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UL Students Strive to Preserve Louisiana's French History - KATC.com | Continuous News Coverage | Acadiana-Lafayette

UL Students Strive to Preserve Louisiana's French History

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UL Students Take Photos of Objects at History Harvest UL Students Take Photos of Objects at History Harvest

The Public History students at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette launched a "history harvest" today at Lafayette's Public Library to help preserve and share 20th century Louisiana's French-speaking heritage.

Community members were invited to bring old objects, textiles, letters, and memorabilia that tells the history of Cajuns, Creoles, American Indians, and other French-speaking communities. UL students scanned and photographed the items to be included in an online public collection.

Community member, Russel Herbert, came to the library this morning with a hand-cranked tool that his grandmother used to wring clothes.

"This has has probably been in the family for 100-125 years I presume," said Herbert. "It reminds me of the hard times my ancestors had."

Herbert said that it is encouraging to see young people preserving the past.

"I think its very important to preserve and archive the culture," said Herbert. "The way that it was lived out here in Southern Louisiana especially."

Dr. Thomas Cauvin is the Assistant Professor of History at UL. He started the project to help his students learn more about Louisiana's French past. He wanted the experience to be personal, so instead of using a canned set of questions he asked community members to bring an object from home.

"So they bring objects, but they bring much more than that object. They bring stories," explained Dr. Thomas Cauvin. "They share stories. They share the past."

If you have an item that you would like to add to the archive, you can add it by uploading a picture and a description at louisianafrench.omeka.net. The pictures and stories that were recorded at the library today will be available to view online next month.

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