New NOLA Collection

Special Collections & Archives has a new collection available of assorted New Orleans memorabilia. Usually archival and manuscript collections were assembled by a person, persons, or organization because the materials in the collection have research value when kept together. Sometimes, however, we wind up with an “artificial collection,” or one that didn’t grow out of a particular function but instead has been put together to make items easier to use.

The Collection of New Orleans Miscellany is such a collection as it is comprised of various individual documents, photographs, and other ephemera relating to the history of New Orleans. We’ll be unveiling some of the other items in the collection soon, but for now, we present an invite to the Mirth, Melody & Moonlight ball.

This 1882 invite comes from the Independent Order of the Moon (I.O.O.M.), a comedic Mardi Gras krewe formed in 1881.  The I.O.O.M. followed Rex on Mardi Gras day along with the Phunny Phorty Phellows. Their theme for 1882 was Mirth, Melody & Moonlight — Scenes from Popular Songs. The ball was held at Spanish Fort, an area where first the French and then the Spanish built forts to protect trade routes through Bayou St. John. From the 1880s to around 1920, the land was used for an amusement park that included restaurants and recreational establishments.

Envelope Side 1

Envelope Side 2

This particular invite was sent to Mr. C.E. Staub, a newsdealer, and his wife.

The collection can be viewed in its entirety in Special Collections & Archives.

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

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