Note: This is the fourth in a five-part occasional series on LSU’s official and unofficial student newspapers, yearbooks, magazines, and literary journals.
One cannot fully appreciate the role of independent student publications in campus life without also exploring the official ones, especially as the same writers often worked for both varieties. The first university publication to which students are known to have contributed was the Louisiana State Agricultural & Mechanical College Journal of 1874—as typesetters. Established when the A&M College was still an entirely separate institution located in New Orleans (it did not merge with LSU until 1877), the cadets had the privilege of setting the type for this journal of “scientific and practical education in agriculture and the mechanic arts.” Apparently, Prof. Thomas Nicholson provided all the content, openly complaining of being overworked and underappreciated in the only surviving issue from August 1874 (Hill Memorial Library UARCHIVES — LH1 .L55 L68 OVER).
I’ve intentionally left out publications like the A&M college journal from the following annotated bibliography of LSU’s officially-sanctioned student yearbooks, newspapers, magazines, and journals. While students undoubtedly contributed to various university, college, and departmental publications, as well as the alumni magazine from time to time, I’ve chosen to limit this list to more substantive periodicals that were run largely by students.
Hill Memorial Library UARCHIVES — LH1 .L55 R48 & MICROFILM 632
Perhaps aware of an earlier Reveille on campus—a brief faculty journal from 1872—the cadets of Louisiana State University inaugurated the new Reveille, a four-page weekly newspaper, on January 14, 1897, charging one dollar for a year’s subscription. You already know what it does.
Hill Memorial Library UARCHIVES — LD3114 .L13
LSU’s de facto annual student handbook was issued for half a century by the campus YMCA (and sometimes by the student government as well) under the editorship of students. A guide to rules, regulations, activities, sports, and much more, it transitioned into an official university publication beginning with the 1948/49 edition. The L Book ran continuously until the late 1960s, then returned briefly for a few nostalgic issues around the turn of the millennium.
Hill Memorial Library UARCHIVES — LD3118 .G8 REF
Middleton Library Stacks & Compact — LD3118 .G8
Dedicated to former university president David F. Boyd, who had died the previous year, the inaugural Gumbo of 1900 was structurally little different from all its successors: class pictures, sports, frats, clubs, cadet companies, supposedly witty prose, etc. It failed to publish editions only in 1919, 1993, and 1994. Editions of the Gumbo are available online through the LSU Digital Commons.
Hill Memorial Library UARCHIVES — LH1 .L55 F7
Middleton Library Stacks — LH1 .L55 F7
LSU’s first student literary journal, Freshmaniana offered exactly what its name inferred: poetry, prose, and short fiction from freshman English classes for the 1933/34 school year. Although aspiring to become an annual serial, nothing indicates that Freshmaniana progressed beyond its first issue.
Manchac Magazine | 1975-1976
Manchac | 1977-1982
Hill Memorial Library UARCHIVES — LH1 .L55 D4
Middleton Library Stacks — LH1 .L55 D4
Delta, the student literary journal, debuted in 1947 under the editorship of Charles East, who would become a noted author, newspaper and literary editor, and director of LSU Press. Hardly limited to the creative writing of only students, it also published submissions from alumni, local amateurs, and professional authors. Delta went through a couple of ill-advised title changes in the 1970s before closing under financial distress in 1982. Both of LSU’s current literary journals claim its lineage.
Hill Memorial Library UARCHIVES — LD3111 .P66 1960z & LD3111 .L78 1969
Sponsored by the Student Government Association and drawn from student evaluations, the Poop Book dished out the dirt on classes and professors. Students described course content and workload; offered recommendations on which classes to take or avoid; and evaluated their teachers for their preparation, class presentation, and grading. Unlike modern social media, the Poop Book didn’t print every irrepressible comment, but rather summarized the majority opinion when it could be deduced.
Hill Memorial Library UARCHIVES — LH1 .L55 A3
Middleton Library Stacks — LH1 .L55 A3
The first attempt at an official campus magazine, Add One tried to steer a popular middle course between the traditional news of the Reveille and the highbrow literary content of Delta by offering articles, satire, humor, short fiction, poetry, and a monthly copy girl pictorial. Alas, it published only three issues in the spring of 1964 and another in January 1965 before bowing out.
Hill Memorial Library UARCHIVES — LH1 .L55 S4 FLAT
Everyone seemed happy in the pages of The Sentinel, the official newspaper of the Student Government Association. Although focusing primarily on the work of the SGA, it also frequently covered other news around campus. The Sentinel appeared three or four times a year for a couple of academic years until all those Pepsodent smiles went away for good in the spring of 1967.
Next time: The Law School, the Vet School, and the arrival of Legacy magazine