Frequently Asked Questions
What are your hours?
The Louisiana Research Collection (LaRC) is open Monday through Friday 10-5. For holidays and other closures, please see our hours webpage.
Do I need to make an appointment?
We pride ourselves on being a working research library and archives; therefore, no appointment is necessary. However, letting us know of your arrival in advance may be helpful if you are visiting from out of town, are working under time restraints, or have specialized research needs.
Where are you located?
The Louisiana Research Collection (LaRC) is located in Room 202 Jones Hall on the uptown campus of Tulane University (6801 Freret Street). Jones Hall is immediately across the street from Howard-Tilton Memorial Library, Tulane's main research library, and next door to the Avron B. Fogelman Arena in the Devlin Fieldhouse. A map, directions, parking, and lodging information can be found here.
Can I check books out?
None of the Louisiana Research Collection's holdings circulate (check out); they can only be used in our reading room. If you plan to return within a day or two, please let us know and we can hold your materials for your next visit.
Are you a genealogical research center?
No. Unlike public libraries, we do not acquire non-Louisiana genealogical materials and do not have a genealogist on staff. Genealogists doing local research should first contact the Louisiana Division of the New Orleans Public Library and the Special Collections Room of the West Bank Regional Library. After exhausting those libraries’ resources, genealogists should search our online archival finding aids database. If you find a reference to the family you are researching, you are welcome to make an onsite visit to use the collection. Be sure to bring with you the names and collection numbers of the collections you would like to use during your visit.
Can I get copies made of something?
Sure! While we do not have a photocopy machine, we have a self-service scanner that patrons are welcome to use at no charge. Please bring a flash drive with you. Please review our reprographic policies here. Note that some of our holdings may be too fragile to copy or may have copyright restrictions that forbid copying.
How do I search LaRC's holdings?
You will find several tools for searching our holdings in the "search box" on the upper left corner of our homepage.
Can I bring my camera?
Sure! As long as you do not use flash, you are welcome to take "fair use" images of most of our holdings. Please review our reprographic policies here.
Why do I have to register daily?
Because of the rare or unique nature of their holdings, all archives and speciall collections need to employ special security measures to protect their holdings. We also collect basic, anonymized information from the daily register to generate usage statistics. While we keep permanent records of your visit and of what you used, your records are confidential and short of a court order, we never reveal them to anyone without your permission.
Why do you take my ID?
Collecting IDs is part of our security policy designed to maintain a secure environment for our holdings. We keep your ID while you are working in our repository and return it when your work is completed for the day and you return to us the materials you are using. We accept any photo-ID.
Why do I have to use pencils in the reading room?
Ink can cause permanent damage to materials; for example, if you accidently drop an ink pen on a book or document, it can cause a permanent stain. Perhaps more importantly, the acidity in the ink can eventually eat through the paper. We therefore do not allow the use of ink in our reading room.
We will gladly provide you pencils if you need them. You are also welcome to bring your laptop, for which electrical outlets are available.
Will you research something for me?
No. While we can do basic reference and help guide you to resources that might be helpful, researchers are responsible for their own research.
Please note that there is a difference between reference and research; we cannot do research for patrons. Research, writing, and publishing are all part of the larger research process. Researchers must take responsibility for doing their own research and drawing their own conclusions from their research.
If researchers reached conclusions and published based on research that we did for them, then that, under some circumstances, could be perceived as taking improper advantage of others’ work and could implicate our department in a form of plagiarism. Therefore, while we will do everything we can to direct you to useful resources, we cannot choose, select, read, translate, or interpret them for you.
For more information, please see our reference questions policy here.
What’s the deal with the bird?
LaRC’s lark is better known as the Eastern Meadowlark (Sturnella magna). Found throughout the state of Louisiana, it ranges from New England to New Mexico. It is not a true lark but is instead a member of the same family as blackbirds and orioles. You'll see it sitting and singing on fence posts throughout rural Louisiana.
What's LaRC's favorite music?
"The Lark Ascending," by Ralph Vaugn Williams, 1914.
What do you call LaRC staff?
An exaltation of LaRCs.