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Annual Caffery Competition: Deadline Feb. 28, 2024

Dupré Library is accepting scholarly research papers and projects for the 2024 Annual Caffery Competition.

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Today, in we are excited to bring you another new collection we have recently processed, the Collection 522 - Louisiana State Penitentiary Museum Photograph Collection.

The Louisiana State Penitentiary Museum Photograph Collection contains approximately 1,500 negatives dating from the late 1940s to the late 1960s. Late 1940s images include construction and repair projects documenting some of the first family residences at B line, where Angola’s employees typically lived until that time. As part of an early prison reformation attempt in the late 1940s, the legislature appropriated some funding to renovate and construct new buildings at Angola. Governor Robert Kennon (serving from 1952 to 1956) brought in new administrators from the Federal Bureau of Prisons to run the Louisiana prison system.

These photographic negatives feature Kennon and some of the new officials, all of whom oversaw major new construction, which included the main prison at Angola and numerous social programs, which supported rehabilitation efforts. Construction images also reveal the changing uniforms of both the prisoners and employees. Images document the main prison construction and the destruction of old buildings along with the official dedication and opening of the new main prison in November 1955. These images also illustrate social events for employees and their children, barbeques, B-line pool activities, both Catholic and Protestant religious events and ceremonies, and prison chaplains.

Louisiana has used the official state photographer over time to photograph Angola. Digital copies were donated by the Angola Museum to the Edith Garland Dupré Library, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, while the physical items are on loan.

This collection is available online at the Louisiana Digital Library.

Special Collections - Louisiana State Penitentiary Museum Photograph Collection

View more photos on the Special Collections Facebook Page.


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