Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts - History



First Advisor

Perky Beisel

Second Advisor

M. Scott Sosebee

Third Advisor

Andrew Lannen

Fourth Advisor

Chay Runnels

Fifth Advisor

Mari Nicholson-Preuss


The national leprosarium of the United States, located in Carville, Louisiana, started as the Louisiana Leper Home in 1894. Since Louisiana contained the largest endemic population in the contiguous United States of people suffering from leprosy, or Hansen’s disease as it would later be known, and maintained a successful institution dedicated to the care of such patients, the federal government purchased the leprosarium for national use in 1921. Although the national leprosarium was closed as a hospital in 1999, a small analog museum located on site preserves the history of the facility, the lives of the former patients, and tireless work of the medical staff. This thesis summarizes the history of the national leprosarium and describes museum exhibition and interpretation theory utilized during the creation of a digital exhibit for the National Hansen’s Disease Museum that focuses on patient and staff life at the facility as well as the milestones in medical history that occurred at Carville.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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