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Oscar René Courrege Papers

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5225_Courrege_Image031Anisyla Pinon*
Note: Anizy-Pinon train station located in northern France at Pinon near Anizy-le-Château.
Possible graffiti translation: Keller 15M with arrow. [Cellar 15 meters in direction of arrow]

*Transcription of handwritten notation is true to original.

The Oscar René Courrege Papers were donated to LSU Libraries Special Collections by the estate of Janet Marie Daboval Musso, represented by her daughter Pam Musso Braud on behalf of Stephanie Musso Ochello, and Richard Thomas Musso.  This newly acquired collection was processed and cataloged in 2017.

Oscar René Courrege Papers, Mss. 5225
Biographical note:
Oscar René Courrege was born on January 20, 1888 in New Iberia, Louisiana, the first of four children of Joseph Bertrand Courrégé and Adele Crapé. He served in the United States Army during World War I, as a private in the 35th Service Co., Signal Corps, before his appointment to the rank of corporal in September of 1919. His fluency in French enabled him to work as a telephone operator, a role he filled while stationed in Cheverny, France and Paris. Referring to himself as René during his early years, he married Amilda Renoudet on April 24, 1923. Courrege died in August of 1970.

Marking the 100th anniversary of U.S. involvement in World War I, LSU Libraries Special Collections continues to highlight pertinent collections and materials.  A large portion of the Oscar René Courrege papers consists of photographs and postcards pertaining to Courrege’s military service in France during 1918-1919.  Groups of consecutive postcards make up letters written to his Aunt back home in New Iberia.  These letters, dated between October 31 and December 27, 1918, provide a first-hand account of one Louisiana soldier’s experiences, observations and continued service overseas following World War I.  The collection also contains about 90 black-and-white photographs mostly taken in post-World War I France, including Paris, Soissions, Crouy, Pinion, Anizy-le-Château, Vrigny and Reims.  The identity of the photographer is unverified, but many of the photographs correspond to locations and situations described in Courrege’s letters.  Photographic imagery includes post-war Paris, monuments for the Victory celebration on Bastille Day 1919, former battle sites, and war-ravaged towns left in ruin.

Selected images from the Oscar René Courrege Papers


5225_Courrege_PostcardS_2_7Courrege started the letter on November 10, 1918, and completed it after the Armistice was signed on November 11, 1918. Transcription is true to original.

“My new address since writing the above the Armistist has been sign And the people are having a time of their lives the streets are packed like Carnival in N.O. after the parade that has lasted for the last two days and it looks as if it will be the same tonight. I’m simply wore out think I will go to bed early tonight. I also had the pleasure in visiting Notra Dames church you talk about some things that grand will that is also…

their were all kind of bands also pretty near all nations were in a parade.  Their were all kind of flying machine in the air doing all kind of surmasette some went by all lit up. Their were more air plain in the air that day then paris ever seen in the air. So you must imagine how things must of look a fellow couldent hardily go through the crowd. I think all of paris must of turned out and they celebrated untill way in the night in other word early in the morning…”


Arch of Triumph and Centapath.* Note: Cenotaph monument erected beside the Arc de Triomphe for the Victory celebration in Paris on July, 14, 1919. Arch of Triumph and Centapath.*
Note: Cenotaph monument erected beside the Arc de Triomphe for the Victory celebration in Paris on July, 14, 1919.

The Cenotaph was a temporary monument constructed for the Victory celebration held in Paris, July 14, 1919.  A Victory Parade marking the end of the World War I marched past the Cenotaph and through the Arc de Triomphe on Bastille Day 1919.

from the Arch of Triumph Ave. D. Iena & Kleber.* Note: Avenue d'Iéna and Avenue Kléber both radiate from the roundabout encircling the Arc de Triomphe. from the Arch of Triumph Ave. D. Iena & Kleber.*
Note: Avenues d’Iéna and Kléber radiate from the roundabout encircling the Arc de Triomphe.

5225_Courrege_ImageS_27_10LEFT – Reims Catahdral.*   Note: Notre-Dame de Reims Cathedral.
RIGHT – Hindenberg line Near Anizy-Pinon*  
Note: Anizy-Pinon train station located in northern France at Pinon near Anizy-le-Château.

 *Transcription of handwritten notation is true to original.


Oscar René Courrege Papers, Mss. 5225, Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections,
LSU Libraries, Baton Rouge, La.



LSU Libraries Special Collections marks the 100th anniversary of U.S. involvement in “The Great War” with the exhibition, “Through the Valley of Death: A Special Collections Perspective on the First World War,” running from February 20 – June 2, 2017 in Hill Memorial Library.

An additional exhibit covering the Oscar René Courrege Papers will soon be on display in the Reading Room of Hill Memorial Special Collections.  Check back soon for more details.



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