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.


May 23, 2024
Emily Perkins, curatorial cataloger

Legendary New Orleans percussionist Alfred “Uganda” Roberts Jr.'s audio and video tape collection documents his career, influences, and daily life in New Orleans between 1985 and 2010.

April 23, 2024
HNOC Staff

A new portrait exhibition invites visitors to imagine the lives and identities of unnamed subjects.

April 5, 2024
Craig Fuchs, Visitor Services interpreter

As the national conversation stirred up by Beyoncé’s Cowboy Carter has shown, Black musicians have played an important role in the evolution of country music at every stage of its development.

March 14, 2024
By Margit Longbrake, senior editor

Frank Merlo was the playwright’s companion for 15 years. THNOC’s new issue of the Tennessee Williams Annual Review introduces a never-before-published poem about Merlo’s death.

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.



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