About Us | Rural Life Museum

About Us

The Rural Life Mission

The mission of the LSU Rural Life Museum is to provide and sustain a publicly accessible center for the collection, preservation and interpretation of the material culture, cultural landscapes, and the vernacular architecture of the Louisiana and Lower Mississippi River Valley.

The museum focuses on the life ways of the working classes of the 18th and 19th centuries. The museum also provides educational and research resources that advance an understanding of the material and cultural heritage of the regions


Quick Facts

Over 40 years of service and success

  • Largest collection of Louisiana Vernacular Architecture
  • Most extensive collection of Material Culture from 18th and 19th century rural Louisiana
  • In 2014, the museum became a popular destination for more than 67,000 visitors, adding tourism revenues to the local economy
  • More than 100 volunteer adult docents and 55 junior docents: grades 6th through 12th grade
  • Volunteer America volunteers gave over 11,500 hours of in-kind service last year valued at $259,325.00 @ $22.50/hour
  • Friends of the Rural Life Museum, a 501(c)(3) entity, includes 700 individuals and corporations which provide the museum with members, funding and service
  • Museum is available as a classroom and laboratory for Louisiana State University, Southern University and other scholars free of charge
  • Museum’s educational programs are intertwined with the Louisiana Department of Education required lesson plans
  • World class Museum, voted “Top 10 Outdoor Museums in the World” by the British Museum
  • Conference host for National and International Museum Associations
  • Museum has completed a revised Master Plan which includes the development of 16 new acres of land
  • Museum has completed a new $5 million dollar Visitor Center with private funds
  • Museum has completed a $1 million campaign for permanent exhibits


LSU's Rural Life Museum is the heart and soul of the 430+ acres of land that that Burden Family donated to LSU for the citizens of the world to enjoy for hundreds of years to come. I call it Baton Rouge's "Central Park." It is a tranquil place to contemplate and reflect on the rural life of a by-gone era..." - John Bateman