An LSU Libraries project has made the Reference and User Services Association’s annual list of Best Historical Materials.

“Free People of Color in Louisiana: Revealing an Unknown Past,” a collaborative digital project led by LSU Libraries, received the national recognition at the annual Book & Media Awards Ceremony at the midwinter meeting of the American Library Association in Boston.

The project was one of four resources nationwide which made the list. The list of sources is selected by the Historical Materials committee, which seeks to improve the usefulness of bibliographies and indexes in the field of history.

“Free People” is a National Endowment for the Humanities-funded project that digitally brings together archival collections of personal and family papers, documenting the lives of people of African descent who were either born free or who escaped from slavery and lived freely in the United States, prior to 1865.

The site provides access to more than 30,000 pages of family and personal papers, business records and public documents dispersed among the LSU Libraries’ Special Collections and grant partners that include the Louisiana State Museum Historical Center, the Historic New Orleans Collection, Tulane University’s Louisiana Research Collection and New Orleans Public Library.

LSU Libraries received the $194,152 two-year grant in 2013, and it concluded in April.