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
"To increase the appreciation of our heritage and the way of life of our ancestors, their hardships, toils, vision, inspiration, and determination by preserving something of the architecture and artifacts from our rural past." (Steele and Ione Burden, 1971)
"LSU's Rural Life Museum is the heart and soul of the 430+ acres of land that the 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