees through workshops, staff visits and microfilming services.
It is our privilege at the Department of State to operate outstanding museums throughout Louisiana for the education and enjoyment of our citizens and visitors. These museums offer an interesting look at the culture and diversity that make Louisiana such an interesting place to live or visit. Our museums are located in all geographic parts of the state and offer a unique look at the history of our people. We hope that you will have the opportunity to visit each of them by following our Heroes and Heritage Trail.
For a closer look at our museums, view our informational video, and for more information on the Heroes and Heritage Trail, review the game rules.