The Center for Louisiana Studies’ Research Division facilitates access to the wealth of primary source materials available in the archival collections as well as manages all new acquisitions, supervises the cataloging and digitizing of all materials, and develops fieldwork projects.
The Archives of Cajun and Creole Folklore (ACCF) collects, conserves, and makes available to researchers folklore materials that further our mission to preserve regional culture (audio and video material, plus images, much of it based on fieldwork); materials collected as a result of CLS research work (including images, oral histories, and some paper materials); and materials donated specifically to the ACCF at the donor's discretion.
The Center for Louisiana Studies' archival holdings represent the collection and preservation activities of several generations of folklorists, ethnomusicologists, linguists, and other cultural resource management professionals. The oldest recordings in the collection were recorded on wax cylinders, and a large portion of the music and oral history interviews were originally recorded on reel-to-reel tape. The Archive of Cajun and Creole Folklore is the largest collection within the archives and comprises over 12,000 hours of oral histories, field recordings, music performances, and other folklife related materials. Other collections include copies of the Library of Congress’ Louisiana holdings and examples of French spoken in the Upper Mississippi Valley, French Canada, the West Indies, and Africa.
The Center serves as the official archival repository for Festivals Acadiens et Créoles, Blackpot Festival and Cookoff, the Rendez-vous des Cajuns weekly radio/TV program, and Vermilionville Culture Days. The Image Archive holds nearly 8,000 image files, including public domain lithographs and photographs, a compilation of images from all 64 Louisiana parishes, and several collections of family photographs and memorabilia.
The archival holdings are accessible through a fully cataloged database, and listening copies are available upon request.
Fieldwork and Other Projects
Center for Louisiana Studies' fieldwork projects take many forms, from event documentation to large-scale themed projects, such as Dancehalls of South Louisiana. The Center issues music releases from archival holdings through the Louisiana Folk Masters CD series and, in partnership with Festivals Acadiens et Créoles and Valcour Records, the Rubber Bootleg Series.