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David Campbell papers

Identifier: LaRC-1108

Scope and Contents

Correspondence, personal and business records concerning both to the legal and the art professions, records of environmental organizations, journals, maps, manuscripts, legal briefs, and articles, photos, and clippings related to the life, career, and activism of attorney David Campbell. These papers and records culminate in Campbell’s memoirs, The Double Life: A Survivor’s Guide to Transcend Success and Tragedy (2016) also included.

The papers follow a general chronological outline of Campbell’s life and career, including his time as a Tulane law student, clerking for the firm Jones, Walker, Waechter, Poitevent, Carrère & Denègre L.L.P in which he worked on a private project for firm founder, Joseph Merrick Jones, Jr., who also served as the President of the Board of Administrators of the Tulane Educational Fund. This project led to Campbell’s report, Segregation in the Field of Public and Private Law—Status of the Tulane University of Louisiana, that eventually led to the desegregation of Tulane University in the late 1960s.

Active in civic and legal affairs, much of Campbell’s papers center on two events: the Sesquicentennial of 1825 Louisiana Civil Code in Paris, France and the Louisiana and Spain Commemorative Congress in Madrid, Spain that celebrated the influence of French and Spanish law over Louisiana’s legal heritage.

Housed here are also the records of the Little Tchefuncte River Association, a St. Tammany-based environmental organization in which Campbell served as one of the founders. These records include maps of St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, and Washington parishes, along with information regarding conservation efforts on the regional, state, and national levels. The journal, Some Wildflowers (and Needs) of St. Tammany Parish and Some Observations and Notes of Wild Animals, 1975-2005, offer an insight to the ecological status of St. Tammany during a period of transition.

Of note are photographs of Carnival in New Orleans from the 1950s through the 1970s that depicts how gay men celebrated Mardi Gras in the French Quarter through their masking and revelry. Another focus within Campbell’s papers and photographs centers on the re-development of the Warehouse District during the 1980s as well as bucolic St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana, during the same time, and in particular his home, Little River Bluffs in Folsom.


  • 1890s - 2016
  • Majority of material found within 1960 - 2000

Conditions Governing Access

Access is unrestricted.

Conditions Governing Use

Physical rights are retained by the Louisiana Research Collection. Copyright is retained in accordance with U.S. copyright laws.

Biographical / Historical

Louisiana-based attorney, historic preservationist, and environmentalist, David Lee Campbell was born in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1936 and spent his formative years in Fort Worth, Texas and Morocco. After receiving his BA from North Texas State University and his law degree from Tulane University, Campbell, a Marshall Scholar, earned his D. Phil. in law from Oxford University in 1963. He began his legal career with Lemle Kelleher, branched off to open the Law Offices of David Campbell, and eventually moved onto Deutsch, Kerrigan, & Stiles. Past president of the Preservation Resource Center and the Louisiana Landmarks Society, as well as the founder of the Little Tchefuncte River Association, Campbell was active with several state and regional environmental and urban redevelopment organizations.


7.5 Linear Feet (15 boxes. )

Language of Materials


Custodial History

Donated by David Campbell.

Processing Information

Processed by Melissa Smith. Data entry by Andrew Mullins, III.

David Campbell finding aid
Melissa Lee Smith
2017 November 3
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Tulane University Special Collections Repository

Jones Hall Room 202
6801 Freret Street
New Orleans 70118 US