Researching Preservation Hall: From Its Digital Record to Its Colonial Beginnings

Orleans Parish Clerk of Civil District Court Dale N. Atkins invites conference attendees to experience a free, four-hour seminar on the nature and use of civil law land records housed at the former Notarial Archives in downtown New Orleans. The workshop will use as a case study the legal history of the building known as “Preservation Hall,” located on St. Peter Street in the French Quarter. The workshop introduces participants to the concept of evidence as found in civil law instruments, explains the features of documents that ensure authenticity, and shows how the archives of the notarial system contribute to a stable society under Louisiana’s unique civil law regime. Among procedural issues to be covered are: modern digital entry to the land records system; techniques in finding and interpreting acts; locating surveys; understanding the provenance of allied water color drawings; explanations of the relationships between registration, recordation, and archiving; the many act types; handling foreign languages (French and Spanish) in the colonial and 19th century record; the essential differences and relations between court records and land records; using finding aids; and tracking user community preferences. The seminar will be conducted by Sally Reeves, CA, Archivist, office of the Clerk of Civil District Court (contact).

To register, call 504-407-0113 or 504-407-0006 or email The office is on Poydras Street, one block from the Louisiana Superdome. Free transportation and light refreshments will be provided.