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.


February 1, 2024
Molly Reid Cleaver, senior editor

The rich world of Masonic emblems and aesthetics, and the history of fraternal organizations behind them.

December 29, 2023
Mark Cave, senior historian, and Molly Reid Cleaver, senior editor

A new acquisition highlights the life and work of a leader of the Reconstruction-era civil rights movement in New Orleans.

December 8, 2023

A Mystic Brotherhood: Fraternal Orders of New Orleans, a new exhibition at THNOC, explores how Freemasons, Odd Fellows, and similar organizations have shaped social, cultural, and civic life in the Crescent City.


November 17, 2023

Highlights from the Disney Imagineers’ Carnival-themed show-and-tell at THNOC.

November 3, 2023
Ivy Johnson, summer 2023 archives and special collections practicum intern

Items from the the Antoine’s Restaurant Collection shine light on a business, a family, and their place in New Orleans history.

October 25, 2023
Sarah Drago, membership and annual giving coordinator

The Hurricane of 1915 drown the town of Ruddock, Louisiana—but there may have been something more sinister at work.

October 20, 2023
Emily Perkins, curatorial cataloger

The "Coming to New Orleans" series explores immigration to NOLA from 1965 to Hurricane Katrina, and how it helped build the city we know today.

October 5, 2023
Terri Simon, associate editor

From neoclassical architecture to street names, southern Louisiana is full of references to the Roman Empire.

September 29, 2023
Mallory Taylor, associate curator

For decades, studio photographer John E. Kuhlman spent his free time taking pictures of jazz musicians. THNOC is now home to that part of his archive.

September 14, 2023
Libby Neidenbach, interpretive training coordinator

Civil rights activist Katie Whickam was a beautician, community leader, and national civil rights organizer who helped thousands of Black Americans access their right to vote.



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