LOUISIANA STATE ARCHIVES
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 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.
Created by the State Legislature in 1956 as the official repository for the state's historical records, the State Archives has called many places home since its conception. The "first" State Archives was located in Peabody Hall at LSU, a dilapidated structure slated for demolition by the State Fire Marshal's office. This was home for the state's official records until 1966 when the State Archives relocated to a former warehouse on Choctaw Boulevard in the industrial section of Baton Rouge. This facility was likewise not suitable for the proper preservation of the state's documentary heritage. In the early 1980's, following an extensive lobbying campaign, the legislature funded construction of a new State Archives building on Essen Lane. In August, 1987, this state of the art facility was officially opened. Designed by architect John Desmond, the building has been hailed as one of the foremost archival facilities in the nation.
Click HERE to view a video detailing the importance of the Louisiana State Archives to the citizens of Louisiana.