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Showing posts from 2014

Happy Holidays!

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The Schiro Reading Room will be open during normal hours through Tuesday, December 23, 2014, and then close for Winter Recess.    Normal hours will resume on Monday, January 5, 2015.

Please note, however, that the main Howard-Tilton Memorial Library building has closed down because of construction, and tentatively plans to resume operations on Monday, January 5, 2015.   More information about the construction project is available on the library web site.

Have a safe and happy holiday season, and a prosperous new year!  

Caption:  handmade glass ornaments, Newcomb Art Dept. Holiday Studio Sale, Dec. 5, 2014.

Photograph and post by Susanna Powers

Visual keepsakes of Minette Sterbcow

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Minette Henrietta Dreyfus Sterbcow (1916-1999) was a daughter of Morris Dreyfus and Julia Hirsch Dreyfus of New Orleans.She collected family photographs throughout her life, along with school and social ephemera and other meaningful papers. In the late twentieth century, she was a widow with no children, but wished for these items to be donated to Tulane University.  Her visually and culturally rich collection is now held in LaRC as Manuscripts Collection 1068.
Her papers include handwritten and typed correspondence, greeting cards, post cards, poetry, legal documents, biographical and genealogical information, her own and her mother's New Orleans school papers, invitations, announcements, keepsakes, synagogue programs, B'nai B'rith items, numerous family photographs including matted or framed formal portraits created in New Orleans studios as well as candid amateur family photographs, negatives, Carnival and masonic items, printed color posters, advertisements, scrapbooks…

American soldiers' writings

To honor American soldiers and veterans of all generations, the following is a sample listing of LaRC archival collections which include original soldiers' writings, in their letters or in diaries.  Several represented here spent time as prisoners of war on American soil. Some died during military service, while others lived long celebrated lives.


de Marigny family papers, 1736-1917. Manuscripts Collection 416 
Smith and Pullen families papers, 1772-1872. Manuscripts Collection 958 
John W. Labouisse papers, 1779-1921 (bulk 1856-1869). Manuscripts Collection 614 
Ogden, Murdock, and Cox families papers, 1794-1990. Manuscripts Collection 400 
Ker and Texada families papers, 1813-1922. Manuscripts Collection 545 
Everett family papers, 1818-1955. Manuscripts Collection 79 
Pritchett and Larose families papers, 1819-1973 (bulk 1860s-1880s). Manuscripts Collection 916
Stibbs family papers, 1819-1990s (bulk 1859-1866). Manuscripts Collection 246 
John M. Galbraith papers, 1835-1955. Manuscripts Collecti…

LaRC books-- the fiction of Rhodesia Jackson

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In her Pecan Candy trilogy, Rhodesia Jackson narrates the life-changing experiences of young Peggy Lavizzo of Orleans Avenue, as she falls in love and marries architect Clint Johnston.Although both native New Orleanian African-Americans, the two characters are very different in socio-economic background and circumstances, age, family, skin color, education, life experience, religion, and point of view.


Pecan candy & huck-a-bucks / by Rhodesia Jackson.2nd ed.New Orleans, LA : Orgena Enterprises, c1995. PS 3560 .A24197 P4 1995 LACOLL (also in a Kindle ed. From amazon.com)
Sweeter than candy / Rhodesia Jackson.1st ed.New Orleans, LA : Orgena, c1997. PS 3560 .A24197 S92 1997 LACOLL
Three times sweeter, love, home & family / Rhodesia Jackson.1st ed.New Orleans, LA : Orgena Enterprises Ltd., c2000. [pre-order process in LaRC]
Yes, there’s candy-making, mini-snowballs, delicious aromatic food, music, sensual situations, romantic and family love, shopping, generosity, babies, adorable ch…

New Orleans art schools' calendars

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New Orleans art schools' calendars (LaRC Manuscripts Collection 522) is a grouping of locally-produced calendars featuring years between 1902 and 1938.   It contains original color or monochrome linoleum-block or wood-block prints and printed reproductions designed by various artists and published through art schools in New Orleans. These were compiled into annual calendars, mostly bound with string, and produced through the Newcomb College Art Department, and art classes of the Isidore Newman School, in New Orleans.  With art and music education being presently reduced in the primary and secondary schools, this collection is evidence of a slower-paced era when creativity and patience were valued.

Many of the designs incorporate carved-in students' initials; the collection also includes designs by Mary Frances Baker and Rosalie Urquhart. Subjects depicted in the calendars include New Orleans buildings, bridges, boats, natural scenes, the Shushan Airport, and Mayan m…

Patriot Day

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Tulane remembers 9/11, a joint effort, as installed on the LBC quad today

photos & post by Susanna Powers

Labor Day weekend

The Schiro Reading Room will be closed Saturday, August 30 - Monday, September 1, 2014, for Labor Day.    Hours of the main library building are available on the Howard-Tilton Memorial Library website.


9th anniversary of Katrina

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August is Katrina Month in New Orleans.August 29, 2014, will mark the ninth anniversary of the storm, the flood, and one of the worst disasters in American history.
Creative and informative writing on Katrina continues to be published and collected by the library, and especially by the Louisiana Research Collection.Recently-retired Tulane University president Scott Cowen has written a scholarly memoir of his presidency which strongly focuses on the disaster and continuing recovery of the university and the city.Copies are held in the main Howard-Tilton stacks as well as in LaRC:
Cowen, Scott S.The inevitable city : the resurgence of New Orleans and the future of urban America / Scott Cowen, with Betsy Seifter ; foreword by Walter Isaacson.First edition.New York, NY : Palgrave Macmillan, 2014.
Howard-Tilton Stacks HT177.N49 C69 2014
Jones Hall Louisiana Research Collection HT177.N49 C69 2014
Rather than simply taking credit for his own personal leadership during the aftermath of the st…

Louisiana as it was in 1873

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Samuel H. Lockett (1837-1891) was an engineer and professor of engineering, who worked in an official capacity with the United States, and during the American Civil War, with the Confederate States. He conducted a topographic survey of the state of Louisiana from 1869 to 1872. 
The Samuel H. Lockett manuscripts (LaRC Manuscripts Collection 826) consists of handwritten descriptive text and illustrations of two works by Samuel H. Lockett. Included in the collection are: Louisiana as it is (1873-1874); and The coast of Louisiana (undated). The second work is also included as a bound typescript. Throughout the first manuscript are small hand-drawn sketches of Louisiana scenes, and edited clipped proofs for possible publication; photographs are grouped together in a folder. A handwritten sheet listing an 1870 population table by parish and race, derived from the federal census, is an informative addition to the description of the state's natural topography and geography.
T…

pardon our progress

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New furniture is being constructed today by workers from DKI Office Furniture.   The reading room is closed until they finish the installation, possibly Tuesday afternoon.

UPDATE, Wed. July 16, the reading room has returned to our normal hours as posted on the LaRC website.   It is always a good idea to check there for possible exceptions.


Photo and post by Susanna Powers

Closed Tuesday morning, 7/15

The Schiro Reading Room will be closed  Tuesday morning, July 15, 2014,  for furniture installation.    

D-Day Love-Letter

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Today marks the 70th anniversary of D-Day, when Allied Troops landed on the beaches of Normandy in an invasion that ultimately turned the tide of the Second World War. The Louisiana Research Collection preserves the papers of Murrel H. Kaplan, who served in the Army Medical Corps at the 64th General Hospital in Italy during World War II. In this letter to his wife, penned while listening to the radio broadcast of the battle, Kaplan recounts his and his fellow Medical Corps officers' experience of the event, as well as his eagerness for the war to end.























                                                                                                                                    6 June '44

Dearest, 
         Today is a memorable day. it is never to be forgotten. The invasion across the channel began, which is a long way for saying that it marks the beginning of the end of Hitlerism. It significances, altho manifold, is interpreted as having but one meaning -- that soon this Eu…

Discoveries in Jones Hall-- birthday parties on Constantinople Street

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Cornelia Dean Genella Sansum (1868-1960) and her her husband, Samuel Sansum (1858-1945), a lawyer, lived at 1636 Constantinople Street in New Orleans during the twentieth century. Mrs. Sansum's mother was Mary Louise Kennedy (1836-1899). Cornelia and Samuel Sansum were married in 1902. 
Mrs. Sansum donated her rather small amount of personal papers to the library in 1950, and they are held in the Louisiana Research Collection as Manuscripts Collection 586.  This collection consists of handwritten correspondence, affectionate birthday greetings from Sam to Cornelia, a business card, a calling card, advertisements, their marriage announcement, a reception invitation, Samuel Sansum's 1918 certificate of naturalization, and Cornelia Sansum's small prebound datebook into which she wrote birth, death, and marriage dates of some of her relatives. Names represented include members of the Sansum, Genella, and Kennedy families of Louisiana and Mississippi.
In the late 19…

Memorial Day

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Above is a translation and transcription of an unattributed wartime letter, written in French, presumably by a member of the American de Marigny family of New Orleans, during World War I.   These documents are in the de Marigny family papers, LaRC Manuscripts Collection 416, Box 1, Folder 4. The French original in the collection is itself a handwritten copy. Text of the letter's typed translation, from French into English:
I am returning from the trenches/ where I suffered greatly/ I remained 48/ hours in muddy water/ up to my stomach, under a/ very violent firing from German cannons/ For a rest,/ we stay in the cellars/ of a ruined village,/ bombarded night and day./  Dead bodies everywhere a/ stench, it's a little like hell, nevertheless/ our troops an excellent morale,/ nothing seems to affect them.  This was/ is a massacre with/ all the refinements of/ cruelty that human intelligence/ has been able to discover./  The flooded lands where/ we have worked are/ a frightening p…

Civil Rights and the First Unitarian Church of New Orleans

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The Louisiana Research Collection has recently acquired the records of the First Unitarian Church of New Orleans. Among First Church’s records are the papers of Reverend Albert D’Orlando, who was a vocal Civil Rights activist in the 1960s. Reverend D’Orlando was especially active in the fight for the integration of New Orleans public schools. Below is a letter co-authored by Rev. D’Orlando and Charles Foster, the president of the church’s Board of Trustees, which describes the church’s the efforts  to support the families of children attending integrated schools, as well as teachers and protesters during this turbulent period in New Orleans’s history. 


Transcription January 4, 1961 Dear Friends,                 Brotherhood itself is on trial today in New Orleans. At stake here is the future course of integration itself; for, it is clear that New Orleans will mark the turning point for or against further implementation of the Supreme Court Decision.                 We are grateful to Uni…
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Samantha Bruner has joined LaRC as our Archives Processing and Digital Initiatives Associate.

Samantha is a recent graduate of the University of Texas at Austin’s School of Information. At the iSchool, she focused her studies on archival management and digital preservation. In Austin she gained experience in a variety of archival environments, including the Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary Archives, the George Bush Library and Museum, and the Archive of Indigenous Languages of Latin America. Samantha also served on the board of UT Austin’s chapter of the Society of American Archivists, and helped organize Archives Week, monthly repository tours, and other events.

In 2010, Samantha graduated from Tulane University with a Master of Arts in English Literature. During her time at Tulane, Samantha began working for the Hogan Jazz Archive, where she found her calling as an archivist. After graduating, she taught elementary level English in Japan before enrolling in UT Austin’s archiva…

More about a literary tour

NOLA.com featured an article by Chelsea Brasted which briefly describes the upcoming bus tour about John Kennedy Toole's New Orleans.

"John Kennedy Toole-themed bus tour will highlight sites, uncover documents of enigmatic author."

The day of the event (Saturday, June 7, 2014) will begin and end in Baton Rouge, although plans are being finalized for a New Orleans pick-up location.   The tour organizer and authoritative guide will be Cory MacLauchlin, the author of Butterfly in the Typewriter, a beautifully readable biography of John Kennedy Toole.

John Kennedy Toole papers, LaRC Manuscript Collection 740, is held by the Louisiana Research Collection, located in Jones Hall on the Tulane University campus.   The tour includes a stop at Jones Hall in the late morning.


Posted by Susanna Powers

PLEASE NOTE:  As of May 27, the June 7, 2014 tour has been CANCELLED.    It may be re-planned in the future.

Preservation and access

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Howard-Tilton Memorial Library Tulane University New Orleans, 15, Louisiana
                                        December 19, 1946 Miss Marie Delavigne 2524 Columbus St. New Orleans 19, La.
My dear Miss Delavigne:
                    Miss Renshaw has called to my attention the two fine and very interesting old documents which you have so kindly donated to the library.  I want to assure you of our very sincere thanks for your kindness and of our pleasure in being able to add this interesting information to our growing Archives Section.
                    As you may know, we are now enlarging our collecting enterprises in the manuscript field, and we are anxious to do what we can to assist in the preservation of valuable original documents relating to this region and to facilitate the access which reputable and qualified scholars need to get to this material.  This is of course not a new activity of this library, but we hope that its renewed emphasis may result in the proper preservation wit…

Upcoming May closures

Please note that the Schiro Reading Room will be closed Saturday-Monday (May 24-26, 2014) for Memorial Day, as well as Thursday-Saturday (May 29-31, 2014) for the Society of Southwest Archivists annual meeting.

Regular reading room hours are Monday-Friday 10:00-5:00, and Saturday 9:00-1:00.   Saturday hours will change to 10:00-1:00 on May 17.  It is a good idea to consult the hours page on the LaRC website, for changes and exceptions, whenever planning a visit.

A letter from prison

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Military Prison, Johnson’s Island, Ohio, 7th May 1864.
Dear Parents:
Father’s letter of the 25th Apr. reached me some days since.There is no immediate prospect of an exchange of prisoners, so far as I can judge, although we have a great many rumors pro and con, and both sides are supported by much testimony.For my own part, I am always hopeful, but believe nothing, except that every day that passes leaves one less to be endured.My health continues as good as could be expected, and I hope to live to see the outside world, unless previously hung.I am sorry we see things so differently and that our ideas of right and wrong are so much opposed on one another: but I am hopeful on that subject also, and confidently expect to see the day when we shall agree much better, or at least when our differences will be only on matter of history.I could write quite a sermon on this subject, and the beauty of charity contrasted with iconoclastic zeal; but I presume you would never receive it if I did – a…