Louisiana was a Spanish colony from 1762 to 1803. The author traces the short history of Spanish Louisiana and the archival legacy of its colonial records. Through two centuries, administrators, historians, and archivists have undertaken copying, reorganization, and reformatting projects in an effort to preserve the records and to provide increased access. A massive microfilming collaboration by the Spanish National Archives and several American institutions, including Loyola University of New Orleans, Louisiana State University, and the Historic New Orleans Collection, has just been completed. This thirty-year endeavor achieved the ultimate preservation of the records and increased international access to these dispersed documents. In the process, the project influenced the archival policy of the archives of Spain, the former parent country.

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