The Notarial Archives

The Notarial Archives (Room B-4 in the Civil Court Building) houses the records of Orleans Parish notaries dating back to the mid-1700s. Generally, the more recent acts are located on the main floor of the archives and are available through one of the clerks on duty in the area. {Many of the older volumes, those from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, are stored in a separate readling room while others are housed on the mezzanine level}.

In most cases you will already have a reference to your act of sale from the conveyance record. The act of sale will provide a more complete record of the transaction than that recorded in the Conveyance Office Book. In many cases the act of sale will be bound with other interesting documents such as tax and mortgage receipts and possibly copies of surveys made in connection with this or a previous sale. Other valuable information may sometimes be available in the records of the notary who handled the act of sale-- maybe even a building contract for the very structure in which you are interested. Such items can be found by searching the indexes to that notary's records. Each volume is indexed and, for some notaries, general indexes are also available.

{Also located at the Notarial Archives are surveys of lots and water-color drawings of improvements existing at the time of the survey. These drawings formerly were bound into large oversize volumes but have recently been preserved in plastic packets and rehoused in a bank of plan cases}. While there will not be such a drawing for every location in the city, the possible rewards are well worth the time necessary for a search. Indexes, arranged by municipal district and square, with dates and other identifying information, are kept both at the Archives and at the Louisiana Division of the Public Library. In addition, photographic copies of the sketches from the first 46 volumes are in the Notarial Archives Collection of the Louisiana Division's Picture File.

At this point a few potential problems should be mentioned, problems that might be encountered at the Conveyance Office as well as in the Notarial Archives

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