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 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.




March 17, 2022
By Mark Cave, senior historian

The new exhibition Backstage at “A Streetcar Named Desire” is a feast for Tennessee Williams lovers, exploring the play’s journey around the world onstage and onscreen.




March 10, 2022
By Molly Reid Cleaver, editor

Across his songs, stories, and interviews, Danny Barker embraced the rhythms and archetypes of African American folklore, using his skills as a writer and storyteller to paint indelible portraits of his own folk creations. Here are excerpts illustrating five of his best characters.




February 18, 2022
Jari Honora, reference associate

Since the 1890s, Black Carnival clubs have presented debutantes at their elegant annual balls.




February 16, 2022
By THNOC Visitor Services

How does a krewe work? What does the king do? And what about all those beads? THNOC’s Visitor Services staff have the answers.




February 9, 2022
By Mallory Taylor, associate curator

The photography of Making Mardi Gras shows snapshots of Carnival through time, from Big Chiefs to ‘tit Rex.




January 27, 2022
By DJ Soul Sister, New Orleans

In these liner notes to a playlist curated for THNOC, DJ Soul Sister, the “queen of rare groove,” leads a tour of Mardi Gras through music history and her memories as a native New Orleanian.






 

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