William Craft Brumfield papers

Ten years ago, the Louisiana Research Collection at Tulane University launched an archival collection of material related to the work of William Craft Brumfield, author, photographer, Professor of Slavic Studies, and Sizeler Professor of Jewish Studies at Tulane university. Now the archive has been substantially expanded by Brumfield’s donation of correspondence related to a number of his book projects.

Arriving at Tulane for the 1981 fall semester after an assistant professorship at Harvard University, Brumfield was in fact returning to his alma mater (BA in Russian, 1966). Since coming to Tulane, Brumfield has published a series of books and created publicly accessible visual resources (including archival sites at the National Gallery of Art and the Library of Congress) that have carried Tulane University's name around the world. More information on Professor Brumfield’s work can be found in Wikipedia, here.

Of particular interest in the LaRC Brumfield papers is material (types…

Special Collections Receives Parkway Partners Records

Special Collections is honored to have been selected by Parkway Partners as the permanent home for its records.

In response to massive budget cuts to the City of New Orleans Department of Parks and Parkways, in 1982 Flo Schornstein, the department’s director, created Parkway Partners as a volunteer support group. The 501(c)(3) organization was dedicated to improving the quality of life in New Orleans through the preservation, maintenance, and beautification of neutral grounds, green spaces, playgrounds, parks, community gardens, and the urban forest. As a public/private partnership with the City’s Department of Parks and Parkways, it became a national model for similar public/private partnerships throughout the country.

Parkway Partners began work with an “adopt a neutral ground” program. Its projects eventually grew to include a “2nd Saturday” workshop on gardening; “Tree Troopers,” a program to educate New Orleanians on trees and the city’s urban forest; seed libraries that offered…

New Tulane Libraries Collaborative Exhibit

The Association of Southeastern Research Libraries (ASERL) is pleased to share our first-ever collaborative online exhibit, “Enslaved People in the Southeast.” The exhibit commemorates the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first Africans sold into bondage in the English Colonies.  The exhibit includes materials from 33 ASERL member libraries and three libraries that are members of the HBCU Library Alliance, including auction records and other bills of sale, plantation records, materials from the abolitionist movement, and photographs and other items from the Jim Crow South.

Materials contributed by Tulane University Libraries include an 1814 William C.C. Claiborne document, an 1863 order by General G. F. Shepley requiring free access to all formerly enslaved persons on Louisiana plantations, an 1842 deed recording the sale of two enslaved persons by Citizens Bank, and an 1839 sale of fifteen enslaved persons by Josiah Gray to Ann Maria, his emancipated housekeeper.

Arthur Hardy makes major Carnival donation

Arthur Hardy, a premiere authority on Mardi Gras in New Orleans, has donated to Tulane University Special Collections (TUSC) Carnival ball invitations and programs for more than eighty krewes. Ranging from Achaeans to Zeus, the donation is a major addition to TUSC's Carnival collection.

Tulane University Special Collections preserves one of the world’s largest Carnival collections with materials documenting more than 300 krewes. “Arthur’s donation is a tremendous help in making our collection more complete,” said Leon Miller, curator of the Louisiana Research Collection. “In particular, the donation’s focus on smaller krewes,  neighborhood krewes, and krewes that were only briefly in existence will be invaluable in helping scholars extend Carnival research to broad facets of New Orleans society and culture.”

Included in Hardy’s donation are programs and invitations from fifteen LGBTQ krewes. “Materials from these krewes are becoming increasingly difficult to obtain,” said Hardy.

Murder, vengeful ghosts, and strange visions at the bottoms of cups of tea....

In honor of the 150th anniversary of Lafcadio Hearn’s arrival in the United States, Special Collections is hosting a screening of “Kwaidan,” the critically acclaimed horror film directed by Masaki Kobayashi based on four of Lafcadio Hearn’s ghost stories. Special Collections will also have on display books from its Hearn collection, and free pizza!

October 25 from 6:30 to 10:00 p.m. in Jones Hall, Room 102.

Josephine Newcomb Online!

On October 11, 1886, Josephine Louise Newcomb wrote to the Administrators of the Tulane Educational Fund donating $100,000 for use in establishing the H. Sophie Newcomb Memorial College.

In celebration of this day, 133 years ago, Susan Tucker and Beth Willinger, editors, are launching a website to recognize the importance of Josephine Louise Newcomb’s letter writing and contribution to women’s higher education.

The Letters of Josephine Louise Newcomb
The website provides direct access to more than 130 of her letters (transcribed here for the first time) and indirect access to 350 more, thus encouraging others to interpret her life and contributions more fully and with greater fidelity to her own vision.

Many of the letters are from the Louisiana Research Collection’s McConnell family papers (LaRC1156) and Schmidt Family Papers (LaRC-207).

Happy Reading!

Captive Voices: Hearing, Seeing and Imagining Angola Prison

Tulane University Special Collections announces a new exhibit:

Captive Voices: Hearing, Seeing and Imagining Angola Prison
September 17, 2019 – November 29, 2019.

In coordination with the Tulane University Reading Project and One Book New Orleans’ 2019 selection, Vengeance, by Tulane Professor of English Zachary Lazar, this exhibit uses materials from the Tulane University Special Collections and Lazar’s personal archives to reveal often hidden aspects of the Louisiana State Penitentiary.

The exhibit includes drawings from the Curtis and Davis architectural firm of the prison’s 1954 rebuilding, construction photographs by noted architectural photographer Frank Lotz Miller documenting the inmate construction crew, prison-related ephemera created by various political and social welfare organizations, selections of the inmate produced Angolite magazine, a multi-media display showcasing the music of former inmate Robert Pete Williams, and manuscripts, artifacts, and other inmate created art…