Historian Charles Gayarré (1805–95) represented those early Louisiana citizens who, like cultural leaders in other states, advocated the creation of a major state library that would reflect well on the state's cultural development. Gayarré strongly influenced the early development of the Louisiana State Library, but the Civil War and Reconstruction severely impaired its progress. The library was forced to relocate several times during the war and immediately after and then endured decades of neglect and miserly funding from a financially strapped state legislature. Despite Gayarré's efforts, his postwar vision of a restored and robust state library was never realized. The war and its aftermath thwarted Louisiana's efforts to emulate eastern states and establish a viable central repository and educational institution.


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pp. 56-76
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