Louisiana Tech University’s documentation on Camp Ruston, one of the largest World War II prisoner of war camps in the United States, is now available to the public through the Louisiana Digital Library. Camp Ruston was established in 1942 on 770 acres about seven miles northwest of Ruston and at its peak held 4,315 prisoners.
The Camp Ruston collection includes examples of what historians refer to as primary sources: copies of National Archives records, official maps and aerial surveys of the camp, contemporary snapshots, books from the camp library, prisoner artwork, items unearthed during Tech’s archaeology survey of the site, letters from former prisoners, oral history interviews, related publications and more.
The state’s digital library, known as LOUIS has been made possible through the Louisiana Library Network. Established in 1992 by the Board of Regents, LOUIS pools resources of the state’s public and private academic libraries into a consortium of 39 members. LOUIS officially announced the addition of the Camp Ruston material this summer.