G U I D E    T O    G E N E A L O G I C A L    M A T E R I A L S     
in the New Orleans Public Library's Louisiana Division & City Archives     

          N E W S P A P E R S   /   I N D E X E S   /   O B I T U A R I E S

Guide to Genealogical Materials Home
Selected Books
Louisiana Library Connection Databases
Note on Vital Records
Birth Records
Death Records
Burial Records
Marriage Records
Civil Records (Parishes other than Orleans)
Census Records
Orleans Parish Civil Court Records
Slavery, Free People of Color & Freedmen
Immigration Records
Naturalization Records
Hospital & Insanity Records
Church Records
Military Records
Land Records
Voter Registration Records
Employment Records
New Orleans Police Department Records
Records of Correctional Institutions
Additional Sources
Appendix A: Ordering By Mail
Appendix B: Genealogical Periodicals
Appendix C: Soundex/Miracode System
Appendix D: Orleans Parish Civil Courts

About half of the Louisiana Division's 35,000+ rolls of microfilm consists of newspapers and periodicals. The collection contains the most complete files of New Orleans newspapers available, covering the period 1802 to the present. Selected files of Alexandria, Baton Rouge, Donaldsonville, Edgard, Franklin, Napoleonville, New Iberia, Opelousas, and St. Martinville papers are also available.

A listing of the Louisiana Divisionís newspaper holdings (by year, 1787-1974) is available online at   archives.nolalibrary.org/info/louinfo/chronolist.htm.

A complete list of newspapers held by the Louisiana Division on microfilm is available online at   archives.nolalibrary.org/info/louinfo/newspapersonmicrofilm.htm.

For information on ordering newspaper articles by mail, see Appendix A.


In order to facilitate the use of the New Orleans newspaper collections, the following indexes are available.

Louisiana Biography and Obituary Index

Numbering more than 650,000 cards, this is an alphabetical file indexing obituaries in New Orleans newspapers and biographical information in older Louisiana collective biographies. Biography cards provide the call number, author, and title of the book, and page on which the reference is located. Obituary cards usually contain the date of death, age, and exact reference to the original death notice and/or newspaper article. More obituaries for African Americans appear in the daily newspapers since World War II than in earlier years. Prominent figures in the African American community are more likely to appear in the pre-War era. Members of benevolent or burial societies might also be better represented.

Note: The Louisiana Weekly is not included in the obituary index; while the Weekly includes various articles, cards of thanks, "in memoriams," and other sources of information on deaths of African Americans, it has not incorporated a separate death notice column such as that employed by the Times-Picayune.]

Obituaries are most thoroughly indexed for the following periods:

1804-1811; 1814-1815 (Louisiana Gazette only)
1849-1854 (German newspapers only)
1860-March 1866 (All papers)
1837-1972 (1855-59, Apr.1866-1945, Daily Picayune/Times-Picayune only)

Louisiana Biography and Obituary Index ONLINE

At the time of the publication of this guide, the Louisiana Biography and Obituary Index was being databased and made available online, through a cooperative effort between New Orleans Public Library and The Historic New Orleans Collection. The index is now complete and can be accessed in its entirety at     neworleanspubliclibrary.org/obits/obits.htm.

  For information on ordering obituaries by mail, see neworleanspubliclibrary.org/obits/orderingobits.htm.

  Additional indexing to obituaries in New Orleans newspapers can be found online. Check our website at neworleanspubliclibrary.org/info/louinfo/obits.htm for a list of useful links to indexing sites.

Louisiana News Index

Numbering more than 528,000 cards, this is a single alphabetical file of persons, places, and subjects indexing Louisiana-related articles in New Orleans newspapers. Included among the items indexed are marriage announcements appearing in the Daily Picayune between 1837 and 1857. The following dates and newspapers are covered thoroughly:

1804-1811;1814-1815 (Louisiana Gazette only)
1849-1859; Apr.1866-1872 (German newspapers only)
1860-March 1866
1890-October 1892
1930-July 1932
1940-March 1941

New Orleans Times-Picayune Index, 1922-1944

An eight-roll microfilm copy of the newspaper's in-house morgue file is very useful in filling in some of the gaps in the Louisiana News Index. The date coverage indicated here is somewhat misleading, since the early 1920s and 1940s are very sparsely indexed.

Additional Obituary Indexes

Mayers, Brenda L. and Gloria L. Kerns. Death Notices in Louisiana Newspapers. Folk Finders, 1984-1986. 6 v.
The compilers have indexed obituaries in mostly nineteenth century newspapers from the parishes of Acadia, Ascension, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Iberia, Iberville, Lafourche, Livingston, Orleans, Pointe Coupee, Rapides, St. Charles, St. John the Baptist, St. Landry, St. Martin, St. Mary, St. Helena, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Washington, and West Feliciana. The Library owns microfilm of many of the newspapers indexed in this series. LouR 929.3763 M468d

Boling, Yvette. Monthly Index to Obituaries in the Times-Picayune, December, 1989- September, 1992.
An unpublished computer print-out of references to obituaries published in the Times-Picayune compiled by this local genealogist and author.