The Louisiana Colonial Documents Digitization Project has developed a curriculum for middle to high school students using manuscripts from the French period as primary sources in coordination with writing and research objectives. This education initiative has been funded by a grant from the Joe W. and Dorothy Dorsett Brown Foundation and also accomplishes outreach objectives funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities..

In the spring of 2014, the Louisiana State Museum partnered with Eleanor McMain Secondary School to offer this curriculum centered on writing and research exercises in conjunction with the inaugural Louisiana History Treasures Day on May 15, 2014. Students were given from scans of original manuscripts and translations of those records grouped along the following five themes:

  • Colonial Crime
  • Free People of Color
  • Slave Resistance
  • Women’s Rights
  • Living with Water

The curriculum included a field trip to the Cabildo and the New Orleans Jazz Museum at the Old U.S. Mint as well as lectures from guest speakers Delfeayo Marsalis, trombonist and composer; Rebecca Rebouche, painter; and J. David Waggonner, who spoke with the students about the relationship of the colonial documents to their work today. Students were encouraged to use the hashtag “#louisianahistoryrocks” to document their experiences on social media.

For more information on Education initiatives at the Louisiana Historical Center, please contact the Education Department.