Pamela D. Arceneaux

Pamela D. Arceneaux

September 28, 2017
6 p.m.
Rosa F. Keller Library & Community Center, 4300 South Broad St., in Broadmoor
Admission is free.

Pamela D. Arceneaux, author of The Historic New Orleans Collection’s latest publication Guidebooks to Sin: The Blue Books of Storyville, New Orleans, will speak at the Rosa F. Keller Library & Community Center on Thursday, September 28, at 6 p.m.

Guidebooks to Sin is the first contemporary study of blue books, the notorious guides to Storyville, the legal red-light district that thrived on the edge of the French Quarter from 1898 to 1917. Curious pieces of Americana, Storyville’s blue books functioned as consumer guides that promoted commercialized prostitution as bourgeois leisure, promising lavish goods and services, without mentioning sex. Because they were originally created as disposable resources, few editions exist today—100 years after Storyville’s closure—and THNOC houses one of the largest collections of the artifacts.

In Guidebooks to Sin, Arceneaux’s research is illustrated with hundreds of facsimile pages from the guides in THNOC’s holdings. Together with a foreword by Emily Epstein Landau, which places the books in their historical context, the new volume is the ultimate guide to these artifacts, which have long been misconstrued pieces of Storyville’s history.

A hardcover, archival-quality art book, Guidebooks to Sin features more than 300 images and retails for $50. Copies will be available for purchase after the talk, and Arceneaux will be available to sign books. The program will take place at Keller Library, 4300 South Broad St., in Broadmoor, and is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be available. For more information, visit or call (504) 596-2660.