Louisiana State Exhibit Museum announces expansion, new historical items to be displayed

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SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – History keepers in Louisiana are celebrating a long-awaited expansion as real pieces of the past unseen to the public will soon be on display at the Louisiana State Exhibit Museum in Shreveport.

The museum depicts the historical journey the state of Louisiana has experienced over the centuries. By taking a tour inside you will see magnificent murals hanging above while dioramas detail the life of people from different eras.

From plantations and farming periods, to the rise of oil productions. However, the objects on display are much more ancient than that. Many prehistorical discoveries have been discovered in Northwest Louisiana and displayed inside the museum.

The oldest item is a 21,000-year-old Mammoth tooth. It was discovered outside of the area but represents the natural life that was once roaming around our backyards.

“We have historical as well as prehistory so a large collection of basketry and beadwork,” said Nita Cole, archivist and curator.

“We have quite a collection of Native American artifacts archaeological digs from around the state. It’s a lot of material because it’s small materials.”

Cole says the museum opened in 1939 and over the decades its accumulated a wealth of artifacts. So much so there’s not enough space for everything. The museum has objects and paintings waiting to be seen that had to be housed in a basement because of a lack of space.

The museum was waiting on a capital outlay project to get underway with funding back from the legislator. Cole says the state process has actually been decades in the making. With the funding secured, the museum announced it’s long-awaited expansion during a ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday morning with Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin in attendance.

Cole said the new archive building will allow for better record keeping, research projects, and viewings for the public.

“The books tend to be spread all over the place so I know that they’re there but doing the research for a particular exhibit or tour that we’re doing is going to make it a lot easier and easier for students,” said Cole said.

The new building will open to the public in just a week. Cole encourages families to come and see the hidden treasures from the past. The Louisiana State Exhibit Museum on Greenwood Road is open Monday through Friday.

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