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Archives   Tags: archives mcneese history  

Last Updated: Nov 17, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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Starting points for research using archives

  • Using Archives: A Guide to Effective Research
    SAA recently published a guide for the public to learn more about archives: Using Archives: An Effective Guide to Research by Laura Schmidt. The online publication outlines the functions and procedures of archives, and is designed both for first-time archives users and scholars who have already conducted research in archives.
  • Digital Public Library of America
    The DPLA offers a single point of access to millions of items—photographs, manuscripts, books, sounds, moving images, and more—from libraries, archives, and museums around the United States. Users can browse and search the DPLA’s collections by timeline, map, format, and topic; save items to customized lists; and share their lists with others. Users can also explore digital exhibitions curated by the DPLA’s content partners and staff.
  • ALA-RUSA's Using Primary Sources on the Web
    Good outline for the basic steps of finding and evaluating sources, especially those on the web.
  • LAMA Directory of Archival Repositories in Louisiana
    The LAMA Directory lists lots of small town archives, libraries, and records centers throughout Louisiana. Each entry gives contact information and major collecting areas.
  • American Memory Project of the Library of Congress
    American Memory provides free and open access through the Internet to written and spoken words, sound recordings, still and moving images, prints, maps, and sheet music that document the American experience.
  • Chronicling America
    A Library of Congress project to digitize newspapers across the country. Search (full text) America's historic newspapers pages from 1836-1922 or use the U.S. Newspaper Directory to find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present.
  • Avalon Project at Yale Law School : Documents in Law, History and Diplomacy
    A collection of online documents focusing on legal resources.
  • Digital Library on American Slavery
    Resource for finding primary sources about slavery, both individual names and by subject.
  • Documenting the American South
    Collection of primary and secondary sources about the South from the University of North Carolina.
  • Historic New Orleans Collection
    Search the holdings of the Historic New Orleans Collection.
  • History Matters: The U.S. Survey Course on the Web
    Helpful gateway to historical research and primary sources
  • History Reference Center  Icon
    This database provides articles and essays on topics related to American and World History. Coverage relies heavily on a collection of encyclopedias. Users may limit searches to full-text and peer-reviewed/ scholarly articles
  • LOUISiana Digital Library
    Excellent resource for materials relating to anything about Louisiana.
  • LSU Libraries: Special Collections Division Homepage
    LSU's Special Collections Division has lots of resources that pertain to Southwest Louisiana.
  • National Archives and Records Administration
    This site is the gateway to the records of the federal government. Their subject guides are especially helpful: .
  • New Deal Network
    This site is a little outdated, but still has useful resources for studying the New Deal.
  • U.S. Newspaper Program
    Find out who is preserving newspapers and how you can access them.
  • WorldCat
    This database provides access to bibliographic information on books available in libraries around the world. It is especially useful when seeking to order copies of materials through InterLibrary Loan (ILL).
  • The American Presidency Project  Icon
    Online data archive of information about the American Presidency, including election data, texts of speeches, public documents, campaign information, and much more.
  • Internet Archive
    The Internet Archive was founded to build an Internet library. Its purposes include offering permanent access for researchers, historians, scholars, people with disabilities, and the general public to historical collections that exist in digital format.

    Founded in 1996 and located in San Francisco, the Archive has been receiving data donations from Alexa Internet and others. In late 1999, the organization started to grow to include more well-rounded collections. Now the Internet Archive includes: texts, audio, moving images, and software as well as archived web pages in our collections, and provides specialized services for adaptive reading and information access for the blind and other persons with disabilities.
  • Gallica
    Gallica is the Digital Library of the Bibliotheque Nationale de France, containing millions of books, documents, maps, images, etc.
  • University of Illinois guide to archives terms
    Want to talk like an archivist? This handy guide gives some basic definitions of archives-related terms.
  • Founders Online  Icon
    Correspondence and Other Writings of Six Major Shapers of the United States: George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams (and family), Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, and James Madison. Over 175,000 searchable documents, fully annotated, from the authoritative Founding Fathers Papers projects.
  • The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies  Icon
    Ohio State University's Department of History provides online access to this invaluable record of the Civil War. Includes an index and atlas. From the site: "No serious study of the American Civil War is complete without consulting the Official Records. Affectionately known as the "OR", the 128 volumes of the Official Records provide the most comprehensive, authoritative, and voluminous reference on Civil War operations."
  • Stanford History Education Group (SHEG)
    The SHEG is a collaboration to research History teaching methods. Although the project focuses on Teacher Education, the site provides resources for anyone learning to evaluate and investigate sources, particularly internet-based sources.
  • African American Historical Serials Collection
    More than 170 unique periodical titles and 60,000 pages of searchable primary source content related to the history of African American life and culture, with extensive coverage of religious organizations, churches, and institutions. Material published between 1829 and 1922.
  • African American Archives
    Over one million pages of original historical documents pertaining to the African American experience over several centuries.
  • African-American Newspapers, 1827-1998  Icon
    Good History database to use for primary sources. There are few search options other than keyword searching. Use quotation marks around search terms for better results.
  • Umbra: Search African American History
    Umbra is a freely available online search tool that brings together digitized materials from U.S. libraries and repositories that document African American history and culture.

Library Liaison

Pati Threatt
Contact Info
Frazar Memorial Library/Box 91445
McNeese State University
Lake Charles, LA 70609

(337) 475-5731
If you need individualized help, please contact me for an appointment.
Send Email

Research Topics

Looking for a good research topic? Here are a few ideas:

-Histories of individual cities or parishes: Lake Charles, Cameron, Jennings, DeRidder, DeQuincy, Sulphur, Westlake, etc. Although we have several extensive histories of Lake Charles up to 1930, there are very few published, comprehensive historical works since then.

-Labor violence of the 1970s and the Right to Work movement, including the Jupiter Chemical Co. incident of January 1976. The SWLA Legislative Delegation collections have lots of information about the Young Turks and Right to Work.

-Various industries and agricultural crops, including: Lumber, Rice, Cattle Ranching, Seafood, Paper, etc. Why did a particular industry thrive here? Who started the industry and attracted others to join? Have any industries or crops failed here? What is the importance of the industry? Who were the workers in the industry? What kinds of problems did they have?

-Le Grand Derangement (when the Acadians were ousted from Canada). Why did the Acadians settle here? Was life here easier or harder than in Canada? What traditions or cultural aspects do the Acadians in Louisiana share with Canadians today?

-Desegregation/Integration of McNeese, Lake Charles, and/or SWLA. Who were the first black students? Was the transition smooth? Were black students welcome?

-The African-American Community in SWLA. Who were the cultural leaders? What was slavery like in SWLA?

-Important women of SWLA, such as Rosa Hart, Julie Muller Marx, Caroline LeBleu Sallier, Pearl Watson, Maude Reid, etc.  

-Lake Charles Architecture. Lake Charles has its own distinct architectural style. How did it develop? What are its characteristics?

-Petrochemical industry in SWLA. When and why did it begin? What are its effects on the community?

-Rodeo in SWLA.

-Port of LC/Shipping Industry/Deep Water Channel. How did the Deep Water Channel come about? What is the national and international significance of the Port?

-Cultural History of LC: Theatre, Ballet, Symphony, Radio, TV, Film, Visual Arts…. Lake Charles has a very strong history of local art activities and performances. One of the major influences was Rosa Hart and the Lake Charles Little Theatre.

-Student life at McNeese through the years. How has daily life changed for students? Did students have more fun? Were students safer?

-How has the population of SWLA changed throughout history? When were the surges and low points? How did community leaders respond to increases in population?

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