Since 1992, The Historic New Orleans Collection has developed various programs on caring for the personal collections of our community. From household disaster planning and caring for Mardi Gras collectibles to the upkeep of family tombs, Louisiana families face unique challenges in caring for their collections. This series is designed to help you learn to properly inventory, handle, care for, and augment your objects and papers. Expert staff from The Historic New Orleans Collection's curatorial, cataloging, and collections management departments join outside experts in lively educational sessions, all of which are designed for general audiences. 


2023: Caring For Your Family Tree: Tools and Strategies for the Lay Genealogist

Saturday, October 7, 2023 
THNOC, Williams Research Center 
410 Chartres Street, New Orleans

Watch this space for a video recording of this program, coming soon!

In this seminar, guest speakers explored the resources and root concepts of researching family histories. Industry experts addressed the responsibilities of researching your family tree, record types and resources, methods and strategies, DNA as an important research tool for tough-to-trace family lines, and “how to be a good ancestor”—best practices for preserving and sharing your findings with the next generation. The program was moderated by Jari C. Honora, family historian at the Williams Research Center of The Historic New Orleans Collection. Featured presenteres included:

  • Bernice Alexander Bennett, author, genealogist, and producer-host of Research at the National Archives and Beyond Blog Talk Radio
  • Melvin Collier, author and genealogist
  • Jay Schexnaydre, genealogist.




2022: Caring For Your Family Tomb

Sunday, November 2, 2022  
Lake Lawn Metairie Funeral Home & Cemeteries 
5100 Pontchartrain Boulevard, New Orleans 

Presented by The Historic New Orleans Collection in partnership with Lake Lawn Metairie Funeral Home & Cemeteries, attendees learned from local experts about the legal responsibilities of managing family tombs, how to research their history, and best practices for restoration and upkeep. Following the program, attendees toured historic Metairie Cemetery and learned about its rich and fascinating history and architectural gems. Featured panelists included:

  • Heather Veneziano, director of public engagement and develop, New Orleans Catholic Cemeteries 
  • Sherri Peppo, executive director, New Orleans Catholic Cemeteries 
  • Emily Ford, cemetery superintendent, City of New Orleans 
  • Gerard “Jerry” Schoen, community outreach director, Lake Lawn Metairie Funeral Home & Cemeteries 
  • Gilbert Bonnaffons, director of memorial construction, Lake Lawn Metairie Funeral Home & Cemeteries 

Watch our special video presentation with tips on how to preserve your family tomb, featuring Jason Church, Materials Conservator with the National Park Service's Center for Preservation Technology and Training.

Looking to research your family tomb? Explore THNOC's Cemetery Database research tool.

Take a virtual tour of Lake Lawn Metairie Funeral Home & Cemeteries, led by cemetery staff members Gerard “Jerry” Schoen, community outreach director, and Gilbert Bonnaffons, director of memorial construction.