History is an evolving story. Here at The Historic New Orleans Collection, we gather, research, and share artifacts from New Orleans’ many stories, weaving together the people, places, and events that connect us to the city. First Draft gives readers inside access to our vast institutional holdings and staff expertise in a fresh and dynamic way. Read the latest stories below, or scroll down to browse by theme.

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September 24, 2021
By Dave Walker, communication specialist

To get the inside story of brass bands and second lines, we talked to THNOC's own Douane Walpes, who tells us what it's like to play for the clubs and second liners on the streets.




September 15, 2021
By Eli A. Haddow, marketing associate

After Hurricane Ida, we spoke with a climatologist to grasp the differences between the two monster hurricanes and compare them with other cataclysmic storms in Louisiana history




August 27, 2021
By Molly Reid Cleaver, editor

Life in the colony of Mobile was precious, so why did Bienville, the de facto ruler, slash the salary of the only Midwife?




August 18, 2021
By THNOC's Visitor Services Department

We asked our audience to tell the stories behind the objects they hold dear. And they delivered.




August 5, 2021
Jason Wiese, chief curator

New Orleans's most famous square had humble origins but grew to become an iconic feature of the city.




July 23, 2021
By Eli A. Haddow, marketing associate

In the spring of 1942, Hitler brought World War II to Louisiana’s shores, and ships sailing in the Gulf of Mexico paid the price.




July 9, 2021
By Molly Cleaver, editor

Nutria were once a valued member of Louisiana's wildlife family. Not anymore.




June 24, 2021
By Sarah Duggan, DAGS coordinator and research curator

The work of the Decorative Arts of the Gulf South project has revealed stories of African American material culture throughout the region.




June 11, 2021
By Cecilia Hock, Interpretation Assistant

In August 1812, a vicious storm ripped through New Orleans. Using a letter from THNOC’s holdings and the findings of a climatologist, we look at the storm’s toll and how it compares to recent hurricanes.




May 21, 2021
By Dylan Jordan, interpretation assistant

Today, the term “filibuster” refers to the obstruction of legislative process through long speeches and other delay tactics. For most of the 19th century, however, filibusters were men who engaged in unsanctioned warfare in foreign countries—and a number of their campaigns were planned and set sail from New Orleans. 




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