Few events in American history have captured the popular imagination and found representation in such diverse forms of expression as has the Battle of New Orleans. General Andrew Jackson's defeat of the British forces downriver from New Orleans in January of 1815 established once and for all that Louisiana would remain an American possession. The battle and the personalities involved have remained favorite subjects for generations of historians, storytellers, and artists. The Historic New Orleans Collection is particularly fortunate to have been entrusted with the world's foremost assembly of original documents, artworks, rare books, and memorabilia relating to the Battle of New Orleans.

The Williams Research Center (WRC) of The Historic New Orleans Collection offers an unparalleled wealth of research materials relating to the Battle of New Orleans and the War of 1812 in the South, including personal and official records. Original documents and artworks, rare books, prints, and pamphlets, as well as maps and plans, collectively tell the story of one of the greatest military upsets of all time. The conflict had been a particular interest of The Collection's founder, General L. Kemper Williams, who began collecting memorabilia of the battle in the 1930s. After his death in 1971, The Collection continued to build on its impressive holdings, most recently with the acquisitions of the extensive William C. Cook War of 1812 in the South Collection, and the Arsène Lacarrière Latour Archive. These important collections, listed in the manuscripts section below, are now available to researchers and interested members of the public at the WRC in New Orleans.

This pathfinder is designed to be a starting point for research on the Battle of New Orleans at the WRC. It is your guide to the diverse materials available for study. The pathfinder is divided into the following three broad categories.

Materials and descriptions:

Manuscript Collections and Items

Books, Pamphlets and Printed Ephemera

Maps, Artworks, Prints and 3D Objects

Highlights in our Collections

Researchers and military history enthusiasts will find many rare and unique items and documents at The Historic New Orleans Collection. In particular, the William C. Cook War of 1812 in the South Collection contains a wealth of original documents, artworks, and rare prints, including the largest extant collection of so-called “Coffin Broadsides” that vilified Jackson during his 1828 presidential campaign for his execution of six militiamen for desertion in 1815. The Arsène Lacarrière Latour Archive consists of important notes and copied correspondence used by Latour as he wrote the first historical account of the West Florida war, published in 1816. There are many other document collections that provide eyewitness accounts of the Battle of New Orleans. Finally, numerous maps and artworks document the war visually, providing a beautiful—and sometimes terrible—glimpse of the events of December 1814 through January 1815.

Additional resources can be found in our searchable online catalog.

Recent Exhibitions on the Battle

Andrew Jackson: Hero of New Orleans, focusing on the famous general and his career after to the battle, was on view from November 2014 to March 2015. In 2005, an exhibition titled The Terrible and the Brave: The Battles for New Orleans, 1814–15 was featured at The Collection’s museum at 533 Royal Street. A short video documentary by filmmaker Walter Williams featured in the exhibition is now available in streaming format here.


Battle of New Orleans Timeline

Beginning in 1803, the timeline includes events that led up to the War of 1812 and continues through a detailed list of important dates during and immediately after the Battle of New Orleans.

Other Repositories with War of 1812 Research Collections


Documents concerning the Battle of New Orleans and the broader War of 1812 can be found in the following libraries, archives, and museums in the United States and abroad. The Williams Research Center has some microfilm from selected repositories.

Clements Library, University of Michigan

Lilly Library, Indiana University

Anne S. K. Brown Military Collection at Brown University’s John Hay Library

The Library of Congress

The Newberry Library

US Army Heritage and Education Center (USAHEC)

US National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)

UK National Maritime Museum, Royal Museums Greenwich

UK National Archives, Kew

Imperial War Museums, London, UK

National Army Museum, London, UK

National War Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh

Tennessee State Library and Archives

Louisiana State Museum

National Park Service, Chalmette Battlefield

Canadian War Museum, Ottawa, Ontario

James A. Gibson Library, Brock University, St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada

University of West Florida Library Special Collections


Online Research Resources

A number of Internet reference sites contain information on the Battle of New Orleans and the War of 1812. Some examples are below. Please note that The Historic New Orleans Collection cannot certify the accuracy of these sites, and users should check information obtained against reliable published authorities.

Library and Archives Canada: The War of 1812

Naval Historical Center: War of 1812 Officers

US Army Center for Military History: War of 1812 Online Bookshelf

Museum of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders at Stirling Castle, Stirling, Scotland

Library of Congress: Guide to Collections Relating to the War of 1812

The Hermitage (Andrew Jackson's home)

US National Park Service: War of 1812 Bicentennial Website


Research pathfinder compiled and edited by Jason Wiese, Associate Director, Williams Research Center, The Historic New Orleans Collection
Last update: 04.20.17