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.


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.




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.”






 

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