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    History of Leprosy


    Daughters of Charity Provincial Archives


    Category Institutional Archive
    Organization Daughters of Charity Provincial Archives
    Country USA
    Address 341 South Seton Avenue, Emmitsburg, MD 21727
    Telephone + (314) 533-4770, ext 116 / 301-447-6041
    Fax + (314) 533-3226


    Finding aids for the Daughters of Charity Provincial Archives can be accessed here:

    Record Group 11-2: Records of the National Hansen’s Disease Programs, Carville, Louisiana

    Scope and content:

    Collection spans the entire history of the Daughters of Charity’s work at Carville, 1896-2005. The collection consists of correspondence, publications, photographs, and newspaper clippings compiled by the Daughters of Charity to document their work at Carville. The collection is especially strong in documenting the everyday life of the patients at Carville. The collection includes extensive correspondence and diaries from the Daughters of Charity, but does not include medical records, nor does it include official correspondence of the Medical Officers in Charge.

    Organization and arrangement - Organized into 15 series as follows:

    1. History, 1902-2005. General and topical histories of the National Hansen’s Disease Programs and the Carville facility; accounts of anniversaries and significant visitors. Arranged alphabetically by subject.

    2. Administration, 1896-1999. Annual reports and other general administrative material (incomplete). Arranged alphabetically by subject

    3. Correspondence of the Sister Superiors (Sister Servants), 1896-1940. Correspondence files of the Daughters of Charity who administered the Louisiana Leper Home during the period of state administration of Carville (1896-1921) and the early years of United States government administration (1921-1940): Sr. Beatrice Hart (1896-1901), Sr. Benedicta Roach (1902-1919), Sr. Edith McCullough (1919-1923), Sr. Catherine Sullivan (1923-1936), Sr. Regina Purtell (1937-38) and Sr. Zoe Schieswhol (1938-40). Correspondents include the Provincial Superior (Visitatrix) of the Daughters of Charity Western Province, the Daughters of Charity Mother House in  Emmitsburg, Maryland, businesses in New Orleans and Baton Rouge, the Board of Control of the Louisiana Leper Home, and the US government (both government officials in Washington DC and the first Medical Officer in Charge at Carville, Dr. Oswald E. Denney). Arranged chronologically, then by subject.

    4. Annals of Carville, 1934-1987. Diaries kept by the Daughters of Charity who were in residence at Carville. For the years 1934-1962, the annals were typed accounts of day-to-day activities prepared by the Sisters. From 1962-1987, the annals are compilations of articles from The Star and news clippings. Arranged chronologically.

    5. Financial Data, 1896-1984 (bulk: 1930s and 1960s). Bequests and donations made to Carville, and annual financial reports. Arranged alphabetically by subject.

    6. Publications, ca. 1920-2004. Includes printed matter produced at Carville, literature concerning Hansen’s Disease geared toward the general reader, and reprints of articles from various medical journals. Arranged alphabetically by title. Medical reprints are filed under "Publications - Medical", then subdivided by decade. Includes a nearly complete run of The Star, 1941-present, but does not include The Star’s predecessor publication, the Sixty-Six Star.

    7. Newspaper clippings, 1890s-2001. Articles about Carville and Hansen's Disease from local and national newspapers, arranged chronologically.

    8. Magazine articles, 1934-1999. Articles about Carville and Hansen's Disease from local and national magazines, arranged chronologically.

    9. Personnel, 1922-2002. Clippings and articles concerning Carville employees. Includes: doctors, nurses (=lay nursing staff), priests, Sisters, staff, and volunteers.

    10: Patients and patient life, 1920-2002. Correspondence, photographs, news stories, and obituaries documenting individual patients; photographs and programs documenting patient activities. Patients are arranged alphabetically by last name. Includes the following patients: Nancy Bautista, John Bell, Louis Boudreaux,  Zella Berry Brown, James Cornelius, Mary Ruth Daigle/W.L. Daigle (W.L. Daigle aka Darryl Broussard), Delfina Demeritt, John Early, Jose Evangelista, Nick Farrel, Humberto Glacies (aka Buddy Glacies/Buddy Negron/Humberto Negron), Josephine Guerrero (“Joey”), Johnny P. Harmon, Tad Higa, Hans and Gertrude Hornbostel, The Landry Family, Betty and Harry Martin, Evangelina Martinez, Clarence E. Olmsted, Lilla Palmer, Joe Ruano, Stanley Stein, Charles Stiney, and Tom Storm. (Bulk dates: 1980s and 1990s). Patient Life is arranged alphabetically by subject - consists of photographs and programs documenting patient activities. Includes: patients’ school, recreational and social activities, sports teams, musical programs, Christmas programs, and Mardi Gras celebrations (Bulk dates: 1930s through 1960s). Note concerning patient names. The majority of patients at Carville took aliases when they entered the facility. This was a common practice aimed at reducing the social stigma of leprosy for the patients' families. Many patients retained their Carville name throughout their life. However some patients went back to their real names in later years. Real names are used in cases where the patients didn't take an alias or went back to their real name at some point in their lives. In cases where patients did not want their real names revealed, the patients' wishes have been respected and aliases have been retained.

    11: Louisiana National Guard/Bureau of Prisons Programs, 1991-2002. Correspondence, press releases, news clippings, and publications concerning the Louisiana National Guard “Youth Challenge” and  “Job Challenge” programs, which were held on the Carville campus following the transfer of the Carville facility to the State of Louisiana in 1999. Also includes a data concerning programs administered on the Carville grounds by the US Bureau of Prisons for a brief time in the early 1990s. Arranged alphabetically by subject.

    12: Carville Chapel Society Records, 1931-1968. The Carville Chapel Society (originally known as the Leper Chapel Guild and later the Carville Catholic Guild) was organized shortly after the Carville facility was founded in 1894. In 1928, it was decided to erect a new chapel to replace the wooden structure that had been used. In 1933, construction began on Sacred Heart Catholic Chapel.  Members of the Chapel Society assisted in raising funds for the chapel, in caring for the chapel, and in caring for patients. Arranged by subject.

    13: Sally Squires Records, 1989-1998. Newspaper articles concerning Carville and related material compiled by Sally Squires, reporter for the Washington Post and documentary filmmaker. Arranged chronologically.

    14: Daughter of Charity Documents, 1936-1996. Reports to the provincial council of the Daughters of Charity, West Central Province; correspondence with the Visitatrix (Provincial Superior) of the West Central Province. Arranged alphabetically by subject.

    15: Closing of Mission, 2005. Correspondence concerning the closing of the Daughters of Charity’s mission at Carville in February 2005; program for the Prayer Service of Thanksgiving held in February 2005. Arranged alphabetically by subject.

    Restrictions on access:

    Restricted materials include unpublished clinical photos of patients and lists of patients which show real names, home addresses, and other personal information. This material is closed until 2025.

    An unpublished finding aid to the entire collection is available in the Daughters of Charity Provincial Archives, Emmitsburg, Maryland (

    Entry updated January 2016


    Name Sr Genevieve Keusenkothen, Provincial Archivist
    Organization Daughters of Charity Provincial Archives
    Address 341 South Seton Avenue, Emmitsburg, MD 21727
    Telephone + (314) 533-4770 x116 / 301-447-6041
    Fax + (314) 533-3226

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