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.


August 20, 2019
By Eli A. Haddow, marketing associate

If you’re walking down Bourbon Street on a sweltering August afternoon, you’re likely to be more concerned about the various substances puddling in the street than the infrastructure below it. But beneath the opaque streams clouded by last night’s mistakes, there are stories waiting to be told.




August 2, 2019
By Lydia Blackmore, decorative arts curator

Calvin Dayes made shoes fit for a king, but more importantly, he made shoes fit for those who most needed them. Regardless of the reason or the occasion for his specialty shoes, each finished piece featured a truly unique label: “By the JiveAss Shoemaker.”




July 29, 2019
By Heather M. Szafran, reference associate

In the summer of 1914, a Swedish sailor in New Orleans died, and an autopsy revealed the cause to be the bubonic plague, long thought to be confined to the other side of the Atlantic.




July 18, 2019
By Eli A. Haddow, marketing associate

The road to the moon passed through Louisiana and Mississippi. See how these two Gulf Coast states helped launch astronauts into history. 




July 16, 2019
By Eric Seiferth, curator/historian

So much of New Orleans’s musical culture rests on its diversity, of styles, practitioners, and influences. The music of the African diaspora is a big part of this story.




June 28, 2019
By Katherine Jolliff Dunn, collections processor

The might of the Mississippi River has tested engineers for centuries. Few have approached its challenges more fearlessly than the self-taught James Buchanan Eads, who risked his career and even his life to exploit its potential.




June 14, 2019
By THNOC Staff

The galleries at 520 Royal Street are a showcase for new and old—from cornerstones of THNOC’s collection to items acquired more recently to populate current exhibitions. Here are six treasures to be found at the newly expanded Historic New Orleans Collection.




June 4, 2019
By Eli A. Haddow, marketing associate

It was a hot June day in 1969, when for the first time, black and white kids dove into the Audubon Park swimming pool together, marking a symbolic victory for the civil rights movement in New Orleans.




May 23, 2019
By Lydia Blackmore, decorative arts curator

The puckered fabric has been a staple of summer fashion for generations, but just how did the iconic material come to be?




May 16, 2019
By Kendric Perkins, education specialist

In the winter of 1857, a frenzy took over the city of New Orleans, and local chess prodigy Paul Morphy was right at the center of it. 






 

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