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 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.




April 23, 2020
By Eli A. Haddow, marketing associate

There will be no Jazz Fest in 2020, but we can still imagine the sights, sounds, and smells through images taken in past years.




April 10, 2020
By Sarah Duggan, CIS coordinator and research curator

This 18th-century tool is an ancestor of the waffle iron, but it tells a much wider story—of religion, foodways, and female enterprise.




April 9, 2020
By Nick Weldon, associate editor

Our staff members are often the ones studying major historic events, but sometimes we live through them. This is the story of our Associate Editor Nick Weldon who came down with COVID-19 at the height of the global pandemic.




March 27, 2020
By John Magill, retired curator

As New Orleans reels under the global outbreak of the new coronavirus, lessons from a 100-year-old pandemic have come back with a new urgency.




March 25, 2020
By Eli A. Haddow, marketing associate

Here in New Orleans, which has one of the highest concentrations of COVID-19 cases in the country, we are adjusting to this new reality of life during a pandemic. This is how we're documenting it.




March 20, 2020
By Eric Seiferth, curator/historian

In the summer of 1920, after decades of fighting, the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution was officially ratified, removing sex as a basis of voting rights. The fight started long before that, and it included many Louisianans.






 

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