Archive for September, 2013

Happy birthday, Truman Capote

Today would have been the 89th birthday of author Truman Capote. Capote was born Truman Streckfus Persons in New Orleans on September 30, 1924. He spent most of his childhood being raised by relatives in Monroeville, Alabama, and eventually became famous for both his fiction and nonfiction works including Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1958) and In Cold Blood (1966), considered by some to be the first “non-fiction novel” and to this day one of the most successful crime sellers of all time. He eventually became as well known for his colorful personality and celebrity friends as for his writing. Successful not only in literature but also as a screenwriter and a playwright, Capote died in 1984 from liver cancer.

Capote visited New Orleans a number of times later in his life. In 1977, Capote, along with playwright Edward Albee and writer/actor/director Melvin van Peebles, appeared at Tulane for a panel on “Art and the Creative Individual.” The symposium was reviewed in the Maroon.

Direction '77 Maroon article

A few years earlier, another Maroon writer had a run-in with the famed author and celebrity.

"In Search of the Big Shot" Maroon article

The Monroe Library has a number of books both by and about Capote, including several in Special Collections & Archives. Additional biographical info on Capote can also be found through the library’s databases.

Found in the Archives is a recurring series of crazy cool stuff found in the Monroe Library’s Special Collections & Archives.

WYES ‘Informed Sources’ Archive at Monroe Library

In 1984, WYES, New Orleans’ public television station, began broadcasting Informed Sources, a program devoted to in-depth discussion of the news by local journalists.  During that first show, a panel of journalists speculated about the reasons for the financial dilemmas of the Louisiana World Exposition, locally known as the World’s Fair.  Now more than two decades later, every Friday night at 7:00 p.m., Louisiana’s newsmen and women continue to speculate, discuss, and examine the news of the week.

The idea for Informed Sources originated in 1971 on WYES with City Desk, a news and talk show, which featured the staff of the New Orleans States-Item and ran for seven seasons.   The station had been without a news program for several years when Marcia Kavanaugh Radlauer, an experienced television reporter and independent producer, was asked to create a new show.  Like City Desk, the format was a panel discussion of current news, but instead of featuring journalists from only one source, a variety of participants from television, radio, newspapers and eventually, online newsletters contributed their talents and expertise.

Informed Sources originally included a “Newsmakers” interview to help fill the half-hour, but before long that segment was omitted.  The panelists could (and did) talk for 30 minutes about newsworthy topics, limited only by the clock and Marcia Radlauer who doubled as producer and moderator.  “The problem,” she said in a 10th anniversary interview, “was getting them to shut up on time.”

Errol Laborde became the program’s producer in 1985, and at about the same time Warren Bell began a two-year stint as moderator.  A tape in 1987 shows auditions for a new moderator.  Dr. Alfred P. “Larry” Lorenz, professor of Journalism at Loyola University, was chosen and since then has been a constant in the moderator’s chair alongside Laborde.  The list of panelists over the years tells the history of New Orleans and Louisiana media.

In fact, watching Informed Sources is studying the modern history of New Orleans.  The issues and personalities are explored before and after every election, and certain topics — crime, education, business, sports, the Legislature — are ongoing.  During each year-end program, “the Saints will go to the playoffs,” is predicted.

For the first 15 years, only a few of all of the Informed Sources tapes were saved.   The celebration of the show’s 15th anniversary on March 12, 1999, must have impressed someone at WYES with its significance.  From that date through the end of 2004, the run of shows is complete.  Fortunately, the tapes were stored in the Loyola Library archives on August 29, 2005 when the high waters  after Hurricane Katrina flooded the WYES facilities and its contents, including the 2005 Informed Sources.  The show began broadcasting again in January 2006, taping shows in facilities at WLAE and Dillard University until repairs to WYES were completed a year later.

The Special Collections & Archives Department of the J. Edgar and Louise S. Monroe Library has the great pleasure of being the archival repository for nearly three decades of Informed Sources episodes. These shows not only provide insight into New Orleans’ current affairs since the 1980s, but they also document changing styles in journalism and broadcasting over time. For more information, please check out the WYES Informed Sources Collection Finding Aid, or stop by Special Collections & Archives Monday through Friday from 9am to 4:30pm. We would be happy to assist you!

Found in the Archives is a recurring series of crazy cool stuff found in the Monroe Library’s Special Collections & Archives.

The Art of the Yearbook

Since its first release in 1924, The Wolf has has provided the opportunity for Loyola artists to lend their talents towards illustrating the yearbook. In a slight salute to National Comic Book Day, here are a few favorite comic drawings from throughout the years.












Found in the Archives is a recurring series of crazy cool stuff found in the Monroe Library’s Special Collections & Archives.


In celebration of the coming of Fall, this week’s #minibookmonday is titled: An Autumn Garden. This book was published by Alembic Press and is the third in a series of seasonal books about the events in an English garden, with hand coloured illustrations by Muriel Mallows, and with prints direct from autumn leaves. The book is constructed as a Jacob’s Ladder of leaves in the fall.

An Autumn Garden

An Autumn Garden

An Autumn Garden

An Autumn Garden

Found in the Archives is a recurring series of crazy cool stuff found in the Monroe Library’s Special Collections & Archives.

Banned Books Week

From ALA News (

CHICAGO — What would you do if you went to the library to check out a book, only to find it wasn’t there? Not because it was already checked out, but because someone else disapproved of its content and had it removed from library shelves? Banned Books Week, Sept. 22 – 28, stresses the importance of preventing censorship and ensuring everyone’s freedom to read any book, no matter how unorthodox or unpopular.

Despite the perception that censorship no longer occurs in the United States, attempts to ban books frequently take place in our schools and libraries.   According to the American Library Association’s (ALA) Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF), there were 464 reported attempts to remove or restrict materials from schools and libraries in 2012 and more than 17,700 attempts since 1990, when the ALA began to record book challenges.

Just recently Alabama State Senator Bill Holtzclaw (R-Madison) called for a ban on the novel “The Bluest Eye,” stating that the book should be removed from libraries and the 11th Grade Common Core reading list because he believes the book is “highly objectionable” and has “no value or purpose.” “The Bluest Eye” is Pulitzer Prize-winning author Toni Morrison’s first novel and is often included in honors and Advanced Placement English classes.  Holtzclaw’s demand is just one example of the kinds of book challenges that, if successful, deny students and their parents the right and the freedom to choose books and literature that contain diverse ideas drawn from across the social and political spectrum.

“The ability to read, speak, think and express ourselves freely is a fundamental freedom that sustains and upholds  our democratic society,” said ALA President Barbara Stripling. “Banned Books Week serves as an opportunity to remind all of us that the freedom to choose books for ourselves and our family is a right, not a privilege.”

Book challenges to school library materials are not the only threat to students’ freedom of inquiry.  Online resources, including legitimate educational websites and academically useful social networking tools, are being blocked and filtered in school libraries. In an effort to raise awareness, the American Association of School Libraries (AASL), a division of the ALA, has designated one day during Banned Books Week as Banned Websites Awareness Day – Wednesday,  Sept. 25 – and is asking school librarians and other educators to promote an awareness of how excessive filtering affects student achievement.

Banned Books Week 2013 has been celebrating the freedom to read for more than 30 years.  Libraries and bookstores will observe Banned Books Week by hosting special events and exhibits on the power of literature and the harms of censorship.  ALA, along with Banned Books Week co-sponsors, will host one of those events, a Virtual Read Out on YouTube [] where participants will read from their favorite banned books. Past participants have included highly acclaimed and/or frequently challenged authors such as Judy Blume, Chris Crutcher, Whoopi Goldberg, Lauren Myracle and many others.

For the first time this year, Twitter parties will help promote the message of Banned Books Week.  A party will be held from 10 a.m. to noon Eastern time on Monday, Sept. 23, with a second party scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 25, from noon to 2 p.m. Eastern time.  Supporters are urged to tweet using the hashtag #bannedbooksweek. More information about the Twitter parties is available on the Banned Books Week website,

Also, many bookstores, schools and libraries celebrating Banned Books Week will showcase selections from the ALA OIF’s Top Ten Most Frequently Challenged Books of 2012. The list is released each spring and provides a snapshot of book removal attempts in the U.S. The Top Ten Most Frequently Challenged Books of 2012 reflects a range of themes and consists of the following titles:

1) Captain Underpants (series), by Dav Pilkey.
Reasons: Offensive language, unsuited for age group

2) “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian,” by Sherman Alexie.
Reasons: Offensive language, racism, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group

3) “Thirteen Reasons Why,” by Jay Asher.
Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, sexually explicit, suicide, unsuited for age group

4) “Fifty Shades of Grey,” by E. L. James.
Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit

5) “And Tango Makes Three,” by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson.
Reasons: Homosexuality, unsuited for age group

6) “The Kite Runner,” by Khaled Hosseini.
Reasons: Homosexuality, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit

7) “Looking for Alaska,” by John Green.
Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group

8) Scary Stories (series), by Alvin Schwartz
Reasons: Unsuited for age group, violence

9) “The Glass Castle,” by Jeanette Walls
Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit

10) “Beloved,” by Toni Morrison
Reasons: Sexually explicit, religious viewpoint, violence

Banned Books Week is sponsored by the American Booksellers Association; American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression; the American Library Association; American Society of Journalists and Authors; Association of American Publishers; and the National Association of College Stores.  It is endorsed by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress. In 2011, the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, the Freedom to Read Foundation, National Coalition Against Censorship, National Council of Teachers of English, and PEN American Center also signed on as sponsors.

ALA’s work opposing censorship takes place not just during Banned Books Week, but throughout the year. OIF tracks hundreds of challenges to books and other materials in libraries and classrooms across the country.  OIF provides support to librarians, teachers and community members looking to keep books on the shelves.  Those wishing to support Banned Books Week and libraries can do so by texting ALABBW to 41518 to provide a $10 tax-deductible donation.

For more information on Banned Books Week, book challenges and censorship, please visit the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom’s Banned Books Web site at, or

We March in Dignity

“We March in Dignity”, a photography exhibit now on display in Special Collections and Archives, documents two significant Civil Rights events of 1963: The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, held on August 28th, and the September 30th Freedom March in New Orleans.

The photographs, taken from the Louis J. Twomey S.J. Papers and the B. Raynal Arriati Papers, offer intimate glimpses of both events.

The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom on August 28, 1963, stands as one of the largest political demonstrations ever held in the United States. Between 200,000 and 500,000 people went to the nation’s capital to express their support for civil rights legislation that was then making its way through Congress. The marchers gathered at the Lincoln Memorial, where they listened to songs and speeches for three hours. Events culminated with closing remarks by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. His words are now remembered as the “I Have a Dream” speech.

On the evening of Monday, September 30, more than 10,000 marchers made their way from Shakespeare Park (now named A.L. Davis Park) located at Washington and LaSalle, to City Hall. There the Citizens Committee presented the “Petition to the Greater New Orleans Community”. Speakers at City Hall included The Rev. A.L. Davis, Oretha Castle, Ernest Morial, The Rev. Avery Alexander and Gerald T. Thomas.

Ernest Morial later called the September 30th march “probably the largest peaceful march outside of Washington in 1963.”

“We March in Dignity” will be on display in Special Collections and Archives from September 20 – December 13, 2013.

Found in the Archives is a recurring series of crazy cool stuff found in the Monroe Library’s Special Collections & Archives.

Cocoa and Chocolate, 1917

In 1917 Walter Baker and Co. released three out-of-print publications along with new material in the book Cocoa and chocolate; a short history of their production and use.

According to the book, the first American chocolate mill was established in Dorchester, Massachusetts in 1765 by Irish immigrant John Hannan and was taken over by Dr. James Baker in 1780.

The book includes a history of chocolate use throughout the world, details on the preparation of chocolate and cocoa by Walter Baker and Co., and a few recipes. Baron von Liebig, “one of the best known writers on dietetics,” is quoted as saying, “Chocolate is a perfect food, as wholesome as it is delicious, a beneficent restorer of exhausted powers…It is highly nourishing and easily digested, and it is fitted to repair wasted strength, preserve health, and prolong life…It soothes by stomach and brain, and for this reason, as well as others, it is the best friend of those engaged in literary pursuits.” English majors and librarians, take note!

Previous editions of the book have been digitized and are available in the Internet Archive. Loyola’s copy is available in Special Collections & Archives and also in the Louisiana Digital Library. If you haven’t had your fill of chocolate research yet, the Walter Baker & Company Records, 1812-1945 are held at Harvard.

Found in the Archives is a recurring series of crazy cool stuff found in the Monroe Library’s Special Collections & Archives.

2013-2014 Progress Report Available

Our 2013-2014 Progress Report is now available online. Check it out now here!

We appreciate your support and welcome your feedback.

CISPES Papers Available

Special Collections and Archives is pleased to offer this spotlight on one of our recently processed collections: New Orleans-Southeast Regional Office of the Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES) Papers.

The Committee in Solidarity with the People of EL Salvador (CISPES) was founded in 1980 in response to the Civil War in EL Salvador (1980-1992). The U.S. government during the Reagan Administration supported the Salvadoran government and its military. CISPES was founded in support of oppositional guerrilla groups, particularly the Farabundi Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN), and its political representation, the Democratic Revolutionary Front (FDR).

The papers of the New Orleans-Southeast Regional CISPES chapter include correspondence, periodicals, reports, journals, newsletters, press clippings, publications, writings, and other printed material. The collection provides considerable information about CISPES in New Orleans and the U.S. from 1980-1996, with the bulk of materials from 1980-1987.

Over the years, CISPES formed coalitions in solidarity with other Central American groups, both secular and religious. Many publications of solidarity organizations are found in this collection, particularly as relates to US policy in El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Honduras. Also of note are numerous FBI documents on both the New Orleans and the National  CISPES office in Washington D.C., obtained by Ms. Ishee via the Freedom of Information Act.

The papers were donated by LaVaun Ishee. Ms. Ishee was a member of the Liberation Support Movement, the New Orleans Rainbow Coalition, and secretary for the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond. She was a registered nurse at Mercy Hospital in New Orleans from 1980-1994, and served as Coordinator of the New Orleans Southeast Regional chapter of the Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador from 1982-1983 and 1984-1986. In 1981, LaVaun’s husband Carroll left New Orleans and his studies at the Tulane School of Architecture to join the opposition to the U.S. backed Salvador government and its military in the El Salvador Civil War. In 1983, Carroll Ishee died in a helicopter attack on his camp. A decade later, LaVaun Ishee served on a medical-aid mission to El Salvador she coordinated with the assistance of Mercy Hospital. Ms. Ishee died in 1996.

The CISPES papers are available to researchers during our Reading Room hours. Please contact Special Collections and Archives for more information.

Found in the Archives is a recurring series of crazy cool stuff found in the Monroe Library’s Special Collections & Archives.

Constitution Day Exhibit and Reception

As part of Loyola University New Orleans’ Constitution Day celebration this month, the University Honors Program and the J. Edgar & Louise S. Monroe Library are partnering to display rare historical documents relating to the U.S. Constitution including the first printing of the Constitution from an 18th-century magazine in Philadelphia.

A reception for the exhibition will take place on Tuesday, September 17, from 6:30 through 8:00pm in the Learning Commons open area. All are invited to attend.

In addition to the first printing of the Constitution from American Museum magazine printed in Philadelphia in 1787, the exhibit also features:
–a two-page 1775 printing of Benjamin Franklin’s draft of what eventually became the Articles of Confederation—the document that governed the United States until the ratification of the current Constitution;
–a colonial printing from 1774 of the Articles of Association, which named the colonial congress the Continental Congress and implemented a British trade boycott;
–an early printing of the Bill of Rights; and
–other historical manuscripts relating to the Bill of Rights, including documents on the abolition of slavery, institution of income tax, prohibition and women’s suffrage.

The exhibition will be on view through Monday, September 30, and is free and open to the public.