Southeastern's Center for Southeast Louisiana Studies seeks WWI related items for exhibit, archival collection


Wednesday, February 28, 2018 
by: Tonya Lowentritt 

     HAMMOND – Southeastern Louisiana University’s Center for Southeast Louisiana Studies is seeking World War I artifacts and memorabilia for a project commemorating the WWI Centennial.
According to Leon Ford Endowed Chair, Professor of History, and Director of the Center for Southeast Louisiana Studies Samuel Hyde, WWI is alternately known as the “Great War” and the “War to End All Wars” and represented an unprecedented human tragedy that devastated Europe and gave rise to political and economic configurations that continue to challenge our world today.
     “In our modern technology driven world, attention spans are short and memories are often fleeting, but World War I left legacies of profound significance to American development, and Louisiana was no exception,” Hyde said. “We intend this to be an all-inclusive project that highlights the varied contributions of Louisianians to the war effort. In addition to creating an exhibit focused on the war, the center plans to begin collecting items for archival collections.”
     Families, businesses or groups with connections to the soldiers and others who served in both the military and civilian capacities are urged to contact the center, Hyde said. The collections will be housed in the university archives for future use by researchers.
     Assistant Director for the Center for Southeast Louisiana Studies Keith Finley said that the center already maintains some significant holdings related to the war effort.
     “We are interested in expanding those holdings to include contributions from all segments of the community so that a proper appreciation of the complexities of the war will be evident in our holdings.”
     Finley noted that among the collections currently maintained by the center are the Jahncke Shipyard Collection, famous for its World War I era shipbuilding, as well as multiple newspaper collections and photographic collections emphasizing regional life and culture during the war.
     “We would love to secure uniforms, photographs, diaries, letters, or any other war-era related items that people may have in their possession either to offer to us on loan or to create a permanent collection,” he added.
     The center plans to begin collecting items immediately and encourages individuals from any segment of the community to contact the center to discuss possible donation or loan of relevant items and artifacts.
     To contact the center or for more information, call 985-549-2151 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Thursday or 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Friday, or email

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