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 3, 2019
By Eli A. Haddow, marketing associate

Through unusual posters and interviews with two of Tipitina’s co-founders, we take a look back at the club's early years and their quirky promotional materials.




May 3, 2019
By Emily Perkins, curatorial cataloger

Cataloger Emily Perkins looks at some of her favorite Tipitina’s posters and promotional pieces from the Michael P. Smith Collection




April 24, 2019
By Michael M. Redmann, manuscripts cataloger

After being hosted for two years in a section of what is now Louis Armstrong Park, the Fest’s growing popularity necessitated a move to the infield of the racetrack at the much larger 145-acre Fair Grounds in 1972. 




April 12, 2019
By Jason Wiese, associate director, Williams Research Center

Late on April 12, 1803, American diplomat Robert R. Livingston hurried home to his Paris lodgings, sat down at his desk, and began writing one of the most extraordinary letters in American history.




April 5, 2019
By Eli A. Haddow, marketing associate

When embarking on a building project that encompasses a restoration of an 1816 structure alongside brand-new construction, one may expect a few hiccups, discoveries, and surprises. The process of constructing THNOC’s new exhibition center at 520 Royal Street yielded all three.




March 19, 2019
By Aimee Everett, associate curator

Through letters, photographs, and scrapbooks, we learn about the business prospects, educational opportunities, poverty, war, and illnesses that immigrants to the city encountered in the mid-19th century




March 8, 2019
By Nick Weldon, associate editor

Before its ruins provided scenery for portions of Beyoncé’s visual album “Lemonade,” HBO’s series “True Detective,” or AMC’s “Into the Badlands,” Fort Macomb was considered a crucial line of defense for New Orleans and the country at large.




February 22, 2019
By Kurt Owens, interpretation assistant

A brief history of carnival throws shows the progression of Carnival-related projectiles over the last 150 years.




February 8, 2019
By Eli A. Haddow, marketing associate

While perusing the words of 19th-century visitors to New Orleans, it's striking how many of their concerns are still relevant today—and some could fit right into an online comment thread or bitter social media post.




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.






 

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