The Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities honored UL’s Center for Louisiana Studies with its 2012 Chair’s Award for Institutional Support. LEH cited the local center’s significant contributions in research, publication, preservation, and outreach projects that have expanded both an academic and popular understanding of Louisiana culture and history.
“Since its founding in 1973, the Center’s stellar work includes the Archives of Cajun and Creole Folklore and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette Press, as well as collaborations with entities such as the Bayou Teche Paddle Trail, the Atchafalaya Trace Commission, the Festivals Acadiens et Creole, and the Festival International de Louisiane,” LEH wrote in announcing the award. It cited significant UL Press publications including the 2010 LEH Book of the Year, Bienville’s Dilemma by Richard Campanella, and this year’s awardee, Congo Square: African Roots in New Orleans, by Freddi Williams Evans.
The Center for Louisiana Studies is located within Dupre Library on UL’s campus. Its research division houses some of the nation’s largest microfilm collections of French and Spanish colonial records, as well as the world’s largest collection of Cajun and Creole folklore, oral history and folklife materials. The Center for Cultural & Eco-Tourism enhances cultural and eco-tourism in the state through myriad activities, including an extensive online tourism guide, the collaborative interaction and research of its fellows, ongoing cultural fieldwork and archival collections and community outreach programs. The UL Press, the state’s second-largest academic publisher and the largest academic publisher of Louisiana-related works, has been publishing since 1973. It has an extensive array of current titles, as well as an online store.