Archive for February, 2014

When archives get personal

The scrapbook of Lise Mary Magdalen Tallant is a delightful object to peruse. Assembled when Ms. Tallant, who lived from 1888-1972, was a girl, it is full of images that caught a young girl’s fancy at the end of the nineteenth century and into the twentieth: pictures of flowers, children, animals, and fashionable young women abound. While the book itself is quite fragile, the items that are pasted in have been well preserved, and the colors have maintained their luster.  [The entire scrapbook has been digitized and can viewed here.]

When I first examined the book the inscription of the creator struck me. Tallant is my mother-in-law’s maiden name. I’ve never met another Tallant in New Orleans. Could they be related?

When I told my mother-in-law about my find, she thought so. She had a great-aunt Lise. The scrapbook contained Lise’s address: 727 Lowerline Street in New Orleans. A check of the census records revealed that the Tallant family that resided there was indeed my mother-in-law’s family. Her grandfather Walter is listed on the 1900 census alongside Lise – they were brother and sister.

From my mother-in-law I know just a little bit about Lise. She never married and lived her entire life in the family home on Lowerline Street, along with another unmarried  sister, Mary.  So much about Lise is unknown to me, but her scrapbook remains. I can only assume that it was an object she treasured.  It came to Special Collections and Archives as a part of a donation of New Orleans related material collected by Ben C. Toledano. What Mr. Toledano saw in it, and why he donated it to Loyola is not clear, although he may have been influenced by the fact that Lise was Aunt to well known New Orleans writer Robert Tallant, author of Voodoo in New Orleans, Gumbo-Ya-Ya, and others. (Robert Tallant’s extensive archive is held by the New Orleans Public Library.)

When I first saw the Lise Tallant scrapbook, I saw it simply as an historical object: What does it tell us about American girlhood in the late nineteenth century? What does it contain of interest in the field of graphic arts and design?  Does it tell us anything about New Orleans of 1900? All of those interests remain, but now that I know its place in my family when I hold the book in my hands it means so much more.  It means that one day I can I say to my now two-year-old son, “You had a great-great-great-aunt Lise. When she was a little girl she kept a scrapbook. Would you like to see it?”

-Trish Nugent, Special Collections and Archives Coordinator

Found in the Archives is a recurring series of crazy cool stuff found in the Monroe Library’s Special Collections & Archives.

Ecological Awareness 101

On Tuesday February 4, Professor Timothy Morton of Rice University will be visiting Loyola to give a public lecture entitled “Ecological Awareness 101″ at 5:30pm in the Whitney Presentation Room in Thomas Hall.

Prof. Morton’s talk will be geared toward undergraduate students and Loyola’s Common Curriculum — in particular in terms of making ecological connections across the disciplines. (Here is a link to Morton’s most recent book, Hyperobjects: Philosophy & Ecology after the End of the World.)

Prof. Morton’s visit is made possible through the generous support of the Loyola Environment Program, the Monroe Library, the English Department, the Center for Faculty Innovation, and the Common Curriculum.

Mardi Gras: Are You Ready Wolfpack?

Whether a commuter student or out of state student, every student on campus looks forward to experiencing the Mardi Gras season. From multi-colored beads to costumes, Mardi Gras is the one holiday in New Orleans where it is perfectly acceptable to have King Cake for breakfast and going home before midnight is unheard of. For those students who aren’t from here, I suggest finding a commuter/ Mardi Gras pro to show you all the great spots to see the parades. Also, take a look at these photos of Loyola students enjoying the festivities to see what you have to look forward to! The first parade is on February 15th. Laissez les bon temps rouler! Let the good times roll!

The Wolf 1990, page 6

The Wolf 1998, page 66

The Wolf 1998, page 67

The Wolf 1998, page 68

The Wolf 1998 page 69

The Wolf 2003, page 38

The Wolf 2003, page 39

Blog post by Nydia Araya, a Special Collections work study student.

Found in the Archives is a recurring series of crazy cool stuff found in the Monroe Library’s Special Collections & Archives.