The National Hansen's Disease Museum

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

Admission to the museum and 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 (at no charge) for this tour, which will take you between 20 – 30 minutes.

  • Guided tours are by appointment only (One month in advance)
  • Groups over 10: please call in advance even if you do not wish to have a guided tour

GPS users: Enter 5440 Point Clair Road, Carville, LA 70721


Tuesday - Saturday
10 AM - 4 PM
Closed on federal holidays


You will be entering a military base. You must show valid ID at the gate before entering.

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:

  • Medical Adaptations & Treatment
  • Laboratory Research
  • Patients’ Stories & Advocacy
  • Carville Culture: Organizations, Activities & Entertainment
  • Federal Civil Service Employees
  • Hansen’s Disease Ready Reference

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.

Looking to conduct and present your research?

Complete a User Registration Form (PDF - 30 KB) and contact the curator to discuss your project and reserve research time.

Directions to Museum

5440 Point Clair Road, Carville, LA 70721:

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

Exit right onto Hwy 73. Continue for approximately five miles to River Road (Hwy 75). Turn right on River Road, continue for seven 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 four miles. Turn left on Hwy 73 to River Road (Hwy. 75). Turn right on River Road, continue for seven miles. [See Note]

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

Date Last Reviewed:  February 2019

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.