But Wait, There’s More: Additional WWI Holdings

2492_etal_Brooks_12a_editUnidentified soldiers in transport train in France, c. 1918.*

When discussions began regarding mounting an exhibition to commemorate the First World War, the consensus was that there was not enough related material in LSU Libraries Special Collections to fill both gallery floors. The reality has proven to be just the opposite; holdings include more books, letters, photographs, diaries and scrapbooks than could be included in our current 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.

These items represent a broad range of the types of historical documents held within LSU Libraries Special Collections related to The Great War: a wife enduring financial hardship pleads for her husband’s return from the front; labor union representatives urge preferential employment of veterans; censorship hits home in a telegram; and hardworking young sailors gather and grin on a ship’s deck, uncertain of what their future holds.

Many more documents and publications related to the First World War await the intrepid researcher to pluck them from obscurity. Will that researcher be you?

*Overton Brooks Papers, Mss. 2492
LLMVC Range P, Scrapbook

Overton Brooks (1897-1961) was born near Baton Rouge, La. He served in Europe during the First World War with the Sixth Field Artillery, First Division, Regular Army. Brooks received a law degree from Louisiana State University in 1923, was admitted to the bar the same year, and commenced practice in Shreveport, La. He served as United States Commissioner from 1925 to 1935. Brooks was representative for the 4th U.S. Congressional District of Louisiana from January 3, 1937, until his death on September 16, 1961. He was the first chairman of the House Committee on Science and Astronautics, established in 1959.


2854_Post_Box1_Folder11_a001_002Letter from Lauren Post to his mother describing heavy drilling that caused some men to faint,
August 20, 1917.

Lauren Chester Post Papers, Mss. 2854
LLMVC Range 7, Box 1, Folder 11a

2854_Post_Box6b_Folder250_Image011Sailors, possibly of the U.S.S. Whipple, c. 1918.

Lauren C. Post Papers, Mss. 2854
LLMVC Range 7, Box 6a, Folder 250

Lauren Chester Post (1899-1976) was a native of Rayne, La., professor of geography at San Diego State University, and author of Cajun Sketches from the Prairies of Southwest Louisiana (1962) and Louisiana As It Is: A Geographical and Topographical Description of the State (1969).   Portions of his personal papers consist of letters pertaining to his service in the Navy (1917-1919) and work in the Mare Island, Calif., Naval Shipyard (1919-1920).


5110_Florance_MISCF_Image006_007Excerpt of letter from Ernest Florance to Mrs. Norman Towne, August 7, 1917.

Ernest T. Florance Papers, Mss. 5110

Ernest Tours Florance (1854-1918) was born in Pass Christian, Mississippi and was educated at Northwick College in London, and Lusher’s Academy in New Orleans. He was admitted to the bar in 1875 and practiced law in New Orleans. He was president of the Commercial Law League of America. Florance also served as director of public schools in New Orleans from 1892 to 1898. In this letter to Mrs. Norman Towne, he writes:

“About a week ago a little occurrence took place in my office, that gave me a heart wrench [sic].

A good looking boy (about 21 years old) in khaki came to my desk and asked if I were a notary and would I witness his signature. I assented. He handed me the document, the assignment of a death benefit in some fraternal order, to his mother. I do not charge soldiers for such work – so I told him to bring the paper back to me when he returned so I could tear it up. He said ‘All right Sir – And we’re going to win, Sir, aren’t we?’ I said: ‘Of course we are, and you’re coming back with gold straps on your shoulders.’ He answered: ‘Yes Sir, we’re going to win; we’re going to win,’ – he stopped a moment –  then repeated – still more emphatically: ‘We’re going to win.’ He then looked for a moment into space – arose, straightened his shoulders and marched out, not saying another word. He must have seen that mother waiting for him when his eyes rested on nothing near. I will watch the lists as they come in from ‘Somewhere in France,’ to see if the Tangipahoa lad is mentioned.”


2442_Breazeale_Box8_Folder5_Image002_editMarching through Belgium, c. 1918.

Nita Sims Breazeale Family Papers, Mss. 2442
LLMVC Range 47, Box 8, Folder5

Hopkins Payne Breazeale enlisted into the army in 1917 when the U. S. entered World War I. He fought in the Battle of St. Mihiel, France, and served as Provost in Charge of Civil Affairs during the U.S. occupation of Germany. After the war, he and Nita settled in Baton Rouge, La., where he established a prestigious law firm.




“Additional World War I Selections” on Flickr:

“Through the Valley of Death: A Special Collections Perspective on the First World War”


A.C. Skiles Lumber Company Records
Abram Feltus Barrow Family Papers
Alfred Grima Papers
American Expeditionary Forces General Orders
Anatole J. Keller and Family Papers
Anna E. Lewis Papers
Anonymous household notebook
Antal Vallas and Family Papers
Brother Arsène Brouard Papers
Brownell Land Company Records
Buck-Ellis Family Papers
Camp Beauregard, La. Poster
Charles Louque Papers
Charles L. Wright Papers
Devall-Hyams family Papers and Photographs
E. John and Thomas C.W. Ellis Family Papers
Edward J. Gay III Congressional File
Edwin Lewis Stephens Papers
E.J. Cockfield and Family Papers
Engineer field manual, parts I-VII
Ernest Lee Jahncke Sr. Papers
Ernest T. Florance Papers
Ethel V. Monroe Papers
Eugene M. Violette Collection
Eva Scott and Family Papers
Florence Bankston Varnado Papers
Francis Augustus Woolfley Papers
Freemasons, Feliciana Lodge #31 Records
George T. Gibson Letters
Grisham-Kellogg-Faust Family Papers
Hennen-Jennings Family Papers
Hoguet Alexandre Major oral history interview
Irby C. Nichols and Family Papers
J. Thomas Tanner Jr. Papers
James B. Aswell Papers
Jane C. Bright Scrapbook
Janet Percy Dana Longcope Papers
Jeanne Sully Smyth Scrapbook and Diary
J.E. Snee, Sr. Photograph Collection
John A. Lejeune Papers
John Hamilton and Harriet Boyd Ellis Papers
John M. Parker file
John Taylor Laycock and Family Papers
Joseph Plauche Papers
Joseph William Monget Papers
J.P. Knox and Family Papers
Kent Furlow Photographica Collection
Ladislas Lazaro Papers
L’Athénée Louisianais Papers
Laura Boddie Jones Bowers Papers
Laura L. Porteous Collection
Lauren Chester Post Papers
Leonce P. Bordelon diaries
Louisiana Cooperative Extension Service Records
Louisiana Postcard Collection
Louisiana State Nurses Association Records
Louisiana State University Office of the Chancellor Records
Louisiana State University Photograph Collection
Martin Morris Correspondence
Michael D. Wynne Collection
Montfort Hull Letters
Moyse-Gottlieb-Sommer Family Papers
Nita Sims Breazeale Family Papers
Oscar René Courrege papers
Overton Brooks Miscellany
Overton Brooks Papers
Robert Badon oral history interview
Sabin J. Gianelloni, Sr., family papers
Samuel Ross Varnado medal
Samuel Varnado Papers
Stille and Yarbrough, Ltd. account books
Stirling Poupard Hall Letters
Susan D. Tew Papers
The Reveille Records
Thomas D. Boyd, Jr. application
Troy H. Middleton Papers and Middleton Room Memorabilia
V.J. Gianelloni Papers
William P. Kidd Papers
William B. Hatcher Papers
William Hughes Head and Family Papers
World War I broadsides
World War I generals’ portraits
W.P.A. Collection. Historical Records Survey
Uncensored raw war in pictures

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