Janet Mary Riley, Loyola alum and first female law professor in New Orleans, remained dedicated throughout her career to protecting the rights of the disenfranchised in Louisiana. Our newest exhibit highlighting Riley’s papers will guide you through the life and career of this pioneering woman of civil and women’s rights. Letters, publications, awards, and legal achievements are brought to life through Ms. Riley’s own words. We are honored to host this exhibit in association with the NOLA4Women series, “Women of New Orleans: Builders and Rebuilders” through Spring of 2018. For more information, visit www.Nola4Women.org and library.loyno.edu.
Why do we wish to be remembered, even when none remain who looked upon our face? Surely, though it must retain an element of self-consideration, it is a last acknowledgment that we need to be loved; and having gone from all touch, we trust that memory may, as it were, keep unseen presence within the borders of day.
Diaries of a Dying Man, August 13, 1943
When one decides to create a memory book, going about the effort to bring together a scrapbook’s assemblage, a journal’s record, a commonplace book’s chosen information, a photo album’s visual documentation, or a diary’s narrative, one is constructing and presenting identity to some imagined current or future audience.
The social network sites of today offer much the same outlet that memory archiving and scrapbooking once did. Users create personal media assemblages sharing information, photographs, experiences, artworks, quotes, and beliefs presenting their identity to an audience online.
As you view this exhibit, we ask you to contemplate the connections between the memory archives of the past and the contemporary modes of self-presentation we use today. Drawing correlations between picture-heavy travel abroad scrapbook from 1963 and a present-day Instagram account, or between a collection of friends’ autographs from 1879 and a string of birthday wishes on a Facebook wall. In this mode, the viewer can explore both how and why we collectively “wish to be remembered” through our ever-evolving media traditions.