I love old photos, whether they are portraits of my ancestors or historical photos for the period when they lived. And it is important to a complete research that one attempts to understand the environment that surrounds our ancestors' lives if one wants to truly appreciate what they went through.
So where can they be found? Obviously the best resource is our own photo albums and those that our relatives possess. But what about other resources? Many archives, historical societies, libraries and genealogical societies have collections of old photos. And in the past few years there has been a massive movement towards making these historical photo collections available online. Some have search capabilities where you can actually put in a surname or a location, name of a building or historical event and find what is available.
For the state of Louisiana, what collections are available for you to browse and/or search online? Here is a list of sites to start with. Please feel free to add in the comments other online resources that you might be aware of in the state.
Please be aware that there may be very strict rules regarding downloading or other use of the images that you may find. Copyright and other legal protections may be in force. Make sure that you read the limitations of use for any image that you find in these collections and wish to download and/or copy. It is your responsibility to adhere to the rules for all of these collections.
Please note that links to these sites may change in the future. The author (me) will not be constantly checking and updating these links, so if you find a broken link, please use your favorite search engine to locate the new link.
(Updated May, 2019; recently added links are in BOLD)
- Baton Rouge Historical Photo Collections
- Beauregard Parish Historical Gallery
- Bossier Parish Central Library Historical Center - Bossier City
- Centenary College Online Photo Exhibits
- Civil Rights Digital Library
- Historic New Orleans Collection
- Historic Photographs of Southwestern Louisiana
- Historical Louisiana Photos
- Historic New Orleans Collection
- Images from the Civil War and Reconstruction
- Lafayette Genealogical Society - Old Pictures
- Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Online Catalog
- Louisiana Ancient Faces
- Louisiana Dead Fred
- Louisiana Digital Library Photograph Collections
- Louisiana Penny Postcards
- Louisiana Political Photographs
- Louisiana History Museum Photo Archives
- Louisiana Research Collection Digital Collections
- Loyola University New Orleans University Photographs Collection
- LSU Digital Photograph Collections
- LSU Shreveport Photo Collections
- Monroe Historic Photos
- National Archives - Digital Photograph Collections
- New Orleans Public Library Exhibits and Digital Galleries
- New Orleans Public Library Photographic Collections
- Northeast Louisiana Historic Images Collection
- Old New Orleans Photos
- Ouachita Parish Photos
- Rapides Parish Photographs
- Smithsonian Images
- St. Bernard Parish Historic Photos
- State Library of Louisiana Historic Photograph Collection
- The Cajuns of Louisiana: Historic photos from The Times-Picayune
- Tulane University Digital Collection
- Vermilion Historical Society - Historical Images
- Vernon Parish Library Photo Collection
- Vintage Louisiana Photos
- Vintage New Orleans Photos and Postcards
- Vintage New Orleans Photos
- Washington Parish Photo Album
- Xavier University of Louisiana Historic Photographs
For historic photos from other states as well as articles about photo research, please visit the Photos page.
Good Luck and Happy Hunting!