Documenting a span of over a hundred years, this collection of Carnival and Mardi Gras items consists of ephemera and other objects selected from several manuscript collections in the LSU Libraries Special Collections. The oldest item represented in the collection, Rex, 1875, is a sketchbook containing watercolor portrayals of the planned costumes and floats of the Krewe of Rex for that year. There are also invitations and programs for Mardi Gras Balls, as well as dance cards for attendees. Of the more recent items included, there is a selection of contact sheet of photographs documenting the Baton Rouge Spanish Town Parade in the 1970’s.
Reflecting the industry that grew from the cultural event, there is a pamphlet issued by the Illinois Central Railroad company inviting passengers to take the “Third-Annual Mid-Winter Vacation” in 1916, a trip starting in Chicago and ending in New Orleans for Mardi Gras.