Around the Press in 80 Books: Treasures of LSU

In celebration of LSUP’s 80th anniversary the staff selected 80 of our most memorable titles. Adding to our “Around the Press in 80 Books” blog series, Senior Editor Catherine Kadair writes about Treasures of LSU.

One of my favorite books the Press has published is Treasures of LSU. Working at LSU most of my adult life, after going there as an undergraduate, I had my own ideas about the university’s “treasures,” broadly speaking—its massive live oaks, the Depression-era murals in the English building, the prehistoric Indian mounds, and the design of the original core campus, to name just a few. When I first heard about the book, I was curious whether my own ideas of campus jewels would make the short list or if the special things and places chosen for inclusion would come from unexpected areas. A word of background: The book was put together in honor of LSU’s 150th anniversary, and everyone in the LSU community—faculty, staff, and students—was invited to submit nominations. In what must have been a tough process, the anniversary committee selected 101 entities to include in this book—some of which were well-known and expected entries, and others that no one on the committee had thought about or at times were even aware of. Experts were then asked to contribute articles or stories about each treasure. Volume editor Laura F. Lindsay, who spent more than thirty years on LSU’s campus as a teacher and administrator, did an amazing job organizing the book according to type of treasure (natural spaces, buildings, cultural artifacts, research collections, etc.) and obtaining glorious full-color illustrations of each one.

What I found as I copyedited the book was that, yes, my candidates for LSU treasures were all in there; in addition, there were numerous other jewels in LSU’s crown that I was totally ignorant of. Who knew that Huey P. Long’s well-thumbed, heavily marked personal Bible is housed in LSU Libraries’ Special Collections? That the university has the largest collection of Newcomb pottery anywhere? That researchers from around the world come to LSU to study its renowned collection of bird specimens? That LSU owns a rustic camp of 1,300 acres in the Rocky Mountains where it’s been teaching geology since 1928? These and other fascinating glimpses of LSU’s rich history and culture can all be found in Treasures of LSU.

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