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 30, 2022
By Molly Reid Cleaver, senior editor

A 1993 play remains one of the few adaptations of John Kennedy Toole's Pulitzer Prize–winning novel. THNOC talked to the play's production designer about her vision for the show and its influence on her own artwork.




September 16, 2022
Loren C. Brown, decorative arts intern, summer 2022

A THNOC internship leads to the creation of an important tool for preserving and displaying Black Masking Indian suits.




September 2, 2022
By Nick Weldon, editor

Club Desire drew some of the biggest local and national musical acts, nurtured young talents like Fats Domino and Dave Bartholomew, and operated as a hub of the New Orleans Black community during segregation. 




September 1, 2022
By Molly Reid Cleaver, senior editor

Summer 1969 brought New Orleans fully into the counterculture movement happening across the country, starting with a series of weekly love-ins at Mardi Gras Fountain.




August 24, 2022
By Dave Walker, communication strategist

A 19th-century coat was found in the attic of an old plantation. Now, it's helping researchers understand roles of fashion and clothiers in American slavery.




August 11, 2022
By Brian Moore, programming coordinator

An experimental theater production sheds new light on one of Tennessee Williams’s most beloved characters.




August 5, 2022
By Molly Reid Cleaver, senior editor

Summer in New Orleans is like winter in the North—not for the faint of heart. But for centuries, residents have been finding a way to live—or leave—through the hottest months.




July 15, 2022
Terri Simon, associate editor

New Orleans has been home to countless musicians who have helped shaped American music. Louis Moreau Gottschalk and Juvenile are two of them, and you might be surprised by what their music has in common.




July 7, 2022
By Katherine Jolliff Dunn, curatorial cataloger

THNOC houses hundreds of designs from the archives of Larry Youngblood and Carroll Pio Burtanog, two designers who outfitted Carnival kings, queens, and courtiers for decades. Here’s a look at some of their most outrageous creations. 




June 30, 2022
By THNOC staff

Bruce Sunpie Barnes, Big Chief of the North Side Skull and Bone Gang, describes a Mardi Gras Black masking tradition.




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