February 23, 2017
The David Vitter Congressional Papers are now part of the Louisiana Research Collection at Tulane University.
Photo by Paula Burch-Celentano
By Barri Bronston
The David Vitter Congressional Papers have become the latest acquisition of the Louisiana Research Collection (LaRC) at Tulane University, joining the papers of dozens of Louisiana political figures from Huey P. Long (L ’15) to Lindy Boggs.
The collection contains materials accumulated when Vitter (L ’88), a Republican from Metairie, served in the U.S. House of Representatives (1999-2005) and the Senate (2005-17). The majority of the files document legislative activities, services to constituents, campaigns, press and communications and Hurricane Katrina recovery efforts. The documents include clippings, correspondence, briefing books, constituent mail, grants and project requests, daily schedules, committee work and photographs.
“It's a real honor to turn over this collection to the renowned Louisiana Research Collection at Tulane University. I look forward to seeing the scholarship put to use,” Vitter said.
“One of LaRC's specialties is preserving Louisiana's dynamic political heritage,” said Leon Miller, head of the Louisiana Research Collection. “LaRC brings more off-campus researchers to Tulane, to do research on our campus, than any other organization. Already we are receiving requests to use the Vitter papers, and we look forward to making them available to researchers from around the world.”
The Louisiana Research Collection's first acquisition was in 1889. Since then it has acquired almost four linear miles of books, maps, ephemera and archives about Louisiana, including the papers of Louisiana governors, members of Congress, mayors of New Orleans, Civil War generals, southern writers, the records of women’s organizations, LGBTQ organizations and church and synagogue records. LaRC also preserves one of the finest 19th century Louisiana libraries extant, an excellent map collection and the largest collection of pre-WWII original Carnival float and costume designs.
Other LaRC holdings include those of many Tulane Law alumni who were political and civic leaders, such as Louisiana Gov. David Treen (L ’50), members of Congress Bob Livingston (L ’68), Hale Boggs (L ’37) and F. Edward Hebert (L ’24) and attorney Katherine Settle Wright (L ’57), who represented plaintiffs suing to integrate Tulane University.
(A version of this story originally appeared in Tulane University’s New Wave.)