About The Collection
museum • research center • publisher
The Historic New Orleans Collection (THNOC) is a museum, research center, and publisher dedicated to preserving the history and culture of New Orleans and the Gulf South. The institution was founded in 1966 by General L. Kemper Williams and Leila Hardie Moore Williams—collectors of Louisiana materials who wished to share their holdings with the public.
In its near-fifty-year history, THNOC has augmented its physical structure to include several historic buildings at two French Quarter campuses: 533 Royal Street and 410 Chartres Street. Its holdings comprise more than one million items from more than three centuries, documenting moments both major and minor.
Its four exhibition spaces—the Williams Gallery, the Louisiana History Galleries, the Boyd Cruise Gallery, and the new Laura Simon Nelson Galleries for Louisiana Art—faithfully depict the multicultural stories of the region, from permanent displays exploring the evolution of Louisiana to rotating exhibitions showcasing history and fine art.
Researchers—dedicated scholars and casual history buffs—can access THNOC’s materials through the Williams Research Center. In addition, THNOC’s publications department produces award-winning original books exploring the history, art, music, culture, and decorative arts of the region.
Two guided tours give visitors an inside look at the Royal Street property—the Williams Residence Tour showcases the elegant residence of THNOC’s founders and the Architecture and Courtyards Tour uses the seven buildings that compose the complex to explore the evolving architectural styles of the city’s oldest neighborhood, the Vieux Carré.