St. Martin Parish Library recently welcomed two members from the State Library of Louisiana, Rebecca Hamilton (State Librarian) and Charlene Bonnette (Head, Louisiana Dept.) to view a local history collection. They accepted a donation of local history slides that will be added to the Louisiana Digital Library Collection and preserved for future use. This collaboration was made possible by the efforts of St. Martin Parish Library Director Charlar Brew and Genealogist Patricia GuteKunst. TV station News15 was on hand to record the donation and interview Ms. Brew and Ms. Hamilton.
The donation consists of 1,741 slides produced in the 1970s. These photographic slides reflect the industry, landscape, culture, and people of St. Martin Parish half a century ago. The large number and variety of slides capture local farms, sugar production, Martin Mills, bayous, canals, locks, boats, churches, tombs, private homes, business, Mardi Gras balls and parades, bygone libraries, and people from all walks of life.
St. Martin Parish Library has housed these slides for many years but does not have the technology to digitize the images and preserve them for future generations. Donation of the slides to the State Library of Louisiana will not only allow more people to access these images, but will preserve St. Martin Parish history for the future.