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The National Hansen's Disease Museum

COVID-19: National Hansen's Disease Museum Closed to the Public

Due to ongoing concerns about the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the National Hansen's Disease Museum is closed to the public and will remain closed as we continue to assess and monitor developments.

This decision is being made out of an abundance of caution and based upon the guidance of the CDC regarding social distancing and the elimination of large gatherings.

Please continue to check our website for additional updates.

Carville is the national museum honoring leprosy patients—once quarantined on site—and the medical staff who cared for 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:

  • Interprets 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.

Exhibits & Collections

Collections and exhibits span the history of Hansen’s disease treatment in the United States.

Some of our major exhibits and collections include:

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

Our tours explain how patients with Hansen’s disease (leprosy) were affected in a social as well as a physical way. Students can gain an understanding of how people with physical disabilities live. We discuss the concepts of diversity, quarantine and stigma.

Send us an email or call 225-642-1950 to arrange your school’s visit.

Note the following:

  • One month's advanced planning required
  • Maximum 1 (one) school bus or 50 (fifty) students per day
  • One adult chaperone per 10 children

You may reserve a date up to six months in advance. Pre/post tour lesson plans available.

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.

Date Last Reviewed:  September 2020

National Hansen's Disease (Leprosy) Program

Caring & Curing Since 1894


Elizabeth Schexnyder


Manequins in military clothing


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.