Centenary Archives presents new exhibit, “Mapping Centenary, 1719-2021”

Centenary cartoon by William Graham, 1940.

SHREVEPORT, LA — The Centenary College of Louisiana Archives and Special Collections presents the exhibit Mapping Centenary, 1719-2021. The exhibit highlights a variety of maps depicting Centenary and its predecessor institutions and is accessible both online and in person on display in the College's Whited Room lobby of Bynum Commons.

“As we selected items for this exhibit, it was fun to see the variety of maps depicting Centenary within our holdings,” said College archivist Chris Brown '01.  “We chose maps created for reasons related to fire insurance, historical reminiscences, property advertisements, comedic art, master plans, topographic surveys, and more. All offer unique snapshots of Centenary throughout the institution’s history.”

The oldest map on display pre-dates Centenary’s founding in 1825 by nearly 100 years and includes Houma, Choctaw, and Caddo indigenous sites that correspond to Centenary’s three locations. This 1719 map, Carte de la Nouvelle France, où se voit le cours des Grandes Rivieres de S. Laurens & de Mississipi, was donated to the Centenary Archives by C. Walter Dobie (Centenary class of 1954) and Dr. Ann Dobie (Centenary honorary alumna, 2009). The most recent map on display is a screenshot from Google Earth depicting campus.

Archives student workers Jo Bennett ‘22, Tori Reich ’24, and Christopher Willie '24 helped research and prepare the exhibit.

“I loved getting to see how Centenary’s Shreveport campus has evolved from a few brick structures to the gorgeous work of art which it is today,” said Willie. “While not all buildings were constructed at once, the campus has a sense of unity and coherence. While reviewing the map from 1907, I found it quite interesting to learn that the current location of the Gold Dome used to be a lake.”

The mission of the Centenary College Archives and Special Collections is to collect, preserve, and make available the historic records of the College and the Louisiana Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. For more information, contact Chris Brown at 318.869.5462 or archives@centenary.edu.


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