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Tulane University Special Collections - Guide to Architectural Holdings

A guide to architectural holdings of the Tulane University Special Collections (TUSC)

How to Locate Other Architectural Records in TUSC

Architects and architectural firms produced and received correspondence related to design and building projects from clients, construction companies, governmental agencies, product companies, and others. TUSC preserves a great deal of this correspondence within its Southeastern Architectural Archive (SEAA). Below are links to SEAA collections that include professional correspondence holdings:

Letter to Guy Seghers from C.F. Scott, Jr., Guaranty Savings and Homestead Association, June 22, 1949, concerning a property survey for 2744 Bellechase Street, New Orleans. Guy Seghers Office Records, SEAA-Collection 41. Click on the image to open its finding aid.

Project specifications are documents used by architects and architectural firms to describe specific details of a building, such as materials to be used in construction. Specifications are often written in legalese, setting the requirements of the architect or firm, contractor, or sub-contractor. Contracts are legal forms used by architects and firms outlining what is expected of them, and other parties involved in the construction of a building, and what is expected of the client. TUSC preserves several collections containing these documents in its Southeastern Architectural Archive (SEAA). Below are links to SEAA collections that include project specifications or contracts:

Specifications for Buildings for the Jewish Widows’ and Orphans’ Home. New Orleans, LA. 1868. Henry Howard, Architect. SEAA-Collection 92.
Click on the image to open its finding aid.

Along with a donation of an architect’s professional records, architects often include their personal papers. Personal papers differ from professional records, and document the non-working life of an architect. TUSC preserves personal papers of architects within the collections of the Southeastern Architectural Archive (SEAA). Below are links to inventories of SEAA collections which are strictly personal papers of architects, or include personal papers:

L.F. Dufrechou. Gouache childhood drawing of Christmas. Undated. Leo Francis Dufrechou Office Records, SEAA-174. Click on image to open finding aid.


Trade catalogs are small publications, often in the form of a brochure, printed by manufacturers to promote their products. TUSC preserves many trade catalogs within its Southeastern Architectural Archive (SEAA) and Louisiana Research Collection (LaRC). Catalogs in SEAA consist of a wide range of buildings products, including millwork, window glazing, roofing, masonry and concrete, plasterwork, paint, and many others. LaRC’s holdings are focused on Louisiana and New Orleans products, and feature historically important companies such as Southern Pine, Southern Cypress, Hortman Company, Roberts and Company, and others. Trade catalogs provide a rich resource of information for architectural students, architects, interior designers, and architectural historians.

The largest collection is in TUSC’s SEAA in the Architectural Trade Catalogs. LaRC catalogs can be found through the Tulane Library Search.

In 2016 eight hundred TUSC catalogs were digitized and placed online in the Internet Archive’s Building Technology Heritage Library.

Illustrated Catalog of Mouldings, Architectural and Ornamental Wood Work. New Orleans: Roberts and Company. 1891. Catalog Number TH 1155 .R62

Click on the image to open its digital version.

TUSC preserves biographical material on Louisiana, New Orleans region, and Gulf South architects and architectural firms. Regional periodicals, newspapers, and books are a good source for architect’s biographies and information about firms. Search Find Books and Periodicals in this guide. TUSC’s Southeastern Architectural Archive (SEAA) has biographical files for Louisiana architects and firms (see SEAA Architect/Frim Biographical Files PDF below).

Other sources for biographical material:

  • Beverly Willis Foundation – Dynamic National Archive Collection. A digital archive devoted to documenting women architects, including several Louisiana and New Orleans region women architects, including Ada Isabelle Arnold, Janet Estelle Hooper, and Ismay Mary Mykolyk (featured at right when she was an architect with Curtis and Davis, ca. 1963). Click on the image for more about Mykolyk.

The following are links to PDF’s from TUSC’s Southeastern Architectural Archive for inventories of biographical material on architects from the New Orleans region, the state of Louisiana, and the Gulf South; early New Orleans architects from 1794 – 1861; and Louisiana architects who were named Fellows of the American Institute of Architects from 1887 – 2015.

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