Monday, December 6, 2010

Holiday reading room hours

The Special Collections Reading Room (202 Jones Hall) will be closed from Thursday, December 23, 2010 through Sunday, January 2, 2011. We will resume normal hours on Monday, January 3. For Holiday hours of the main Howard-Tilton Memorial Library building, see the Library blog. Have a safe and happy holiday season!


Caption: exterior view of stained glass windows of Rogers Memorial Chapel on the Tulane University campus.

Posted by Susanna Powers

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

New fall finding aids

In light of the recent Thanksgiving holiday, we're thankful for our wonderful interns and student workers at the Louisiana Research Collection. With their hard work this fall, we've been able to make over 25 new finding aids available online. Here's just a sample:

New Orleans Street Railway Union records (Manuscripts Collection 26):
Perhaps one of the largest and most exciting finding aids we've unveiled this autumn, this collection contains the records of the Amalgamated Association of Street and Electric Railway Employees of America Division No. 194 in New Orleans from 1902 to 1948. Much of the collection was processed by our interns Mallorie Smith and Kathryn Rumer. More information about the collection can be found here.

Ambert O. Remington papers (Manuscripts Collection 89): This collection contains the Civil War letters of Ambert O. Remington, a Union soldier who spent time at Fort Pickens and was later wounded at Port Hudson (Louisiana), resulting in an amputated arm and his subsequent death. Our intern, Seth Rushton, created a wonderfully detailed finding aid for this collection, tracing Remington's evolving thought processes during the war. This collection adds greatly to our already strong holdings of Civil War letters, papers, and diaries.

St. Clair Adams records (Manuscripts Collection 291): This collection consists primarily of the documents of Richard Leche's defense attorneys. Former governor of Louisiana, Richard Leche, was charged with bribery, contempt, income tax evasion, mail fraud, oil fraud, and conspiracy to defraud the state. There are drafts of briefs, motions, pleas, projected questions for witnesses, lists of jurors, notes and supportive data for the defense, anticipated objections for cross examination, and witness testimony in the St. Clair Adams records.

Nicholas Low papers (Manuscripts Collection 383): Letters written between 1781-1811 to Nicholas Low, a New York merchant. Many of the letters are from Juan Baptiste Macarty, a merchant in New Orleans.

Friday Afternoon Club records (Manuscripts Collection 725): Records of the Friday Afternoon Club, a prominent local woman's social club.

Alfred S. Lippman collection of Civil War letters (Manuscripts Collection 993): This collection consists primarily of Antebellum and Civil War letters collected by donor Al Lippman. The letters were primarily written by Union soldiers in the south to their families in the north. The letters describe news of skirmishes and fighting, daily camp life, illness and disease, slavery and opinions and observations about their experiences. Many of the letters were written by soldiers stationed in Louisiana. The collection also contains 41 Civil War postal covers.

All of these collections are currently open for research to the public. For more information about using the Louisiana Research Collection's holdings, please see our website for more information.

Posted by Eira Tansey, Library Associate.

Friday, November 19, 2010

LaRC's new digital collection, “Louisiana Political Ephemera, 1860-1920”

The Louisiana Research Collection (LaRC) preserves an extensive collection of political literature, such as handouts, campaign flyers, and political brochures. Such small printed items are called “ephemera” because they are meant to be glanced at and then tossed away; they therefore have a brief, or “ephemeral,” lifespan. This selection from LaRC’s political ephemera collection spans 1860 to 1920. In addition to being colorful and fun, campaign literature can be of enormous importance to a surprising variety of researchers.

Campaign literature preserves a wealth of information, including a candidate’s name, race, sex, age, party, party faction, platform, resume, campaign slogan, business, offices held, endorsements, and a photograph of the candidate and or even the candidate’s family. It therefore is invaluable for a wide range of research topics and is often a useful place to start for many research projects. LaRC’s collection covers both local New Orleans elections, statewide Louisiana elections, and a few items relate to presidential campaigning in Louisiana. Subjects covered include Reconstruction-era politicians, polling and balloting practices, the Good Government League and many other topics.

The selection can be viewed online here. Additional digital collections from the Louisiana Research Collection's holdings can be found on LOUIS Digital Library.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Farewell to Mary LeBlanc

Our friend Mary LeBlanc has recently decided to retire from her volunteer service to the Louisiana Research Collection. In October 1973, Mary started working as a Howard-Tilton Memorial Library staff member in Special Collections, continuing for all those years through 2005. Since then, she kindly volunteered her time to process newly-acquired Carnival ephemera for inclusion in LaRC’s very deep and multi-faceted Carnival Collection. Over her career in the library, she worked closely with Bill Meneray, Lee Miller, and a very long list of co-workers.

Mary’s sociable manner and love of New Orleans will be fondly remembered. In fact, we look forward to her visits! Carole Hampshire, a long-time Special Collections colleague and good friend of Mary’s, said, “…there are many wonderful things that can be said about Mary—enough to fill her own manuscript collection! Mary deserves her own krewe, along with her own tiara and doubloon, which will be hot collector’s items. We will miss her tremendously here, and her effects on this department are beyond description.”

Caption: Mary LeBlanc and friends, 1988. Photograph from the cover of Vol. 5, no. 5 (Sept.-Oct. 1988) Tulane Significa, Newsletter of the Tulane University Libraries. Thanks to University Archivist Ann Case for identifying and providing this.

Posted by Susanna Powers

Sunday, October 17, 2010

John Kennedy Toole and the Prytania Theatre


John Kennedy Toole: the omega point, Joe Sanford’s award-winning documentary about the life of novelist John Kennedy Toole, was shown at the Prytania Theatre today as a Louisiana Feature entry in the 21st annual New Orleans Film Festival. The venue of this event was especially fitting, as the old single-screen movie house itself provides the setting of one of the funniest chapters in A Confederacy of Dunces, when our fictional leading man Ignatius Reilly attempts to attend an evening show at his neighborhood movie theatre in uptown New Orleans.

Today’s show was much calmer than that, as an appreciative audience enjoyed the colorful, poignant, and beautifully-crafted film. As explained in a question and answer session afterwards, the authenticity of the documentary was assured by the avoidance of editorial speculation. Even the comments by scholars interviewed in the film were almost entirely factual rather than judgmental. The result of this careful work was a thought-provoking and sympathetic portrait of a man who was unique, richly talented and loved, yet isolated by complexities we can only partially understand.

The filmmakers and several of the featured interviewees have done research about the life of John Kennedy Toole at our Louisiana Research Collection. In attendance at today’s event were Joe Sanford (Director/DP/Writer/Editor); Bobbie Westerfield (Executive Producer); and Jay Weigel (composer of custom music score).


Bobbie Westerfield and Joe Sanford at the Prytania Theatre, New Orleans Film Festival

Posted by Susanna Powers

Monday, October 11, 2010

Louisiana Research Collection opens major labor collection

The Louisiana Research Collection at Tulane University is pleased to announce the opening of the New Orleans Street Railway Union records. This collection contains the records of Union Division No. 194 of the Amalgamated Association of Street and Electric Railway Employees of America, established in 1892. Collection 26 traces the evolution of New Orleans Local No. 194 from 1902 – 1948. A large portion of the collection consists of correspondence, labor protests, worker contentions regarding pay, hours, administration, and strike relief, and administrative changes to the management of streetcars and streetcar lines.

The main focus of this collection, however, relates to the strikes enacted by Local No. 194. Strikes occurred in the years 1920, 1926, and 1929. The strike of 1929 had the longest duration, held the greatest impact, and was the result of contentions with the New Orleans Public Service Company and the Progressive Benevolent Association - a dual organization that Division No. 194 deemed an attempt to undermine the labor union. The strike began with the removal of Local President Ben Commons for his involvement in the P.B.A. and ended in arbitration initiated by the American Federation of Labor President William Green and Ben Commons' reinstatement. The strike lasted for several years, stopped the distribution of funeral and old age benefits, drained union funds, left hundreds unemployed, and affected the entire city's system of public transportation. Following the strike's end, the union saw a period of recuperation - recovering losses from extensive lawsuits and the draining distribution of strike benefits. The union records then reveal a shift toward politics and elections. The election of Huey P. Long and his reign of corruption are common topics addressed later in the collection.

The A.A. of S.E.R.E. of A. Division No. 194 records also effectively trace the progression of the labor movement in the U.S. with references to "one man car" opposition, yellow dog contracts, the American Federation of Labor, Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the W.P.A., segregation, the employment of women, and legislation dictating work day length and working conditions. Of the labor related legislation passed between 1902 - 1948, Local Division No. 194 supported bills and acts such as the Hawes-Cooper Convict Bill, the bill for women's 8 hour work day, the Caper-Robison Bill, the Johnson Immigration Bill, the Volstead Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, the National Labor Relations Act, and the Wagner Bill.

The finding aid for the New Orleans Street Railway Union records can be accessed online.

Posted by Eira Tansey.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Congratulations to LaRC Head Leon Miller

At this year's Society of American Archivists (SAA) annual conference in Washington DC, the Louisiana Research Collection's head, Leon Miller was named one of seven new Fellows. The SAA Fellowship is the highest honor awarded by the organization. Lee was recognized for his record of service to the archival profession, including his leadership of the Society of Southwest Archivists, the Academy of Certified Archivists, his work on several SAA committees and the creation of the SAA Mentoring program. Please join us in congratulating Lee!

Posted by Eira Tansey

Friday, September 3, 2010

The mural in the Special Collections reading room


The very large and lovely mural in the front of the Victor H. and Margaret G. Schiro Reading Room depicts a panoramic Louisiana landscape, painted predominantly in shades of green. It sometimes seems to lend a peaceful tone, and makes a strong visual impression all the way to the back the room. The mural consists of a continuous series of wall panels, collectively entitled “The Weiss Dining Room” by Alexander John Drysdale (American, 1870-1934). Although intended to be on display together, each of the canvas panels stands on its own as a complete painting, and each is signed and dated 1930. Its height is 82 inches, and the total length of the mural is 427". The set was carefully restored by art preservationist Phyllis Hudson, one of LaRC’s self-archiving donors.

This was photographed this summer by Sally Asher, of Tulane’s Office of Public Relations, when she did a photo shoot in the reading room, to provide illustrations on the new LaRC website.



Posted by Susanna Powers

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The five-year mark, August 29, 2010



The year 2010 has so far delivered to Louisiana a range of events from the Saints Superbowl win to the ongoing BP oil catastrophe, and appropriately, through everything, we are marking the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Every August 29th since the disaster we memorialize those who died in the disaster and its aftermath, as well as celebrate the resilience and the accomplishments of the citizens of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. A few informational links about the subject are included below.

“Mayor Landrieu announces Katrina Commemoration, an event to celebrate New Orleans resilience 5 years after Katrina.” This is planned for Sunday, August 29th at 6:30 pm at Washington Artillery Park, across from Jackson Square.

Katrina V: Commemoration & Determination.

"Telling their stories, the lingering legacy of the Katrina photographs," an exhibit of Katrina imagery at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art.

Offbeat magazine, August 2010, “Where are we now?” by Michael Patrick Welch. Freely accessible online, and one of the best free publications around town, subtitled “Louisiana music, food and culture.”

Rising Tide Conference.

New Orleans Katrina Memorial, located within the Charity Hospital Cemetery, 5056 Canal Street.

Katrina National Memorial Park Charitable Foundation.

Howard-Tilton Memorial Library research guide on Katrina resources. Wide-ranging support for learning about the hurricane, the flood, and the recovery efforts.

Hurricane Digital Memory Bank. A compilation of first-hand accounts and images contributed by individual survivors.

“Fourth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina,” post on this blog last summer.

Another recommended new Katrina monograph available in the LaRC: Nursing in the Storm, Voices from Hurricane Katrina, by Denise Danna and Sandra E. Cordray. This includes descriptive material, photographic illustrations and selections from interviews of nurses on duty in area medical facilities during the storm and its aftermath, including Medical Center of Louisiana at New Orleans (Charity and University Hospitals), Lindy Boggs Medical Center, Memorial Medical Center, Pendleton Memorial Methodist Hospital, and Chalmette Medical Center. RT 108 .D36 2010 LACOLL

Caption for photograph: Detail of the fence designed for the New Orleans Katrina Memorial on Canal Street.


Posted by Susanna Powers

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Reading Room hours


The Special Collections Reading Room (Jones Hall 202), serving the Louisiana Research Collection, University Archives, and Rare Books, will be open the following hours this coming week:

Monday, August 9 - Wednesday, August 11, 2010: 9am – noon

Thursday, August 12 – Friday, August 13: 9am – noon, and 1pm – 4pm

Saturday, August 14: Closed

New daily hours beginning Monday, August 16: 9am – noon, and 1pm – 4pm


Posted by Susanna Powers

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

53,110 days ago, or, February 20, 1865

The Stibbs family papers were given to the Louisiana Research Collection over 30 years ago by Dean Stibbs, dean of students at Tulane University. His family papers contain a considerable amount of material written by John Howard Stibbs, who enlisted in the First Infantry Iowa Volunteers in 1861. He was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel in 1863 and to Colonel in 1865. Stibbs was a POW following the battle of Shiloh, and would go on to serve as a member of the military court which tried and convicted Henry Wirz.

In 1865, US Representative William B. Allison and Senator James Harlan wrote to Lincoln's Secretary of War asking for Stibbs' leave of absence to be extended (click image for larger view):

Apparently the matter was referred to the President, who noted his approval on the back of the letter:


The Louisiana Research Collection preserves extensive Civil War holdings, including the papers of Confederate President Jefferson Davis, and Generals Albert Sidney Johnston and Stonewall Jackson. In addition, we have many papers, diaries and letters both of Confederate soldiers from Louisiana and Union soldiers who served in Louisiana. As the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War approaches, we plan to continue highlighting our Civil War archives, acquisitions, and increasingly, our digital collections.

Posted by Eira Tansey.

(Image from the Stibbs family papers, Manuscripts Collection 246, Louisiana Research Collection, Tulane University Libraries. Image may not be reproduced without permission.)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Books in the collection--newer favorites: Carry Me Home.


Carry me home, a journey back to New Orleans, by Mark Folse.

Jones Hall Louisiana Research Collection
PS3606.O467 C37 2008
multiple copies available


In the Louisiana Research Collection, it seems we might consider a book "newer" if it was published after 1899. But for the current purpose, "newer" will mean published within the last few years. Last summer, we presented a very brief selection of our Katrina-related books. Another important and very emotional contribution to the Katrina literature is made by Mark Folse in Carry Me Home, a Journey Back to New Orleans.


This is the story, in diary form, of New Orleanian Mark Folse's reaction to learning of the flood's devastation. In 2005, he lived in North Dakota. Carry Me Home describes the surprising process that he and his family went through to move back to New Orleans early in 2006. The text is largely composed of selections of his blog posts in the now-complete Wet Bank Guide, which he frantically started publishing upon learning news of the flood. The author's poignantly-dated selections are richly descriptive, and at times graphic and sorrowful. But the bottom line of the narrative is optimistic, especially in light of the continued reconstruction of neighborhoods we have witnessed through summer 2010. From the chapter "Little House On The Bayou", originally written May 2, 2006:

"New Orleans needs us, people smart enough to measure the risk and fool enough to take it. As you wonder where the hell you'll live and how to pay the new cost of living in New Orleans, as you look at your children and wonder if they'll be safe and find good schools, look in the mirror and remind yourself: it will work out because we will make it so. The place you stand today was made by fools like us. Now it's our turn."


Mr. Folse is looked up to in the New Orleans creative community, and is active in authoring several blogs, including: Odd Bits of Life in New Orleans, Poems Before Breakfast, and the black flood, a creative response to disaster. He has also been involved with the production of the new HBO series, Treme.

Posted by Susanna Powers

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Books in the collection--older favorites: To Glorious Immortality.


To glorious immortality; the rise and fall of the Girod Street Cemetery, New Orleans' first Protestant Cemetery, 1822-1957, by Leonard V. Huber and Guy F. Bernard.

Jones Hall Louisiana Research Collection
F379.N5 H8
Multiple copies available

When cities grow, what was once on the outskirts of town tends to become prime real estate… even if cemeteries are on those grounds. In the 1950s, the historic but badly neglected Girod Street Cemetery was a casualty to urban development in New Orleans. Fortunately, prior to the demolition, historians Huber and Bernard made a point of documenting the existence of this place, originally meant to be a final resting place.

The Girod Street Cemetery was founded in 1822 by Christ Episcopal Church, and "came to a sorry end" in 1957, following a lengthy period of financial failure and physical neglect. More than 22,000 bodies were removed from the crumbling cemetery, when the land was sold to the City of New Orleans. Mass burials were in evidence, resulting from the yellow fever epidemic. The Protestant cemetery was deconsecrated on Jan. 4, 1957. Most of the remains were entombed in a drum in the Hope Mausoleum, 4841 Canal Street. The identities of many of those who had been interred in the cemetery are unknown, such as infants, slaves, and epidemic victims. Statuary and carvings were salvaged, and an estimated three million bricks were recycled for use in other building projects.

As we know very well in post-Katrina New Orleans, long-term neglect of a property results in a return to nature, reminiscent of scenes from the History Channel series, Life After People. The authors carefully and explicitly illustrate the decline of the Girod Street Cemetery, while remaining entirely respectful of the deceased, and of the original intentions of those who had created and cared for the cemetery in an earlier era.

More information about the cemetery, including a compilation of information from tombs, is available in the Louisiana Research Collection, Girod Street Cemetery records, Manuscripts Collection 220.

Posted by Susanna Powers

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Gulf of Mexico oil disaster research guides and other resources

To access sources of information about the BP oil spill in the Gulf, please see the Howard-Tilton Memorial Library's Earth & Environmental Sciences Research Guide, as well as the 2010 Gulf Oil Drilling Incident Timeline, by Tulane's Disaster Resilience Leadership Academy, and the Tulane Oil Spill Response web site. Additional relevant links have been provided by the Rudolph Matas Library Reference Dept. in the Disaster Management guide, Louisiana Oil Spill Disaster, May 2010-

Howard-Tilton Memorial Library is participating in Tulane's program to donate clean t-shirts to the oil-spill cleanup workers. Donna Capelle Cook, Director of Technical Services, has made arrangements for setting up donation boxes, which are located in several places in the main library building. The donated t-shirts will be picked up daily and taken to the Tulane Cancer Center, where the program is being managed. For more information about this project, see the June 22 issue of the New Wave .

See President Obama's weekly address, June 4, 2010, speaking from Grand Isle, Louisiana, on the BP oil spill. Also, here is information and video of his Oval Office address on the BP oil spill, on June 15, 2010.

Posted by Susanna Powers

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Mistick Krewe of Comus 1910 float designs


Another new digital collection of images derived from artwork in the LaRC Carnival Collection has been published in the LOUISiana Digital Library. This one is the complete set of ornate, colorful float designs for the 1910 Comus parade. These drawings were done by Jennie Wilde (1865-1913), an artist who designed floats for many New Orleans Mardi Gras parades. These images are believed to be tracings she made from her earlier original designs, possibly given as a presentation copy to Comus captain, S. P. Walmsley. The parade had an Islamic theme, and certainly at least the float designs were created with an imaginative and respectful tone.

This is one in a series of subcollections, within the large physical Carnival Collection, which are being created for inclusion in the LDL. Earlier in 2010, the 1873 Comus parade costume designs by Charles Briton appeared. In 1873, not only were there no floats in that year’s less-than-respectful Comus parade, the city police refused break up the crowd at Canal Street, making the famous parade very brief.


To access a wide array of digital collections contributed by Louisiana libraries and archives, on various topics, see the LOUISiana Digital Library homepage.





Captions: top, The Garden; bottom, The Koran. Float design drawings by Jennie Wilde for the 1910 Mistick Krewe of Comus parade in New Orleans.

Posted by Susanna Powers

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Job Announcement: Public Services Librarian

The Louisiana Research Collection at Howard-Tilton Memorial Library is pleased to announce a job opening for a Public Services Librarian. Please click here for more information.

Posted by Eira Tansey.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Summer reading room hours

Please note our slightly different reading room hours for the summer.

Special Collections reading room hours
Beginning May 15, 2010

Monday-Friday 9:00-noon, & 1:00–5:00
Saturday 10:00 – 1:00
Sunday Closed

Closed on holidays:
Monday, May 31
Monday, July 5
Monday, Sept. 6

Also closed Saturday, May 29
closed Saturday, July 3
closed Saturday, Aug. 14
closed Saturday, Sept. 4

Starting Monday, Aug. 16, our normal hours will be:

Monday-Friday 9:00-noon, & 1:00–4:00
Saturday 10:00 – 1:00
Sunday Closed


Please watch for updates. Hours subject to change.

Posted by Susanna Powers

Friday, April 30, 2010

Lippman collection of Civil War postal covers now online

In 2009, the Louisiana Research Collection acquired a collection of Civil War period letters and postal covers from donor Al Lippman. The forty postal covers, with one exception, depict Union sentiment and patriotism. Many depict Confederate figures such as Jefferson Davis and General Beauregard. Sometimes these depictions are animal-like caricatures, others tend towards violent depictions, including several showing a hanging Jefferson Davis. Some postal covers portray a disdain of Britain's relationship with the Confederacy, others are steeped in Union patriotism and imagery of Uncle Sam.

We have digitized the postal cover collection, and are pleased to announce its debut on the LOUIS Digital Library site. You can access the entire collection here.

(Image from the Al Lippman Civil War Collection, Manuscripts Collection 993, Louisiana Research Collection, Tulane University Libraries. Image may not be reproduced without permission.)

Posted by Eira Tansey.

Jazz Fest Thursday


The only Thursday in the Jazz Fest schedule is often a favorite for locals. It’s less crowded and the food is just as delicious. Among the activities to enjoy yesterday was an interview of Dennis Stroughmatt and other members of L’Esprit Creole by our Special Collections colleague and Tulane history teaching fellow, Kevin Fontenot. Musical performance was liberally woven into the interview, and included French-language folk songs as well as complex, out-of-the-ordinary fiddle playing in country-sounding tunes.

This afternoon (Friday, April 30), on the same Allison Miner Music Heritage Stage inside the cool, dry grandstand building, another interview is scheduled: Bruce Raeburn, Director of Special Collections, will interview Louis Prima, Jr., Paul Ferrara, and Joe Segreto in a Tribute to Louis Prima. Both interviews are sponsored by the Louisiana Jazz and Heritage Foundation.

Lagniappe photograph from me, just for fun:
Terrance Osborne proudly posing with festgoers in front of his paintings. This year's official Jazz & Heritage Congo poster is named "Say Uncle" and features Uncle Lionel, of the Treme Brass Band. To the artist's right is "Rebirth", the official Congo poster for 2007.
Posted by Susanna Powers

(later note from Susanna Powers.) Every Jazz Fest, I try to attend the Thursday as an expensive but fulfilling personal tradition.  Posts from those annual Jazz Fest Thursdays are found on my photo blog, angels and people, life in New Orleans, on the following days:
April 30, 2010
May 5, 2011
May 3, 2012
May 2, 2013


Saturday, April 24, 2010

Calling, advertising, and greeting cards, 1906-1920.

In 1975, Elizabeth Shoughro of New Orleans donated to Tulane University her collection of early twentieth-century commercially printed cards, of three types: calling cards, advertising cards, and greeting cards.

Calling cards were commonly used, a hundred years ago and earlier, as an informational memento to give to a host family when visiting. The examples in this collection are small in size, similar to a modern business card, and range from plain white with only the name in black, to more elaborate and imaginative with color printing, tiny envelopes, and expressions of love. These reveal a social networking intention which is familiar to us, but the style of the cards reveals the innocence of an earlier time.

Greeting cards were mailed and given out as they are today, to celebrate the holidays and special occasions, and in fact are very much in the same spirit. They are decorative, light-hearted and sometimes humorous. Occasionally, a religious theme appears, but more often the treatment is secular in nature. The only striking difference is physical, as these greetings are in an unfolded post-card format. Evidently, at some point in the collection’s life, Ms. Shoughro’s family members added some of their own artwork to the cards. Having cataloged this collection yesterday, I checked to see if my use of the word “glitter” was unique in WorldCat, but in fact, a keyword search shows that there are 14 bibliographic records there for archival material which use that word, and several of those use that term when literally describing the contents of their archival containers.













Advertising cards may be of scholarly interest to those researching the historical aspects of American lifestyles, home economics, graphic arts, business and commerce of the era. These were perhaps both mailed and distributed at stores. It is fortunate and surprising that these were kept within a collection of social keepsakes. Advertisers may have been hoping for this positive subliminal association.

Captions: Inventive calling card of Cornelia Worden, of one of the families included in this collection; Easter card, copyright 1906, by the Rotograph Co., N.Y., mailed April 15, 1908 to Mrs. John Sherman of Saunderstown, R.I. “This card is a REAL PHOTOGRAPH on bromide paper.”; advertisement card for Willimantic Thread, bearing on the verso, “America ahead once more!” (awards won at the New Orleans World’s Exposition years before were still being boasted about); and finally, advertisement for Mrs. Dinsmore’s Cough & Croup Balsam, which promises “Cures a Cough in One Day, and the Croup in One Minute”, showing a happy baby.

Posted by Susanna Powers

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

LaRC Head in today's New Wave

Leon Miller, head of the Louisiana Research Collection, made an appearance in today's edition of the Tulane New Wave. The PBS Series "History Detectives" recently visited Tulane's campus, and filmed some shots in our own Jones Hall. You can read the story and see a picture of Lee here.

Those boxes pictured in the corner of the photograph? They're from the Kuntz Collection.

Posted by Eira Tansey

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Nathaniel Cortlandt Curtis papers, 1906-1953.


So many of the manuscripts collections in the Louisiana Research Collection are interdisciplinary in nature, and contain a wide variety of objects within them. Often, the word “manuscripts” is associated with ornate handwriting on fragile paper—and certainly we do have many valuable holdings which meet that description. But personal papers, and corporate records also, take many forms and may have been collected over a lifetime or longer. Through cataloging and creating accessible inventories, we are attempting to support researchers’ needs by facilitating the discovery of these unique resources.

One such collection, the papers of Nathaniel Cortlandt Curtis (1881-1953), contains the New Orleans architect’s personal and professional correspondence, teaching materials, clippings, research notes, printed material, sketches, photographs, architectural drawings, and original watercolors and pastels. The collection was donated to Tulane University by his son, Nathaniel Cortlandt Curtis, Jr. (1917-1997).
Both the father and the son were involved, at different times, in the design of the original Howard-Tilton Memorial Library building, now known as Joseph Merrick Jones Hall, the current home of Special Collections. The Curtis papers may be of interest to researchers in architecture, design, art, history, urban studies, education, and New Orleans and regional studies.




Captions: Two New Orleans photographs in Manuscripts Collection 5, by N. C. Curtis, Sr., with his handwritten captions: 1. “A characteristically elegant window & balcony treatment of wrought iron. Small ornaments were moulded in lead.” 2. “Interesting details freely composed. From the Cabildo.” Please request permission for reproduction of these images.
The inscription in the entryway of Jones Hall describes the relationships between designers and builders: "This building was originally designed by Moise Goldstein and Associates, Architects, in 1939. Nathaniel Curtis, Sr., was the principal designer. It was named in honor of Joseph Merrick Jones in 1968, housing the School of Law until 1994. Jones Hall was renovated for library and other academic uses in 1996 by Moses Engineers. Nathaniel Curtis, Jr., was the principal designer. "
Posted by Susanna Powers

Friday, March 26, 2010

Spring Break hours

Saturday hours for the Special Collections Reading Room on March 27 will be 9:00 am to 1:00 pm, as usual. However, during the weekdays today through April 1, we will close at 4:45 pm. The Reading Room will be closed April 2 (for the Good Friday holiday) and Saturday, April 3.


Posted by Susanna Powers

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Irish Channel architectural survey, 1974-1976.

Manuscripts Collection 505 is a survey of the New Orleans neighborhood known as the Irish Channel, a part of town which is bounded by Philip, Delachaise and Constance Streets, and the Mississippi River. For each of the approximately 3,600 housing units standing in the mid-seventies, there is a 5 x 8 inch printed form with handwritten notes regarding: street, number, original use, present use, style/type, materials, architectural/historical rating, physical condition, number and kind of trees, general comments and negative factors. Each structure is featured in a black and white contact print, many of which include parked cars. Included also are handwritten and photocopied typed sheets, journals of projects, flyers, and photographic negatives, summary statistics for the area, Trinity Episcopal Church survey, and class notes of some of the students who produced the survey as part of an Architecture Seminar in Historic Preservation given by Dr. Bernard Lemann at Tulane University, fall 1975.

For more historical information about the Irish in New Orleans, see "If I Should Fall From Grace With God," (today's post by Mark Folse in Odd Bits of Life in New Orleans).











Caption: 433 First, brick doubles, from Irish Channel architectural survey, 1974-1976, Manuscripts Collection 505, Louisiana Research Collection. Please request permission for reproduction of this image.

Posted by Susanna Powers

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Digital collection of Comus costume drawings now available

Tulane University’s Louisiana Research Collection (LaRC) is pleased to announce its first digital collection available through the LOUIS Digital Library. LOUIS, the Louisiana Library Network, hosts the LOUIS Digital Library, which contains thousands of images of documents, publications, artifacts, art and other materials from libraries, museums, and archives around Louisiana. Our first collection is the 1873 Mistick Krewe of Comus costume drawings. This parade is particularly famous in Mardi Gras history, as it was one of the first major parades steeped in political satire and ridicule. The "Missing Links" referred to the work of Charles Darwin, and the parade not only sent up the theory of evolution, but other topics of the day including Reconstruction.

Tulane's Louisiana Research Collection has a complete set of the Missing Links costume designs. This particular set of designs is part of a much larger Carnival collection. We are planning other online digital collections of Carnival material from other krewes.

We are also debuting a new email newsletter. It will be sent our periodically, and contain news updates, images, and short articles. If you would like to receive our email newsletter, please contact us.

Posted by Eira Tansey.

Monday, February 22, 2010

William Craft Brumfield papers


Author, photographer, and Tulane professor William Brumfield’s papers are in the process of being assembled as our Manuscripts Collection 709. The collection got its start with the typescript and galleys, with color and black and white printed photographs, created in preparation for the 1983 publication of Gold in Azure : One Thousand Years of Russian Architecture. Several other items from that era are in the processed collection in our stacks. Over the last few months, Professor Brumfield has begun to contribute more material to the collection, such as the complete set of Kennan Institute annual reports since 1989, as that publication has liberally published his photographs almost exclusively in every issue.

Carol J. Schlueter’s recent article in the New Wave provides a quick insight into the current scholarly and creative interests, activities and publications of William Brumfield. Another New Wave article, Photos: Remembering Russia, appeared June 30, 2011. Online exhibits of his photographs are openly accessible in various internet sites: Meeting of Frontiers: The William C. Brumfield Collection is hosted by the Prints and Photographs Division of the Library of Congress; The William C. Brumfield Russian Architecture Collection is a collaboration with the University of Washington Libraries; there is a photographic gallery of his contributions on the World Digital Library, a joint project of the Library of Congress and UNESCO; and the Culture in the Vologda Region web site hosts an online gallery and interview with Professor Brumfield which appeared on Russian television and radio. The monastery at Ferapontovo (a UNESCO World Heritage site) is the subject of Professor Brumfield's article, Ferapontovo: Medieval Treasure in the Russian North. Another 2010 addition is the article for Russia Now, Veliky Ustiug: Northern Jewel, which is illustrated by another new photographic slide-show. Internet publishing is particularly well-suited for presentation of Professor Brumfield's written and photographic work together; for example, brilliantly colored photographs also accompany his October 2010 article, Tomsk: Cultural treasure in the taiga. In 2011, the open access internet site, Russia Beyond the Headlines, has devoted their section "Discovering Russia" to a compilation of numerous photographic and audio slide shows created by William Brumfield.

Archival collections of personal and professional papers are usually the by-product of a person’s life. Often, these valuable items have been held together by relatives or other collectors, and then donated to, or purchased by, a library or other repository. But those scholars, public figures, writers and artists who intentionally gather their own papers for the benefit of future researchers, and donate them for safe-keeping to a specific repository, are a real boon to the preservation of our cultural heritage. At Tulane’s Special Collections, we greatly appreciate the generosity, enthusiasm and foresight of our self-archiving donors, including such notable individuals as Lindy Boggs, Art Silverman, Mignon Faget, Phyllis Hudson, LaVerne “Pike” Thomas, Catharine Brosman, Joel Fletcher, Bert Myers, Joel Grossman Myers, Joel Fletcher and William Brumfield.




Captions: Left: Trinity Cathedral and bell tower, with Pskova River in foreground. Pskov. Photograph taken August 2009, and published in 2008-2009 annual report of the Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Bottom: architectural detail of 1674 Church of the Dormition, Varzuga (Murmansk Region), Photograph taken July 20, 2001. Both photographs by William Brumfield, and were selected by him for this post.



Posted by Susanna Powers

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Celebrations and awards

We have so many things to celebrate in New Orleans! The Saints Super Bowl victory was savored yesterday in the form of an elaborate and phenomenal heroes’ parade, the first of its kind, being called “Lombardi Gras” and “Dat Tuesday.”

We’re happy to note another award—Filmmaker Joe Sanford’s documentary, John Kennedy Toole: the Omega Point, recently won the Rising Star Award for Excellence in Film at the 2010 Canada International Film Festival. See the blog post dated Feb. 9, 2010, in Butterfly in the Typewriter: The Brilliant and Tragic Life of John Kennedy Toole, with further details and accolades. Congratulations to Joe Sanford and his associates in the process of creating this documentary, especially our friends Cory MacLauchlin, and Joel Fletcher, both featured in interviews in the film. We look forward to a local screening before long.


Posted by Susanna Powers

Friday, February 5, 2010

Here's to the big game!

Today at the Special Collections library, we're all decked out in black and gold, and anticipating what promises to be one of the most exciting weekends in New Orleans' history.

This image comes from the reverse side of the 1968 card we featured right after the Saints won the NFC championship. Pictured is Tulane Stadium, where the Saints played prior to construction of the Super Dome. Tulane Stadium was also known as the Sugar Bowl, since it was the home of the Sugar Bowl annual college football game until 1974. It was the site of three Super Bowl games, in 1970, 1972 and 1975. The stadium was built in 1926, and demolished between 1979-1980.

Have a great weekend everybody! Go Saints!

Posted by Eira Tansey.

(Please click the image to enlarge. Image from the Louisiana Research Collection vertical files, Louisiana Research Collection, Tulane University Libraries. Image may not be reproduced without permission, unless you are the NFL and need to have words with us. WHO DAT!!)

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The first Saints home game schedule

This is the third post in our continuing series of Saints ephemera, leading up to the Saints appearance in the Super Bowl on Sunday.

The Saints first season was played at Tulane Stadium (also known as the Sugar Bowl, due to its use for Sugar Bowl games). The team played there until relocating to the Superdome in 1974.

Trumpeter Al Hirt, who was a minority owner of the team, is pictured at the top of the reprinted schedule.

The Saints lost their first regular season game against the Los Angeles Rams, and the season record was 3-11.

We'll be featuring one last piece of ephemera tomorrow, before the big game. If you missed the first two posts, you can find them here and here.

I know most fans will be saving all their Saints ephemera from this historic season - but keep us in mind and get in touch if you have duplicates of tickets, programs, flyers, or other items. We'd love to preserve them in the vertical files.

Posted by Eira Tansey.

(Please click the image to enlarge. Image from the Louisiana Research Collection vertical files, Louisiana Research Collection, Tulane University Libraries. Image may not be reproduced without permission, unless you are the NFL and need to have words with us. WHO DAT!!)

Friday, January 29, 2010

New Orleans Saints and Jax Brewery

Continuing our series of blog posts highlighting Saints ephemera, I bring you Sir Saint posing with the Jax Beer logo. Sir Saint is also known as Iron Jaw, Big Chin, and Stanley Saint. The mascot logo has been around since 1967.

Jax Beer was originally brewed in Jacksonville, at the Jax Brewing Company, beginning in 1913. The naming rights to Jax Beer were sold to New Orleans' Jackson Brewing Company in 1956.

The Jackson Brewing Company was formed in 1890. It was the only New Orleans brewery to survive Prohibition. The Jackson Brewing Company's headquarters were across the street from Jackson Square. The company closed in 1974, and the Pearl Brewing Company (San Antonio, Texas) purchased the brand. The San Antonio brewery closed in 2001, after its parent company, Pabst Brewing Company, moved production to a site in Fort Worth.

Jax beer signs can still be seen around Louisiana. Although we do not have a date on this sticker, I suspect it was made sometime between 1967 and 1974.

Posted by Eira Tansey.


(Please click the image to enlarge. Image from the Louisiana Research Collection vertical files, Louisiana Research Collection, Tulane University Libraries. Image may not be reproduced without permission, unless you are the NFL and need to have words with us. WHO DAT!!)

Monday, January 25, 2010

Who Dat!

It's been an incredible 24 hours in New Orleans. The Saints won the NFC Championship last night, going into overtime to win against the Minnesota Vikings with a final score of 31-28. I made my way home via St Charles last night, and women, men, children, and dogs were all leaning out of their cars screaming, crying, cheering, and howling. There were impromptu second lines, fire works going off, and strangers hugging each other. This is the first time the Saints go to the Super Bowl, and the mood of the city is off the charts.

The Louisiana Research Collection preserves an extensive collection of pamphlets, brochures, flyers, posters, programs and other small printed items about Louisiana in our vertical files. Still recovering from the excitement of last night, this morning I searched through it and dug up some interesting Saints ephemera. I'm not going to show it all off right now, so you'll have to stay tuned for more. But trust me - there's some fun stuff coming up in the next few posts between now and the Super Bowl.

The 1968 team holiday card features the Saints in front of Jackson Square and St Louis Cathedral (though it does appear to use some pre-Photoshop techniques). Notice the snow on the palm trees - I'll let you write your own jokes about hell freezing over.


Posted by Eira Tansey.

(Please click the image to enlarge. Image from the Louisiana Research Collection vertical files, Louisiana Research Collection, Tulane University Libraries. Image may not be reproduced without permission.)

Friday, January 22, 2010

New exhibit open at Jones Hall


The Tulane Special Collections library is pleased to announce a new exhibition in honor of the 300th birthday of Dr. Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), a giant of English literature and criticism. The exhibit consists of rare first editions of Johnson’s works: for instance, his Dictionary of the English Language (the first for English), Prayers and Meditations, and his variorum edition of Shakespeare’s works. The exhibit also contains a rare first edition of Boswell’s famous Life of Johnson and first editions of other notable eighteenth-century writers, such as Jonathan Swift (Gulliver’s Travels) and Laurence Sterne (Tristram Shandy). These materials are further illuminated by pages from an early print dictionary in Latin, Plutarch’s Lives of the Noble Greeks and Romans, and medieval manuscript prayerbooks. All items are drawn from Special Collections, Tulane University. The exhibit is co-curated by Professors Dwight Codr and Michael P. Kuczynski, with the assistance of Samantha Bruner, an MA student in the Tulane English Department, pursuing a certificate program in Archival and Digital Humanities. Labeling provides not only bibliographic information about the books, but information about their relationship to English literary and religious culture.

The exhibit can be viewed on the second floor of Jones Hall (6801 Freret Street, New Orleans, 70118) Monday through Friday 9-5, and on Saturdays from 9-1. The exhibit will be open through March 15, 2010.

Posted by Eira Tansey.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

M. D. Girard papers


The June 15, 1902, issue of the New Orleans French newspaper, L’Abeille, included an article written by Marie Drivon Girard (1814-1913), in which she painfully laments the volcanic eruption of Mt. Pelee which devastated the Island of Martinique in the Lesser Antilles. At the age of eighty-eight, she recalled her childhood home in Sainte-Lucie, and was torn by the sense of loss caused by the news of the destructive event. New Orleanians of today are also compassionately linked to those in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, who are suffering the widespread devastation of this week’s earthquake.

French Quarter resident M. D. Girard became a prominent and admired teacher of the French language to the New Orleans community. She authored Histoire des Etats-Unis suivie de L’Histoire de la Louisiane, published in 1881. A biographical memoir, Madame Girard, was written by Grace King in 1922. Our Manuscripts Collection 638 consists mostly of Madame Girard’s French handwritten correspondence and family papers dating back as far as 1774.



Posted by Susanna Powers