Louisiana: European Explorations and the Louisiana Purchase


This project was generated by a proposal in the fall of 1999 by Michael J. Klein, Senior Reference Librarian in the Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress, to mount a presentation of cartographic materials commemorating the bicentennial of the Louisiana Purchase. Subsequently, Mr. Klein’s proposal was awarded a grant in July 2000 from the Library of Congress Krasnoff Gift Fund for the James H. Billington Award to prepare an online presentation of Library of Congress collections relating to Louisiana history and the Louisiana Purchase. The production was made possible with the very generous support of Mr. and Mrs. Abraham Krasnoff, members of the James Madison Council, whose Krasnoff Gift Fund promotes opportunities for research, scholarship, and education among Library of Congress staff members. Throughout the past two years the following people have furnished us with invaluable assistance and have made numerous contributions for the development of this Web site, and to them we offer our sincerest gratitude and appreciation:

Geography and Map Division

Dr. John Hébert, Chief of the Geography and Map Division, for his steadfast support and guidance of the project from proposal to completion, his enthusiasm for Louisiana history and culture, and his inspiration as a scholar and a friend.

Kathryn L. Engstrom, Reference Team Leader, for graciously permitting the author to set aside his normal reference duties for an extended period in order to undertake the successful production of this project, as well as for her continual support throughout its development.

Edward J. Redmond, Senior Reference Specialist, for his selection of maps pertaining to the Mississippi Valley during the eighteenth century, as well as for providing suggestions for improving the text to that section.

Pam van Ee, Cartographic Historian, for researching and writing the text for that section of Louisiana and the Purchase pertaining to Native Americans, for her editorial assistance, and for her helpful advice for undertaking and completing a project of this sort.

James Flatness, Acquisitions Head, for his assistance in identifying cartographic materials pertinent to Native Americans and Louisiana.

Dr. Ronald Grim, Cartographic Historian, for his insightful suggestions and comments regarding early federal mapping of the trans-Mississippi west.

Katie Ryan, formerly Digital Programs Coordinator, for designing and developing the GIS module, which involved creating maps using Environmental Research Systems Institute (ESRI) software ArcView 3.1 and utilizing data from the U.S.G.S. National Atlas web site.

Patrick Shepler, Library Technician, for kindly providing assistance to Katie Ryan in the production of the GIS module, and creating the boundary of the Louisiana Purchase by hand for use in the GIS module.

Ralph Ehrenberg, Chief Emeritus of the Geography and Map Division, for sharing his expertise on the cartography of the Great Plains and the west before the Louisiana Purchase.

Mike Klein, Senior Reference Librarian, for his proposal of a Web site on the Louisiana Purchase, selecting of all materials, arranging for the scanning of all items, and researching and writing the bulk of the frame-work text and captions.

National Digital Library Program, Geography and Map Division

Colleen Cahill, Production Coordinator, for her expertise and oversight of all the technical aspects involved in building a digital collection, for coordinating the digitization of most cartographic materials, for cataloging uncataloged items, for scanning maps, and acting as liasion between the Division for the various groups that made this page possible.

Gene Roberts, Systems Coordinator, for scanning maps, for assisting in planning the Web site, for overseeing the design and implementation of the Web site, for instructing Mike Klein on the basics of digitization procedures, for scanning items and processing images for the web.

Diane Schugg-O’Neill, Digital Conversion Specialist, for scanning numerous maps, for providing instruction on scanning of maps and manuscripts, cataloging uncataloged items, and for her helpful suggestions on digitizing collections.

Juan Carlos Vega, Digital Conversion Specialist, for scanning several maps.

Information Technology Services, Digital Scan Center

Lynn Brooks, Head of the ITS Digital Scan Center in the Library of Congress, for generously making the facilities of the ITS Digital Scan Center available for this project, and for his overall support.

Domenico Sergi, Computer Specialist, ITS Digital Scan Center, for scanning select materials and for his generous, good-natured support of this project.

Lisa Cope, Computer Specialist, ITS Digital Scan Center, for scanning the major portion of images, text, and maps from the Rare Book and Special Collections Division, as well as select atlas plates from the collections of the Geography and Map Division; for carefully post processing digitized images and overseeing their transfer to an archives file; for her unfailing willingness to scan “just one more” item; and for her constant cheerful support.

Karl Rogers, Computer Specialist, ITS Digital Scan Center, for scanning textual materials from the Rare Book and Special Collections Division.

Glen A. Krankowski, Computer Specialist, ITS Digital Scan Center, for scanning bound newspapers from the Serial and Government Publications Division.


Humanities and Social Sciences Division

Anthony P. Mullan, Senior Reference Specialist, for identifying and selecting documents, manuscripts, and maps related to Spanish Louisiana; for writing a large segment of the text pertaining to Louisiana under Spanish rule; for his English translations of Spanish language materials; for lending original research to Louisiana and the Purchase prior to its publication; and for his always welcome advice on Latin American cartographic history.

Dr. Stephen James, Chief of the Humanities and Social Sciences Division, for allowing Anthony P. Mullan to detail to the Geography and Map Division during the preparation of this project.

Music Division

Charles Sens, Reference Librarian and Senior Music Specialist, for identifying and selecting materials in the Library’s Music Division and elsewhere related to Louisiana’s cultural life around the time of the Louisiana Purchase; for writing the text and captions for that section of Louisiana Purchase pertaining to society and culture in Louisiana; for his overall enthusiasm for the project; and for his willingness to share his encyclopedic knowledge of music, theater, dance, and opera in New Orleans.

Rare Book and Special Collections Division

Gerald R. Wager, Head of the Rare Book Reading Room, for generously sharing his time to review selections in the Rare Book and Special Collections Division for potential scanning, for his permission to scan, for arranging to borrow materials for scanning, for his assistance in locating alternate editions of rare items, and for his continuing, friendly support of the project.

Clark Evans, Senior Reference Specialist, for his joint permission, along with Gerald Wager’s, to scan materials from the Rare Book and Special Collections Division, and for his willingness to search out and uncover hard-to-find items among his division’s holdings, and for kindly taking time from his busy schedule to convey Rare Book’s copy of Le Moniteur to the Geography and Map Division for scanning.

Rare Book Reading Room staff Tracy Arcaro, Tom Athridge, Tamikia Epperson, and Brett Umlauf are to be commended for their friendly and patient assistance in retrieving rare books for research and transfer of selections for scanning.

Manuscript Division

Dr. Gerard W. Gawalt, Manuscript Historical Specialist, for his kind permission to view original manuscripts, for arranging for original manuscripts to be scanned in the Geography and Map Division for this project, for allowing maps to be photographed by the author, for his suggestions on sources in the Manuscript Division related to the Louisiana Purchase, and for generously sharing with the author his copious notes and references compiled as part of his research for the Library’s upcoming Lewis & Clark exhibition.

For their support and timely retrieval of original manuscript materials from their collections for research and review, and for their friendly assistance in arranging for original manuscripts to be scanned outside of the Manuscript Division, many thanks and appreciation are offered to Mary M. Wolfskill, Head of the Reference Section, and to the members of her staff, who are Fred Bauman, Ernie Emrich, Jeff Flannery, Bradley Gernand, Ahmed Jamal Johnson, Patrick Kerwin, and Bruce Kirby.

Prints and Photographs Division

Mary M. Ison, Head of the Reference Section, for assistance rendered in conducting research into the holdings of the Prints and Photographs Division, for sharing her knowledge of her division’s collections, and for facilitating the identification and selection process.

For their friendly assistance and willingness to share their expertise in a variety of subjects, much thanks and appreciation are extended to the staff of the Prints and Photographs Reading Room, who are Jennifer Brathovde, Sam Daniel III, Marilyn Ibach, Maja Keech, and Angela McMillian.

Serial and Government Publications Division

Lyle W. Minter, Head of the Reference Section, for his gracious support of the project, and for his authorization to scan rare newspapers.

G. Travis Westly, Senior Reference Librarian, Reference Section, for sharing his knowledge of early American newspapers and journalism, for his assistance in retrieving newspapers for research, and for his permission to view original newspapers.

John Mark Sweeney, Head of the Newspaper Section, for generously permitting the author to scan rare early American newspapers in their original format, as well as entrusting them to the author’s care while they were being scanned.

Cornelius T. Delaney, Collections Librarian, for encouraging the author to consult the holdings of the Newspaper and Current Periodical Reading Room, and assisting him in the use of that facility’s reference collection.

Photoduplication Service

Yvonne Brooks, Senior Searcher Examiner, for overseeing the timely and accurate production of digitized images from microfilm of manuscript materials, and for taking time out of her busy schedule to meet with the author in order to ensure that the photoduplication order would be processed and completed correctly.

Conservation Division

Heather Wanser, Senior Paper Conservator, for her conservation treatment of two maps from the Geography and Map Division’s Johann Georg Kohl Collection so that scans could be produced.