The University of Louisiana at Monroe and other digital libraries are teaming up to put digital materials relating to Louisiana online as well as soliciting materials from folks around Louisiana.
Let’s start with the Louisiana Digital Library, available at http://www.louisianadigitallibrary.org/. There are over 80,000 items here and they’re both searchable and browsable in many different ways — by topic, time period, geographic focus, media format, etc. I decided to look at the items from the first ten years of the 20th century.
I got links to several collections, including photographs of actors and musicians, more general photograph collections, scrapbook collections — just a lot of collections. You can browse single collections or just the ones you’re interested in with a checkbox and just search those.
For a keyword search I looked for language and got 515 items, including pamphlets, pictures, and newsletters. A nifty option is to sort the options you get by timespan.
But enough about what’s already here — The Louisiana Digital Library also wants to hear from folks who have old pictures, letters, and other historical items from the late 1800s and early 1900s. You’ll need to be local, though — a Monroe News-Star article instructs people who want to donate to go to their local library and talk to a Special Collections librarian. They’ll scan the materials you want to donate, get some information from you, and give you your materials back.