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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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.




June 17, 2022
By Molly Reid Cleaver, senior editor

Nearly 35 years ago, a heedless conservator drastically changed a rare portrait of a free woman of color. Now, it has been restored and is on view again—and this time, THNOC is telling the story.




June 10, 2022
By Dylan Jordan, Visitor Services interpreter, and Xiomara Blanco, media producer

In a French Quarter attic apartment, 27-year-old Tennessee Williams worked on some of his earliest plays and came into his own as an artist. In this new video, THNOC takes viewers through the historic building, which the institution has owned since 1945.




May 27, 2022
By Molly Reid Cleaver, senior editor

Robert Tannen’s Jackson Square abstraction honors a great American plaza.




May 20, 2022
By Nina Bozak, curator of rare books

The bohemian scene of midcentury New Orleans comes to life in an exciting new acquisition.




May 13, 2022
By THNOC Staff

The Tennessee Williams Scholars Conference makes a lively return to THNOC’s Williams Research Center for the the first time since 2019.




May 5, 2022
By Judy Cooper, author-photographer of "Dancing in the Streets: Social Aid and Pleasure Clubs of New Orleans"

From the beginning of Jazz Fest, organizer George Wein sought to showcase culture bearers like Mardi Gras Indians and social aid and pleasure clubs alongside musicians. "Dancing in the Streets" author Judy Cooper shares the history of this "heritage on display."




April 28, 2022
By Dave Walker, communication strategist

An iconic character's World War II service and its meaning to postwar audiences.




April 21, 2022
By Nick Weldon, editor

A Q&A with Yuts, the pseudonymous creator of the acclaimed indie game Norco, and Richard Sexton, photographer and author of Enigmatic Stream: Industrial Landscapes of the Lower Mississippi River.




March 25, 2022
By Nick Weldon, editor

The story of how feral hogs arrived at New Orleans’s doorstep, 500 years in the making.




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