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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Health Resources and Services Administration
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The National Hansen's Disease Museum

Hansens Logo
Curator
Elizabeth Schexnyder
225-642-1950
NHDP Museum Committee
  • Develops all policies and procedures to carry out our mission.
  • Advises the Director on the operation and needs of the museum.
  • Meets quarterly, and at the call of the Chairperson, to review museum operations.
Did You Know?
In 1992, the National Park Service placed the Carville Historic District on the National Register of Historic Places. Also referred to as the Gillis W. Long Center (GWLC), the museum is one of seven Louisiana National Guard Installations statewide.

Carville is the national museum honoring leprosy patients—once quarantined on site—and the medical staff who attended to them and made medical history. The museum collects, preserves and interprets medical and cultural artifacts to inform and educate the public about Hansen’s Disease (Leprosy).

Supporting the National Hansen's Disease Program (NHDP), the museum:

  • enhances the history, treatment and rehabilitation of leprosy in the US,
  • honors those who lived at the national leprosarium as patients, and
  • celebrates health care professionals who made medical history as they battled leprosy.
  •  

Plan Your Visit

Admission inside the museum and on the grounds is free for everyone. About 4000 square feet of exhibits exist inside of the self-touring museum. A self-guided 9-stop audio driving tour takes you through the Carville Historic District. Audio CDs and maps are available to rent for this tour, which will take you between 20 – 30 minutes.

Address
Carville Historic District
5445 Point Clair Road., Bldg. 12
Carville, LA 70721
Hours
Tuesday - Saturday
10 AM - 4 PM
Closed on Federal holidays

Exhibits & Collections

Collections and exhibits span the history of the treatment of Hansen’s disease. On your visit, you can expect to find medical journals, annual reports, published research, oral histories, memoirs, films, photographs, and newsletters, published by and for patients.

Some of our major exhibits and collections include:

  • 100 Years of Carville History timeline
  • U.S. Public Health Service
  • Re-creation of a patient's room, circa 1940's
  • Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul
  • Stanley Stein & The Star Magazine
  • Medical adaptations & treatment
  • Site History of Carville
  • Laboratory Research
  • Patients' stories & advocacy
  • Carville culture: organizations, activities & entertainment
  • Federal civil service employees
  • Hansen’s Disease Ready Reference
  • Medical treatment

The Daughters of Charity Collection – Correspondence, publications, photographs, diaries and newspaper clippings compiled by the Sisters to document their mission.

The United States Public Health Service (USPHS) Collection – Includes the history of the treatment, care and rehabilitation of leprosy by the federal government at the Carville Historic District.

Resources for Educators and Researchers

For Educators

The National Hansen's Disease Museum promotes the understanding, identification and treatment of Hansen's disease (leprosy) and expands students understanding of how people with physical disabilities live.

Arrange your school’s visit by email or phone 225-642-1950. Please note that the following are required:

  • Two weeks’ advanced notice
  • One adult chaperone per 10 children

For Researchers

The museum and archives, has and continues to, host research projects which become academic papers, books, documentaries, family histories, and science and social studies projects.  Looking to conduct and present your research? Complete a User Registration Form and contact the curator to discuss your project and reserve research time.

DIRECTIONS TO MUSEUM

5445 Point Clair Road, Carville, LA 70721:

From Baton Rouge: Interstate 10 East to exit 173 -- PRAIRIEVILLE / GEISMAR

Exit right onto Hwy 73. Continue for approx. 5 miles to River Road (Hwy 75). Turn right on River Road, continue for 7 miles. [See Note]*

From New Orleans: Interstate 10 West to exit 177 -- ST. GABRIEL / GONZALES

From exit 177 turn left onto Hwy. 30. Continue for 4 miles. Turn left on Hwy 73 to River Road (Hwy. 75). Turn right on River Road, continue for 7 miles. [See Note]*

*NOTE: After 5 miles, Hwy 75 turns away from the River. Stay on River Road, which becomes Hwy 141 and continues for 2 miles. There will be a historical marker and Indian Camp Plantation on the right. Turn into the entrance and stop at the gatehouse. Check in with the guard who will direct you to the museum.