Louisiana Historical Bureau

Have you ever heard of the Louisiana Historical Bureau? That’s a new one for me, but I found the bureau listed on Nutrias’ website, “Sources for Biographical Information in the Louisiana Biography and Obituary Index.” The NOPL website lists the author, Ellis Arthur Davis. The title, Encyclopedia of Louisiana, can be found on eBay, where the seller states that it was written by the Louisiana Historical Bureau. The same editor, Ellis Arthur Davis, wrote The Encyclopedia of Texas.

Seller’s description:

“The Historical Encyclopedia of Louisiana, published in 1939, is a two volume set that is rare and hard to find. Anyone that has the slightest interest in Louisiana history or genealogy will appreciate this set. It doesn’t appear to have ever been reprinted. The only place that I found reference to this book was in research library information.

Volume I (one) and II (two) of a two volume set. Volume I (one) contains 712 pages and volume II (two) contains 726 pages. Between the two books there are a total of 1438 pages. Book I (one) starts out with the History of: Louisiana, Judiciary, State Bar Assoc., Medical Fraternity, Banking, Public School System, LSU, Tulane Univ., Loyola Univ., Southwestern Institute, Polytechnic Institute, Centenary College, Louisiana College, Oil Refining, Agricultural Development, Sugar Industry, Lumber Industry, Fishing Industry, Cattlemen’s Assoc., Rice Industry, Sulphur Industry, Cotton Center, Louisiana Parishes, Louisiana Cities & Towns, Maps, Govenors of Louisiana – Portraits and Biographies, etc. Then starting on page 211 in book I (one), on through to the end of book II (two) there are hundreds of biographies of Representative Citizens of Louisiana. There is a mix of both small and large business owners, politicians, rice farmers, cattle ranchers, realtors, bankers, oil men, etc.. The books have no copyright information. It was published by the Louisiana Historical Bureau, Ellis Arthur Davis Editor. Each page has ornate scroll work around the edges. Each photograph has an ornate border and the signature of the person in the photograph. “

It is a rather nice looking book ….. and I am a bookworm anyway. But at $390.00 for the set, I’m at a loss of funds for a set of 1939 books. After a little bit of investigation, I have found that the same author has written an Encyclopedia of the Pacific Northwest in 1909, too. I’m beginning to wonder about this “Louisiana Historical Bureau” and its origins.

The Louisiana Historical Association lists an A to Z reference of short bios on their website, Dictionary of Louisiana Biography, and have also reference the eBay set of Encyclopedias by Ellis Arthur Davis and The Louisiana Historical Bureau.

After further Googling, this site, http://www.croatians.com/BIBLIOGRAPHY-CROATIANS.htm, indicates that there are Croatian American biographies in the 1958 edition, by the same author and bureau. Curious little bureau, isn’t it?

The bureau is also listed in this document as part of its bibliography:
US Dept. of the Interior, National Park Service
National Register of Historic Places
page 16 of 20
OMB Approval No. 1024-0018
NPS For 10-900-a (8-86)
Section number 9 Page 17
Alexandria US Post Office and Courthouse
Rapides Parish, Louisiana
Stowe, Albert J. “Alexandria, The Heart of Louisiana.” in The Encyclopedia of Louisiana, edited by Arthur Davis, Louisiana Historical Bureau, 1952.


About Louisiana Genealogy Admin

I manage several RootsWeb mailing lists and message boards, support Louisiana Cemetery Preservation, am a former Louisiana and Mississippi librarian, have been researching genealogy of my family since 1988, and write and promote several blogs supporting either Louisiana genealogy or Louisiana cemeteries.
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