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Monday, Oct. 12, 2015

A History Theme

Documentary spurs a resurge in Centenary's History


Documentary spurs a resurge in Centenary’s history

Centenary Archives presents a unique slice of history in “Shreveport: As Seen by Centenary” this year through December 2015. This exhibit features a display in the Whited Room lobby of Bynum Commons, largely inspired by the Will and Jim Broyles’s “Shape of Shreveport” documentary series.

This collection highlights Shreveport history as documents by the students, faculty and staff at Centenary College.

Chris Brown, archivist, Centenary College of Louisiana (2003-07 and 2009-present) loves helping people access the past.

“‘Shreveport: As Seen by Centenary’ highlights examples of the Centenary community documenting the Shreveport community,” Brown said. “Some material relates to recurring collaborations such as Centenary’s basketball team playing games at Hirsch Memorial Coliseum during the 1960s. Other material features incidental moments such as a photograph from 1920 depicting students by the Forbing railroad stop.”

“Shreveport: As Seen by Centenary” is free to the public and is accessible online at www. centenary.edu/library/archives as well as on display in the college’s Whited Room lobby of Bynum Commons, through December 2015.

Assisting Brown were student workers Olivia Brignac and Harrison Folse, who helped research and prepare the exhibit. Brignac said she was especially excited to be a part of the event.

“This exhibit gives people the opportunity to see Shreveport in a different way – possibly in a way that someone in their family saw it,” Brignac said. “It offers a new perspective of our city.”

“We sought to feature both the familiar and obscure,” Brown said.

“The subjects range from a 1920s flag raising ceremony the day before the Strand Theatre opened to the 1970s Highland neighborhood shop Leatherhead. The local excitement surrounding the ‘Shape of Shreveport’ documentary film series inspired us to choose this theme.”

Brignac’s favorite part of the setup was the research for the captions.

“I learned a lot about Shreveport, and I am glad that I did,” Brignac said. “In a way, I was able to experience Shreveport at those different times throughout history because of the research.”

Brignac said seeing these images impacted her feelings surrounding Centenary’s history. A World War II-era image depicts aviation cadets exercising outside Centenary’s south campus – once Dodd College and now First Baptist Church School.

“That particular image was taken in 1943, when the Annie Haynes Hall was used by the military for basic training and classes for the aviation cadets,” Brignac said. “A group of cadets are exercising in front of the hall in the image. It caught my eye because I never knew how involved Louisiana was in the war, but I was always curious about it.”

“I hope this exhibit will spark a few memories and show how familiar locations looked in the past,” Brown said. “It also provides an opportunity to learn about people and places that may have slipped through the cracks. Furthermore, the exhibit demonstrates how collections in the Centenary Archives document the local community.”

The archives reading room is located on the campus of Centenary College of Louisiana in Magale Library, Room 6B. It’s open hours are 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

–Betsy St. Amant

learn More:

For more information on the exhibit, contact Chris Brown at 869-5462 or archives@centenary. edu.


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