Contact Research Center Staff: civilclerkresearchctr@orleanscdc.com .

The Notarial Archives established its Research Center in September 1998, to provide a safer location for historical records formerly housed in the basement of the Civil District Courts Building. The Research Center allows access to records in a controlled, supervised environment with stacks and plat cabinets closed to the public. Experienced staff members serve the research community by providing guidance in architectural, historical, and genealogical searches.

Records date from 1735 to July 1970, during the time of Civil Law notarial practice when notaries archived their own records. The records are arranged the way they were created by notary and then by date. Annual indexes maintained by the notaries are bound into their volumes.

Because New Orleans was once a  French and a Spanish colony, records prior to the Louisiana Purchase (1803) are in French or Spanish. After the Louisiana Purchase, many 19th century records continued to be written in French. English eventually replaced French as the language of choice later in the century.

While there is no comprehensive index to the records, a companion office to the Notarial Archives, the Conveyance Division, maintains party-name indexes to property transfers back to 1827. The Conveyance indexes are annual, and are divided into "Vendor (seller)" and "Purchaser." The Conveyance indexes are extremely useful in locating notaries essential data in accessing notarial records created before August 1970.

Other useful research tools include indexes of family records, 1770-1840, created by genealogist Charles R. Maduell, Jr.; a building-contract index, 1767-1970, created by Samuel Wilson and Robert J. Cangelosi, Jr.; and a corporate-charter index, 1852-1904, all of which are available at the Research Center.

In addition to textual records, tens of thousands of which contain site surveys, the Research Center houses thousands of oversize watercolor architectural drawings of 19th century properties known as Plan Book plans.

Also at the Research Center are 19th century city directories, and The Robinsons Atlas of the City of New Orleans, 1883.

Research Center Location, Hours and Telephone

The Research Center is located at 1340 Poydras Street, Suite 360, in downtown New Orleans. Hours are 8:30am to 5:00pm, Monday through Friday. Our telephone number is (504) 407-0106.

Professional Research Services

This is a list of independent New Orleans-area researchers and translators (French and Spanish languages) who have indicated a willingness to conduct professional research and/or translations in Louisiana subjects on an hourly basis or by the job. Please make contact with them directly. This listing is supplied as a courtesy only and does not constitute a recommendation.

List of professional researchers and translators.

Copies

Legal-size black-and-white copies are available for $2 per page. Certifications cost $30 per document, in addition to copy charges.

Architectural drawings Copy Prices

  • 8.5 inches x 11 inches unmounted: $15

  • 11 inches x 14 inches unmounted: $25

  • 13 inches x 19 inches unmounted: $35

  • Up to 44 inches (height) image on 48 inches x  32” paper unmounted: $250

  • Up to 44 inches (height) image on 48 inches x  32” paper mounted: $350

Online Resources

List of Notaries to 1970

Document Types

Robinson's Atlas, 1883

Index to Acts of the 20th century, 1890-1940 (partial list only)

Guide to French colonial records, 1733 - 1767

Introduction to Louis Martinet Records, 1888-1917

Historical Notaries' Indexes (Selected)

Annual indexes maintained by the notaries were bound into their volumes. In the 1930s, Works Progress Administration workers created typescript versions of some notaries' indexes and bound them into volumes. In 2007, the Notarial Archives embarked on an index scanning project. Images will be added online as they are completed and formatted.