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.


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November 27, 2018
By Molly Reid Cleaver, editor

The idea of benevolent slaveholders treating their enslaved workers like family has been persistent since the antebellum period, and, piece by piece, the ads in “Lost Friends” help to set the story straight.




November 15, 2018
By Sarah Duggan, CIS coordinator and research curator

Some practical furniture from the 19th century shows us how hosts dealt with the same Thanksgiving conundrums we face today.




November 2, 2018
By Eli A. Haddow and Eric Seiferth

From the elimination of the city’s red-light district to unprecedented displays of patriotism, WWI brought significant changes to local ways of life.




October 30, 2018
By Sarah Duggan, CIS coordinator and research curator

Making a keepsake out nof a loved one's hair may seem unusual now, but in the 19th century there was a trend to weave human hair into little memorials to the deceased.




October 15, 2018
By Dylan Jordan, interpretation assistant

New Orleans has its fair share of myths and ghost stories, but the truth is always stranger than fiction. These four local legends show you why.




October 8, 2018
By John Magill, former senior curator

The 18th Amendment outlawed the sale and manufacture of alcohol in the United States. New Orleans proved itself loathe to give up old habits.




August 28, 2018
By Nina Bozak, library cataloguer

By the time she came to New Orleans in 1799, Suzanne Douvillier was a famous dancer on both sides of the Atlantic, but the sensational story of how she got here goes far beyond the stage.




August 14, 2018
By Eli A. Haddow, marketing associate

On a sweltering July day, 19-year-old New Orleans native Chasity Hunter admits that she’s considered leaving her hometown. When asked where she’d go, she says, with a laugh, Massachusetts, “because it’s cold.”  New Orleans’s tumultuous relationship with Mother Nature has certainly shaped Hunter’s feelings about her city—but it also set her on a path of discovery that changed her life. 




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