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Collections and Museums

  • LSU’s Hill Memorial Library houses one of the world’s premier collections of chess literature, the Gladney Chess Collection, relating to the history and play of the game.

  • The LSU Museum of Natural Science has the world's oldest and largest collection of genetic resources for molecular genetic research on vertebrates. Such collections are fast becoming the most important museum collections, because the growth of genetic engineering and biotechnology has dramatically increased the demand for vertebrate tissue. The Smithsonian, American Museum of Natural History, Field Museum in Chicago, Berkeley, and other institutions have copied the LSU Museum model, but trail behind in size, importance, and use.

  • LSU’s Museum of Natural Science Collection of Genetic Resources is the largest tissue repository in the world -- and the first. Fifteen ultracold freezers and liquid nitrogen tanks in the Museum of Natural Science in Foster Hall house tissue samples of 70,000 individual birds -- one-half the bird species in the world -- 20,000 reptiles and amphibians, 5,000 mammals and a few fish.

  • LSU has the 66th largest university library in North America as ranked by the American Library Association.

  • In cooperation with the LSU Museum of Natural Science, the LSU Department of Biological Sciences directs the foremost graduate program in museum-based ornithology in the world.

  • As of the fall of 2008, the LSU Libraries hold 3,233,034 books, 6,663,531 microfilms and 321,348 maps.

  • The LSU Museum of Natural Science has the largest collection of bird DNA in the world.

  • The LSU Cartographic Information Center, located in 313 Howe-Russell Geoscience Complex, is part of the Department of Geography and Anthropology. With a collection of more than 500,000 cartographic items, including 321,912 maps, 124,522 aerial photographs, 16,000 hand-held photos, and 12,000 slides, the LSU CIC ranks first among map libraries in U.S. academic departments and tenth among all American map collections.

  • In March 2005, the LSU Art Museum opened at the Shaw Center for the Arts in downtown Baton Rouge. The LSU Museum of Art occupies the center's 15,000 square-foot fifth floor, designed in collaboration with the LSU School of Architecture, School of Art and Department of Interior Design. Visitors may peruse the museum's 4,000 holdings while enjoying a spectacular view of the Mississippi River.

  • The LSU Museum of Art owns a painting by internationally renowned Mexican muralist Diego Rivera in its permanent collection.

  • The LSU Museum of Art holds a comprehensive collection of late 19th and early 20th century Newcomb pottery and crafts, which includes pottery, metalwork, and paintings from the arts and crafts period created by the graduates of Newcomb College of New Orleans.

  • LSU's Rural Life Museum was voted one of the “Top 10 Outdoor Museums in the World” by the British Museum. Containing the largest collection of material culture of 19th century Louisiana, the Museum also houses artifacts dealing with everyday rural life up to the early 20th century.

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