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.

January 30, 2019
By Malinda Blevins, interpretation assistant

Looking at someone's diaries is typically taboo, but for Malinda Blevins, Kemper Williams's own words helped to connect her with the man who co-founded the institution.

January 11, 2019
By Nick Weldon, associate editor

In 1866, at a time when horse racing was arguably the most popular sport in America, the New Orleans Times hailed Abe Hawkins as “probably the best rider on the continent.” Once enslaved on a Louisiana plantation, Hawkins, in just a few years, achieved fame and fortune, and changed the sport forever.

December 28, 2018
By THNOC staff members

We look back at significant moments and surprises from New Orleans's 300th birthday. Turns out, working around here is pretty cool.

December 13, 2018
By Lydia Blackmore, decorative arts curator

Decorating THNOC's Royal Street properties is a favorite holiday tradition, but the stories behind the trees and ornaments go deeper than one might think.

December 5, 2018
By Lissa Capo

Generations of New Orleans children still remember how the holidays were ushered in with a familiar tune: “Jingle, Jangle, Jingle / Here Comes Mr. Bingle / With Another Message From Kris Kringle.”

November 27, 2018
By Molly Reid Cleaver, editor

The idea of benevolent slaveholders treating their enslaved workers like family has been persistent since the antebellum period, and, piece by piece, the ads in “Lost Friends” help to set the story straight.

November 15, 2018
By Sarah Duggan, DAGS coordinator and research curator

Some practical furniture from the 19th century shows us how hosts dealt with the same Thanksgiving conundrums we face today.

November 2, 2018
By Eli A. Haddow and Eric Seiferth

From the elimination of the city’s red-light district to unprecedented displays of patriotism, WWI brought significant changes to local ways of life.

October 30, 2018
By Sarah Duggan, DAGS coordinator and research curator

Making a keepsake out nof a loved one's hair may seem unusual now, but in the 19th century there was a trend to weave human hair into little memorials to the deceased.

October 15, 2018
By Dylan Jordan, interpretation assistant

New Orleans has its fair share of myths and ghost stories, but the truth is always stranger than fiction. These four local legends show you why.


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