Cammie G.Henry Research Center
Third Floor, Watson Memorial Library
8 am - 5 pm Monday-Thursday, 8 am - noon Friday
For research questions, tours, or special appointments, contact Mary Linn Wernet, Head Archivist, (318) 357-4585 Please call ahead
The Research Center is named after Carmelite "Cammie" Garrett Henry (1871-1948) of Melrose, Louisiana who collected Louisiana documents and books of rare fictional and non-fictional works. Here you'll find Louisiana books, rare books, archival materials, NSU Archives, microfilm, maps, newspapers, and oral history tapes.
Melrose Plantation, the Henry Family home, provided a perfect setting for entertaining guests from diversified intellectual disciplines including literature, art, and the social sciences.
After the sale of Cammie G. Henry's home, her manuscript collection was donated to Northwestern State University and named the Melrose Collection. This collection, our largest, serves as the core of the Research Center's holdings. It focuses on the rich cultural, historical, and literary heritage of Louisiana and Natchitoches spanning from French Colonial times through the 1940's.
Other collections sharing similar strengths include those of James Aswell, the Cloutier Family, Robert DeBlieux, Caroline Dormon, Joe Dellmon, the Egan Family, and the Federal Writers' Project. Our resources offer a wealth of opportunities for scholars. Focusing on Louisiana History, documents range in date from the founding of Natchitoches in the early 1700's to the present.
The Melrose Imaging Project digitizes images from these collections for easier access and preservation. Electronically imaging the Melrose Collection allows computer access to documents related to the region's history, and preserves the originals.
Louisiana Books Works relating to Louisiana and publications by Louisiana writers. For call numbers, use the first floor card catalog on (for books acquired before 1984) or The Online Catalog (1984 to present). These books are denoted as "Louisiana Collection" or "also in La. Room."
Rare Books Rare and unusual books including history, anthropology, geography, literature, and art. You may access these volumes (designated "Rare Book") through the card catalog on the first floor.
Archives and Manuscripts This Collection could not exist or continue its growth without community support through generous donations of original materials to the University. Nearly 500 collections can be found through the Research Center's extensive subject index, collection inventories, and specialized guides. You must complete a research application and agree to abide by special regulations when using these materials.
Northwestern State University Archives University non-current records and past presidential papers. Consult our subject index for access to these records.
Maps More than 3000 maps dating from the early colonial Louisiana to the present. The maps are cataloged by date, location, and cartographer. Copies of Louisiana Confederate maps confiscated during the Civil War remain of great interest to many researchers.
Newspapers Original issues of Louisiana newspapers, often the entire publication run. Because newsprint proves especially susceptible to damage, we ask researchers to use the microfilm copiers located in the Media/Serials Department on the second floor of the library.
Microform Louisiana census schedules, local church records, American State Papers and copies of other archives with material pertinent to Louisiana history. Access these through the subject index, microfilm inventory, and manuscript collection inventories.
Of interest to Melrose Collection / Francois Mignon Researchers: University of North Carolina has digitized their collection of the Francois Mignon papers:
Francois Mignon Collection at Chapel Hill
Civil War and Reconstruction
Louisiana Artists, Writers, and Poets
Federal Writer's Project
John Curtis Guillet Photographs
Texas Borderland studies
Conservation & horticulture
World War II
The Red River
Plantation Life & Slavery
NSU, State Normal School
Local Church Records
Some day - some one will hunt history in these very old materials C.G.H
(Note by Cammie G. Henry in a Melrose Scrapbook)