Collection #1

Initial Collection of more than 30,000 images.

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Collection #2

New Project entitled:  Leland College (Baker, LA)

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Collection #3

Following the collection through the years

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Since 1993

Our Collection

The Willie Harris collection chronicles Southern University and life in Scotlandville, Louisiana over a period of two decades. Willie Harris was the first Chief of Police for Southern University and built the Southern police department himself. He was also a professional photographer who captured every aspect of the world around him. After Harris' death in 1992, his house was being readied for sale. During the clean-up, Harris’ family threw out the photos that their father had been taking during his career. James W. Terry, III (Terry) was walking his dog, as he and Capt. Harris lived on the same street and happened across the bags of photos that were set out on the curb. There were eight bags of photos containing somewhere around 30,000 black and white eight by ten photos and 20,000 five by seven photos total. He then asked the family if he could have them and they said yes. Terry contacted other local photographers, Naville J. Oubre, Christopher J. Rogers, Eddie Harris and the photos were taken to the Southern University John B. Cade Library to be sorted and categorized. The collection had been organized into seven basic categories - portraits, churches, schools, weddings, funerals, social organizations at Southern University, social organizations not at Southern University, and historical photos.  More >>