Barès, Basil Jean, Collection, 1866-1947, 0.4 linear feet.The Basile Barès Collection contains sheet music, photographs, and correspondence relating to African-American Composer, and New Orleans Native, Basile Jean Barès (Jan. 4, 1845-Sept. 4, 1902). Barés is the only known composer to have a copyright for his sheet music illegally assigned to him while a slave. This Collection contains one of the only known unpublished works in manuscript by Barès titled, "Los Campanillas." The collection is the only grouping of Barès materials to include items other than sheet music, and the only one to include actual signatures of the composer. In short, the collection is small but Extremely Rare.
Bedou, Arthur P., Photographs, 1900-1988. 0.8 linear ft.The Arthur P. Bedou Photographs Collections contains images taken by the leading black photographer of New Orleans in the first half of the twentieth century, including the last pictures taken of Marcus Garvey in the United States and extensive documentation of Booker T. Washington's last speaking tours. You will find photographs of famous figureheads, such as Presidents Theodore Roosevelt, William McKinley, and William Howard Taft, as well as African American Republican Politician Walter L. Cohen, Bishop Isaiah B. Scott, and Emmett J. Scott, the highest ranking African American in President Woodrow Wilson's administration.
Cahn, Gladys Freeman, Papers, 1939-1963. 0.6 linear ft.The Collection contains biographical information, speeches given by Gladys Freeman Cahn when she served as an officer of the National Urban League and the New Orleans Urban League, and records of the National Convention of the National Council of Jewish Women, which she served as National President (1955-1959).
Clay, Joyce M. Papers, 1904-1997, 1.2 linear ft.Ms. Joyce M. Clay held several administrative positions at Xavier University of Louisiana, including Dean of Women, Director of Student Housing, and Dean of Student Affairs.
Her collection focus on issues affecting women in different areas of life: higher education, the work place, relationships and domestically. There is a significant interest in the advancement of women and their cause. Topics dealing with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which prohibits sex discrimination in federally assisted education programs, is extensively covered. There are also a plethora of publication and periodicals discussing a broad range of feminist topics. Ms. Clay’s papers do not include any works published by herself, but her collection reveals her deep sense of passion for women’s concerns, liberation, and empowerment.
Desdunes, Rodolphe Lucien and the New Orleans Crusader Clippings Collection, 1889-1896The New Orleans Crusader was a Black Republican newspaper founded by politican, attorney, and journalist Louis André Martinet (1849-1917), and descendents of Free Persons of Color in New Orleans, in 1889. The newspaper served to inform the African American public on local and national issues like racial injustice, inequality, and segregation. Most notably, author Rodolphe Lucien Desdunes (1849–1928) who was a civil rights activist, poet, historian, journalist, and customs officer primarily active in New Orleans, Louisiana, contributes many articles held in this collection. In 1890, he was a founder of the Comité des Citoyens which fought the 1890 Separate Car Act through legal challenges, leading to the US Supreme Court Case, Plessy vs. Ferguson.
Grue, (Ann) Lee Meitzen Collection, 1970-2021, 0.8 linear ft.The collection consists of personal and professional writings of Lee Meitzen Grue (1934-2021) over the course of her life and career. This includes personal papers of published and unpublished poetry, handwritten works, personal and professional correspondence, events at the New Orleans Poetry Forum (1973-1988) and The First Backyard Poetry Theatre (1982-1987), as well as writings/publications by other notable writers, poets, and artists.
Grue served as the director of The New Orleans Poetry Forum from 1976 to 1990, and she and her husband, Ronald David Grue, established the Backyard Poetry Theater in 1980. From 1990 on, it was known as the Front Room Performance Space. She also directed the New Orleans Poetry Forum from 1976 to 1990 and edited The New Laurel Review, a literary journal.
Heartman, Charles F., Manuscripts of Slavery Collection, 1724-1897. 9.5 linear ft.The Charles F. Heartman Manuscripts of Slavery Collection consists of over 6000 pieces dating from 1724 to 1897, and relate directly to the social, economic, civil, and legal status of enslaved Negroes and Free People of Color in Louisiana, especially in New Orleans. The Collection includes the poem "Liberty" written and signed by Frederick Douglass in his own hand.The manuscripts are written in French, Spanish, and English.
Latimer, Helen Talbert Papers, 1927 - 1967, 0.2 linear ft.Helen Talbert Latimer was an African American school teacher living in Washington, D. C. during the 1920’s. This collection contains mostly correspondence of 22 handwritten letters between Latimer and her fiancé at the time, John Latimer, a sleeping car porter who traveled extensively. Most of the letters are personal in nature, discussing how his trips went, the early days of their courtship, and plans for marriage. The personal content of the letter makes for interesting reading: he feels inferior to her because of his educational accomplishments and misspent youth, plans for their marriage, quarrels and the like. Throughout his writings he is earnest and affectionate. An interesting group of the letters range from various mail stops on the route from Washington D.C. to Jacksonville, Florida. John and Helen Latimer became married in December 1927.
This collection is of valuable importance because it illuminates a small slice of African American life in the 1920’s.
Peterson, Thomas Mundy, Collection 1884-2017, 0.4 linear ft.Thomas Mundy Peterson (October 6, 1824 – February 4, 1904) of Perth Amboy, New Jersey, has been claimed to be the first African-American to vote in an election under the just-enacted provisions of the 15th Amendment to the United States Constitution. His vote was cast on March 31, 1870; the Amendment had been ratified almost two months earlier, on February 3, but was only officially certified by Secretary of State Hamilton Fish on March 30.
To honor Thomas Mundy Peterson as the first African-American voter after the passage of the 15th Amendment, the citizens of Perth Amboy raised $70 ($2300 in 2022 dollars) to award him with a gold medal. The full medal consists of a gold bar from which a two-inch diameter medallion was hung. The collection includes the original medal, written works about Mr. Peterson, and a pencil sketch.
Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament Collection, 1891-2006, 1.8 linear ft.The collection is comprised of ephemera relating directly to the life and career of Mother (Saint) Katharine Drexel, as well as the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament. This includes materials regarding the S.B.S. Motherhouse and St. Elizabeth's Convent, both previously located in Bensalem, Pennsylvania (prior to their close and sale in 2019); the S.B.S. missionary work with Black Americans and the erection and maintenance of missions, primarily for Indigenous communities in the Southwest; materials about Xavier University of Louisiana, including notes by Sister Patricia Lynch about the Normal School Extension in Lake Charles, Louisiana; and commemorative materials of the S.B.S. Jubilees: the 50th or Golden Jubilee (1941), 70th (1961), 75th (1966), and Centennial (1990-1991).
Treasury Department War Bond Literary. Collection, 1940-1946, 1978. 1 linear ft.Includes original, hand-written manuscripts by Langston Hughes, Robert Hayden, Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., and Frances Parkinson Keyes. The manuscripts described herein were awarded to Xavier University of Louisiana by the United States Department of the Treasury for Xavier's selling the most War Bonds, during World War II, of any United Negro College Fund (UNCF) Member Institution
World War II Active Duty Xavier Former Student Records, 1941 - 1946. 2.4 linear ft.In 1941-1942, multiple Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament began a correspondence with former students who had joined the Army to serve during World War II. In their letters the Sisters would inform the soldiers of the latest happenings on campus, forward them a copy of The Xavier Herald, encourage them to attend Mass, and requested that they write her back and describe their activities as soldiers and to send a photograph of themselves in uniform. They dutifully did so, describing where they were, their training, and informing the Sisters that they were either attending Mass or would do so as soon as they could find one to attend. Many continued their correspondence even after being sent overseas, describing various Pacific islands, Italy, especially Rome, and Paris. All were grateful for the letters from home. They expressed pride in serving and fighting for their country, although there were some references to racial prejudice. While aware of the deadly possibilities, they were overwhelmingly positive in their outlook and hopeful for their future. There were also some ten women, either Army nurses or in the Women’s Army Air Corp (WAAC, later WAC), included in this correspondence.
There is correspondence from 271 soldiers in this collection. The collection includes some 1,800 letters, photographs from 46 soldiers, 115 postcards (primarily Holiday greetings), and a number of change of address postcards.
Xavier University of Louisiana History Collection, 1915-2021, 1.87 linear ft.The collection contains notable writings on the history and founding of Xavier University if Louisiana. The collection consists of correspondence, administrative records, and newspaper clippings on activities between 1932 and 1968, including materials related to integration in Bogalusa, Louisiana (1926-2009), biographical information about persons related to Xavier’s history such as Saint Katharine Drexel (1934-2002), and historical information about Xavier and its buildings (1915-1990). The collection also includes event programs and invitations (1921-1990), brochures and pamphlets (1915-1976), souvenirs (1931-1977), photographs (1916-1946) and miscellaneous documents (1990-2005) and ephemera (1963-2021).
Xavier University of Louisiana War Production Training Unit, 1942–1945. 0.2 linear ft.The collection consists of photographs, correspondence, administrative records, forms, and announcements relating to the War Production Training Unit, located on the Xavier University of Louisiana campus, which ran from 1942-1945. This WWII serving unit provided training courses for African-Americans in the areas of welding, ship-fitting, and metal/machine work. These courses led to employment in these industries, including the local New Orleans company, Higgins Industries Inc.
Xavier University Preparatory School, New Orleans. Records, 1916-present. 3.5 linear ft.Xavier Preparatory University School (Xavier Prep) was a private, Roman Catholic high school on Magazine Street in New Orleans, Louisiana. Xavier Prep was established by Saint Katherine Drexel and the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament in 1915 to provide quality Christo-centric secondary school education to African American teenagers and develop compassionate, prideful, dignified and purpose driven Christian alumni. Due to declining financial stability, the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament chose to close Xavier Prep in February, 2013, though the school was purchased by alumni in April, 2013 and renamed St. Katharine Drexel Preparatory, which operates today.
This collection contains records of Xavier Prep, including event programs, press clippings, administrative records, correspondence, award ceremonies, campus visitors, yearbooks, and photographs.