Collection Spotlight: Janet Mary Riley Papers

Collection Spotlight: Janet Mary Riley Papers

Janet Mary Riley is pictured on the top row, at left.

This photograph, along with over 6,700 others, is part of the Loyola University Photographs Collection which is available to view online through the Louisiana Digital Library.

Janet Mary Riley was the first woman to hold a full-time law school faculty position in New Orleans and is credited with helping to change Louisiana law to make women equal partners in their marriages. Janet Mary Riley was born in New Orleans in 1915. She earned her B.A., cum laude, from Loyola University New Orleans in 1936. After a short time teaching in public schools, Riley earned her B.S. in Library Science from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. She returned to New Orleans as an assistant in the circulation department of the New Orleans Public Library and later as an assistant librarian at Loyola University. In 1943, during World War II, Riley left Loyola to serve as Post Librarian at Camp Plauche and LaGarde General Hospital, both in New Orleans.

After the war, Riley returned to Loyola to work as a law librarian and, in an effort to become familiar with the language and literature of law, began taking courses at the law school. This led to her work as a substitute law instructor. In 1952, Riley graduated third in a class of 28 from Loyola Law School. In 1956, she was hired as the first full-time female law professor in New Orleans and the seventh in the United States. At the age of 43, in 1960, she earned an L.L.M. from the University of Virginia. In 1971, after teaching for 15 years, she achieved the rank of Professor of Law. Riley retired in 1986, but continued to teach seminars until 1997.

During her tenure as a law professor, Riley wrote the first casebook on Louisiana community property law, Louisiana Community Property – Cases and Materials on Louisiana Property Law and Marriage, which was published in 1972. The following year, the Louisiana State Law Institute appointed Riley to lead a committee to draft proposed revisions to the Louisiana Civil Code on matrimonial regimes, community property and all Louisiana legislation which unreasonably discriminated on the basis of sex. Until then, Louisiana’s community property laws made the husband “head and master of the community” and thus granted him total control of his wife’s assets. Riley’s proposed “equal management” approach to the community, which let either spouse manage the property of the marriage, was adopted by the Louisiana legislature in 1978 and formally incorporated into the Civil Code in 1980.

In addition to her efforts on behalf of women, Riley worked to eliminate racial discrimination. She was a member of the Commission on Human Rights of the Catholic Committee of the South, which assisted in the implementation of the New Orleans Archbishop’s 1953 order forbidding any further racial segregation in Catholic Churches. She was a member of the Community Relations Council, a bi-racial group in New Orleans, which worked toward the integration of playgrounds, restaurants and other public spaces.

Riley was an attorney of record and wrote the Petitioners’ Brief in Lombard v. Louisiana, a pivotal sit-in case heard by the U.S. Supreme Court in the early 1960s. In that case, four students, three of whom were black and one of whom was white, were arrested and convicted of trespassing after refusing to leave a New Orleans lunch counter reserved for whites only. The state court upheld the convictions, but the U.S. Supreme Court reversed and held that the Louisiana decision enforced racial discrimination and therefore could not stand.

Riley was a member of the Society of Our Lady of the Way, a secular organization of employed unmarried women that followed the spirituality of St. Ignatius of Loyola, taking vows of chastity, obedience and poverty, and striving to find a balance between worship of God and life in the world.

In 2000, Riley received the Adjutor Hominum award, presented annually to an outstanding alumnus of Loyola whose life exemplifies moral character, service to humanity and unquestionable integrity. Two years later, the Janet Mary Riley Distinguished Professorship was established. In 2004, Riley received the St. Ives Award, presented annually to a Loyola Law School graduate who has volunteered services to the law school or the university, maintained the highest standards of the profession, and furthered the mission of the alumni association. In 2005, Loyola Law School gave Riley an honorary doctorate. She died in 2008 at the age of 92.


The arrangement of this collection is alphabetical and based on Janet Mary Riley’s own organization. The collection spans from 1934 until 1991, with the bulk spanning from 1965 until 1979.

The Papers primarily reflect Riley’s academic career, including documents on the courses she taught: Community Property, Canon Law, Constitutional Law, Donations, First Amendment, Insurance Law, Juvenile Law, Legal Bibliography, Obligations, Persons, Successions, and Trusts and Estates. Also included are papers reflecting Riley’s vast university service on the Curriculum Committee, Faculty Council, Faculty Handbook Negotiating Committee, Institutional Self-Study / Steering Committee, Loyola Law Review, Rank and Tenure Committee, Student Petitions Committee for Admissions and Readmissions, St. Thomas More Law Club and the University Senate.

Papers on academic conferences, association affiliations, articles authored by Riley, awards and honors received by her, general correspondence and faculty meeting minutes and memorandums can be found within the collection.

A significant portion is dedicated to her efforts with the Louisiana State Law Institute to revise antiquated community property laws contained in the Civil Code. The collection includes materials and drafts of her book, Louisiana Community Property – Cases and Materials on Louisiana Property Law and Marriage. A copy of this book can be found in Special Collections, Monroe Library, Loyola University (KFL 97 .R5 1972).

Riley’s work on outside cases, issues and organizations is represented but is a small minority of the collection. These include federal contempt proceedings, divorce law, the Equal Rights Amendment, Equal Credit Opportunity Law, family law, First Amendment rights, juvenile justice, the League of Women Voters, the Louisiana Library Association, and the Louisiana State Bar Association Admissions Advisory Committee.

To view an oral history video of Janet Mary Riley, visit the Louisiana Bar Foundation’s website.

Special Collections & Archives, located on the third floor of Monroe Library, is open for research and quiet study Monday-Friday, 9:00-4:30.


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


Blackboard login CWID

Log in to Blackboard with Your Campus Wide ID (CWID)

Starting Monday, January 4th, 2016

Who will this affect?

All Blackboard users who are listed either as an instructor or as a student during the fall 2014 semester or later. That’s most Blackboard users. Inactive, guest, and administrative accounts will not be affected.

What will change?

Blackboard instructors and students will log in to Blackboard using their unique Campus Wide ID (CWID) instead of the username.  Nothing else will change – Blackboard users will retain the same password and the same Blackboard data as before. Note, instructors and students will not be able to use their former username to log in after the conversion date.

What is my CWID?

The CWID number is printed on the front of your Loyola ID card.  Faculty and students use their CWID to log into LORA.

Why are we doing this?

To avoid duplicate user names in the Blackboard system and to enhance Blackboard security.

For more information:

Questions? Concerns? Please contact the Monroe Library’s Online Learning Team. Email, or call x7168.


Online Learning:

Welcome back, Wolf Pack!

Pictured above: Loyola University graduates Lloyd Frischhertz and Bobby Reichert, founders of the Krewe of Tucks

These photographs, along with over 6,700 others, are part of the Loyola University Photographs Collection and are available to view online through the Louisiana Digital Library.

Today as we welcome students back to campus, Carnival season is well underway!

Carnival season begins each year on January 6th, referred to as the Feast of Epiphany, Twelfth Night, or Three Kings Day. Mass consumption of King Cake and celebration ensues, culminating in Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday. This year, Mardi Gras will be celebrated on February 9th; however, the date of Mardi Gras varies from year to year based on the moveable date of Easter, but it is always 47 days preceding Easter on the day prior to Ash Wednesday.

For visitors and New Orleanians alike, Mardi Gras in New Orleans: An Illustrated History by Arthur Hardy, the gentleman revered as the authority on Carnival celebrations in New Orleans, provides an excellent place from which to start researching the festivities. Here in Special Collections & Archives, we invite you to delve into this text as well as our New Orleans Carnival Collection which preserves ball programs and invitations produced by various krewes from the 1870s through to the 1970s.

Special Collections & Archives, located on the third floor of Monroe Library, is open for research and quiet study Monday-Friday, 9:00-4:30.

Loyola Basketball Films Digitized

Thanks to very generous donations from alumnus and former basketball player John Erb ’67 and alumnus and former Vice President for Institutional Advancement Charles Young ’64, Special Collections & Archives has added 38 basketball films to its digital collections.

The films depict game excerpts from 1960-1969 against a variety of opponents. Many of Loyola’s basketball players from this era are now members of the Wolfpack Hall of Fame including Charles Powell, Charlie Jones, Tyrone “Ty The Guy” Marioneaux, Bob Bissant, Wayne Pietri, and Lawrence J. Hoyt, and fans of LSU star “Pistol” Pete Maravich will spot him as well. The collection also includes film of the 1964 inaugural Hall of Fame Sports Banquet.

Erb and Young’s donations were used to fund the digitization. The films were digitized by the Center for Louisiana Studies at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Due to their fragile condition the films had been restricted from use by patrons, so the digitization has enabled a previously hidden collection to be exposed to the public.

Some of the films are unlabeled–anyone with identifying information about a film can email with more information.

Special Collections & Archives is very grateful to both John Erb and Charlie Young for making this possible, as well as to ULL’s Center for Louisiana Studies for their excellent work on the digitization.

All 38 films may be viewed in the Louisiana Digital Library. For more archival collections related to Loyola athletics, see the Loyola University Athletics Collection, the University Archives, the digitized Maroon newspaper and Wolf yearbooks, and the University Photographs Collection.

QuickSearch is Here!

Introducing Loyola’s new discovery tool from EBSCO Discovery Service:

QuickSearch is a new customized searching experience based on the EBSCOhost interface you already know. Through a single search box on the library home page QuickSearch provides fast, simple access to content from hundreds of academic publishers, the library catalog, and our digital archives.

Click here for a video tutorial on using QuickSearch.

Report any problems using this form and we will follow up with you. Thank you for taking the time to help us improve the system.

ProQuest databases down Jan. 16, 2016 at 9:00pm

All ProQuest databases (includes ABI/Inform Global, IIMP-Full Text, IIPA-Full Text, Historic New York Times, Christian Science Monitor, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, ProQuest Dissertations and ProQuest Religion) will be unavailable for maintenance on Saturday, Jan. 16, 2016 starting at 9:00 pm Central Time.  They have not provided a length of time for the outage nor when they anticipate returning to service.

Online Services Over Break

New in 2016 at the Monroe Library

The Monroe Library is undertaking some exciting upgrades to our
services.  We hope that these upgrades will provide even better
service and access to information resources for our users. Please note,
there may be some disruption to online services during the transition
time. If you are working on research that requires library services,
please plan for possible outages between Dec. 28 and Jan. 7. See the
schedule below for more detailed information.

The search box on the library homepage will lead you to a new searching
tool. Using QuickSearch, you can search a unified index of the
library's resources including books, online journal articles,
e-books, and more - all from one search box.

The new Journal Finder includes improved searching and easier navigation.
It allows you to search or browse all publications made available to you
by the library, regardless of the publisher.

The catalog will be moving to a new hosted solution that will allow us to
take advantage of some of the exciting new features being offered by our
catalog vendor.


        - December 28th: Journal Finder will be unavailable.

        - January 4-5th: The catalog will be unavailable as we move to a
new server.

        - January 7th: The search box on the homepage may be unavailable
as we transition to the new QuickSearch.

        Thank you for your patience during this transition. We look forward to
introducing these upgrades to improve online access to library resources.
Please contact us with questions and comments at

New old Loyola films

Special Collections & Archives just completed the digitization of three Loyola promotional films from the 50s and 70s and put them up the Louisiana Digital Library.

Loyola of the South was produced in 1956 and investigates the different colleges and departments in the university as well as athletics and other extracurriculars:

Loyola of the South

This untitled film from the 70s shows some quick campus scenes:

Loyola, 3 minutes, color, 1970s

And finally, my personal favorite is Sunrise IV, a student film produced by the Department of Communications, that includes archival photos and footage of Loyola’s campus as well as the robust entertainment scene in New Orleans circa 1973-74:

Sunrise IV (student film)

Here’s an excerpt from Sunrise:

Stay tuned for more movies from Special Collections & Archives, and let us know what you think of these. How much has campus and student life changed?

Top Tumblr Collections

The Hagley Museum and Library in Delaware included the Monroe Library Special Collections & Archives in its 2015 list of top museums, libraries, and collections on Tumblr.

Their list was inspired by lists put together by the University of Reading Museums and Collections, the Othmer Library of Chemical History, the Decker Library at Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), and Harvard Divinity School’s Historical Collections and Manuscripts and Archives.

Read the post to see some other amazing cultural heritage institutions using Tumblr, and check us out while you’re at it!

Test Prep Guides

New test preparation guides at the Monroe Library!

In cooperation with the Student Success Center, test preparation guides for the Dental Admission Test (DAT), Graduate Record Exam (GRE) and the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) are now available for you in the Monroe Library.  All guides are at the front Learning Commons Desk shelved with the books on reserve under “Test Prep”. They can be checked out for four hours with your Loyola ID. We will be adding more guides for more tests in the near future.

Also, don’t forget the Learning Express Library 3 with online tests for many admissions tests, occupational tests, TOEFL, and skill improvement tutorials.  Individual registration is required to use this service.