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.


June 23, 2020
Pamela D. Arceneaux, senior librarian and rare books curator

Storyville's blue books marketed a fantasy of the red-light district to a white male audience, offering a fascinating, yet limited, window into a demimonde during the rise of consumerism.




June 12, 2020
By Pamela D. Arceneaux, senior librarian/rare books curator

When the City of New Orleans passed an ordinance to remove black prostitutes from Storyville, Willie Piazza fought back. Her challenge to segregation was an early, though fleeting, victory against Jim Crow.




June 5, 2020
By Dave Walker, communication specialist

Curator/Historian Eric Seiferth takes us through the music scene on Bourbon Street in the 1950s.




June 5, 2020
By Nina Bozak, library cataloger

Casino Royale became Stormy’s Casino Royale in 1948, named for (but not owned by) its star act, Stacy “Stormy” Lawrence. The club became known for featuring some of the most outlandish acts on Bourbon Street.




June 3, 2020
By Eli A. Haddow, marketing associate

A new novel and a unique genealogical project are bringing fresh attention to the countless stories of separation and struggle all but forgotten in the tragedy of slavery. 




May 29, 2020
By Keely Merritt, head of photography

The city's second-oldest neighborhood is full of history. All it takes is a walk along the levee to see it. Join THNOC Head of Photography Keely Merrit as she gives us a tour of her neighborhood.




May 15, 2020
By Katherine Jolliff Dunn, cataloger

Myra Clark Gaines was at the center of a 57-year estate battle involving hidden paternity, a destroyed will, and a multimillion-dollar fortune. 




May 12, 2020
By Emily Perkins and John Magill

In the years after the Civil War, New Orleans was one of the largest, smelliest, and deadliest cities in the United States. The lack of a proper drainage system exacerbated health concerns that arose from yellow fever epidemics.




May 8, 2020
By Dave Walker, communication specialist

Terrance Simien recalls the production of The Big Easy and the Louisiana cultural scene of the 1980s.




May 6, 2020
By Dave Walker, communication specialist

We talked to a locally based dialect coach about those infamous accents in The Big Easy. She gave us insight into Hollywood's portrayal of Louisiana.






 

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