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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November 29, 2022
Story by Dylan Jordan, Visitor Services interpreter; video by Xiomara Blanco, media producer

Untangling the web of war, family ties, and secret pacts that brought Louisiana under Spanish control.




November 10, 2022
Story by Kurt Owens, Visitor Services interpreter; video by Xiomara Blanco, media producer

Two great fires destroyed large portions of New Orleans during the city’s Spanish colonial era. The disasters spurred major changes to the cityscape that can still be observed today.




November 4, 2022
Story by Cecilia Hock, Visitor Services interpreter; video by Xiomara Blanco, media producer

Earlier historians called Alejandro O’Reilly an “executioner” because of his role in quelling the 1768 rebellion against Spanish rule. THNOC reevaluates the infamous governor’s legacy.




October 21, 2022
Dylan Jordan, Visitor Services interpreter

Using rare and one-of a kind items, THNOC's Louisiana History Galleries traces the state's history from before the colonial era through Hurricane Katrina. These five objects from the galleries shine light on New Orleans's rich past.




October 13, 2022
By Nick Weldon, editor

The 23rd Bill Russell Lecture at THNOC spotlighted the remarkable life and legacy of Mahalia Jackson through scholarship and performance. 




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.




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