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.

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. 

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.


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