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Maps of the Mississippi from the Cartographic Information Center

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The southern portion of the map depicting the 1927 flood

Consisting of maps, globes, journals, monographs, photographs, slides, and atlases, the Cartographic Information Center (CIC), is part of the Department of Geography and Anthropology under the College of Humanities & Social Sciences of LSU. The CIC serves patrons from the Department of Geography and Anthropology and other geoscience departments, as well as many patrons from the College of Design and the greater Louisiana State University community, local businesses, Louisiana state agencies, and the general public. .

The LSU Cartographic Information Center recently loaned three historical maps for use in Dr. Sam Bentley’s (LSU Geology & Geophysics) interview with WBRZ news on the historical courses of the Mississippi River. In his interview, Dr. Bentley explained that the Mississippi River changed course about every 1000-1500 years and the Old River Control Structure was built to prevent it from changing course to flow through the Atchafalaya. The map featured and used for the video on the WBRZ web site is a reproduction of the 1764 Carte réduite des costes  de la Louisiane et de la Floride, by Jacques Nicolas Bellin.

1764 Carte réduite des costes de la Louisiane et de la Floride, by Jacques Nicolas Bellin

The 1764 Bellin map was selected to illustrate that when European explorers encountered the Louisiana coast they found large amounts of fresh water entering the Gulf of Mexico from the Atchafalaya River and Bayou Lafourche as well as the Mississippi River. The interview video is online at http://www.wbrz.com/news/mississippi-river-not-on-course-with-history/

On June 6, Middleton Library will have a display about the 1927 flood, with another map from the CIC, showing the extent of the 1927 flood with the levee breaks and Red Cross camps.

Sigrid Kelsey is the Director of Library Communications and Publications at the LSU Libraries.

Posted in Announcements, Services

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