Louisiana Division/City Archives   New Orleans Public Library

Images of the Month Gallery
December 2006

The City Archives has entered into an agreement with the Genealogical Society of Utah to digitize the records of Orleans Parish's earliest probate courts, the Court of Probates (1805-1846) and the Second District Court (1846-1880). These records, which include primarily successions, wills, inventories of estates, were originally microfilmed by the GSU (i.e., "the Mormons") years ago while the records were still in the custody of Orleans Parish Civil District Court. We believe that this microfilm project may have been the first that the GSU undertook in New Orleans (and perhaps in the entire state). In the late 1970s and early 1980s, the original records of these courts (along with the records of all Orleans Parish civil courts) were transferred to the care of the City Archives at NOPL.

As users of these records are well aware, the early microfilm made by the GSU is, in many instances, nearly illegible; using the microfilm, especially of the Court of Probates, can be a challenge. Digitization of the records of these courts will make research much less of a chore. And, eventually, we will be able to make the images available to users everywhere through the internet. And, perhaps most importantly in our post-Katrina reality, these digital images will provide us with an acceptable surrogate for the original records, should they ever be damaged or destroyed.

The project is currently in its infancy. Much work remains to be done, many decisions have yet to be made, and additional resources must be found before the finished product can be made available online. But we're using this month's "Images of the Month Gallery" to announce the beginning of this exciting project -- and to give you an idea of what the images look like. (Note, though, that for our purposes here, we have simply reformatted the high resolution .tiffs that the GSU is creating into compressed .jpegs, which is not how the finished product will ultimately be delivered. Please also note that these digital images are not yet available to the public.)

Click on the images below to link to a larger version.
And click HERE to visit previous Images of the Month.


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11/29/2006 -- iw