Posts Tagged ‘New Orleans’

Night in New Orleans

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Night in New Orleans (Rice-Mitchell Pub., Co., 1911)

Call no.: F379.N54 R5x

This recent acquisition by Special Collections & Archives features striking night scenes of downtown New Orleans in the early 20th Century. The black and white photomechanical reproductions of photographs feature aerial views of iconic streets and businesses near and around the French Quarter, all illuminated by windows, streetcars, and beautiful electric signs.


Today’s #PageFrights comes from the New Orleans Opera Association Archives. Pictured below is a program cover for a 1975 production of Giacomo Meyerbeer’s Les Huguenots.

Les Huguenots program cover

For more like this, come to the Booth-Bricker Reading Room in Special Collections & Archives and view our exhibit, Encore! Encore! Bravi! Presenting the New Orleans Opera Association Archives.

#PageFrights is a month-long social media celebration of Halloween, library & archives-style.

Special Collections Internship report

This internship report was written by music major Gloria Cosenza, Special Collections & Archives intern


Gloria Cosenza with photos of Norman Treigle (directly behind Gloria) and her grandfather Arthur Cosenza (right) at Pascal's Manale, 2015. Image courtesy of Gloria Cosenza.

Music is so naturally united with us that we cannot be free from it even if we so desired.

Boethius (AD 480 – AD 524) is a philosopher best known for his treatise, Consolation of Philosophyand the most notable of his ideas is The Wheel of Fortune. However, he is most important to me because of the philosophy within his manuscript De institutione musica. Boethius identified what he considered “the threefold classification of music”. Musica mundana is the music of the spheres (planets and universes), which is soundless to the naked ear but can be felt more or less like goose bumps or butterflies in your stomach. Musica humana is the harmony sounded in between the physical and spiritual human body – the vibration and sound of OM in yoga is an example of this harmony. Musica instrumentalis is understood on the most basic level as instrumental music produced by something under tension (i.e. strings, wind, water, or percussion). The quote above is taken from this ancient manuscript.

I recognize music as a driving force in my life – as one I have run from and now a force with which I attempt to coexist. Music is the reason I decided to finish my undergraduate degree at Loyola, and my Cosenza family legacy with the university begins (and will soon end) with the art of opera. Arthur Cosenza, my operatic baritone of a grandfather, spearheaded the Loyola Opera Workshop in 1964. His instructor status at the university allowed for his sons (my dad and uncle) to earn – free of charge – not only their undergraduate degrees in English and Accounting, but also their law degrees. It was in the law classrooms of the Broadway campus where my parents met and fell in love. One of the reasons they fell in love was because of their shared passion for the arts.

[My mother recalls reading in Time magazine of Arthur’s work (before she ever met my father) with the New Orleans Opera Association during their 1972 opera season. The infamous season when soprano Carol Neblett, performing the role of Thais, revealed her nude self to an unsuspecting crowd in the Act I finale of the opera!]


Arthur Cosenza (standing, right) rehearsing with Loyola Opera Workshop singers Carl Kauffman (left) and Judith Fischer (middle), and accompanist Eugenie Passera. Image from the Loyola University Archives.

I am the third of four children my parents have together. My oldest sister graduated summa cum laude with degrees from Loyola in Mass Communications and political science. Since I am not married, and my youngest sister is graduating from LSU, I will be the last Cosenza with a degree, as a “Cosenza”, from Loyola.

The operatic sound is one of the many frequencies, which makes up my own musical chemistry. We listened to operatic recordings on vinyl; my grandfather would occasionally sing; and eventually, I saw my very first live performance when I was about nine years old. I experienced the opera at the Mahalia Jackson Theater of the Performing Arts with my grandfather while he was still the Artistic Director of the New Orleans Opera Association. The production was The Ballad of Baby Doe, and I ate too many chocolate covered raisins. Truthfully, my first heartfelt operatic experience was many years after my first opera, but several months after my grandfather passed away. Up late studying for a high school geography exam and strung out on caffeine, I was playing music I found on an old computer. Puccini’s “O Mio Babino Caro” sung by Maria Callas started to play, and I cried. I played it a few more times in order to witness myself emoting through a classical piece of music. I was sure the aria’s text was of overcoming hopelessness and sadness, but alas it is not. Though sometimes I still cry when I hear that recording, in spite of the text – just because it makes me think of Arthur.

Arthur Cosenza

Arthur Cosenza. Image from the New Orleans Opera Association Archives.

“If they don’t let me in, I won’t go anywhere else.” That’s what I told my parents when I decided to audition for Loyola’s School of Music. I was a twenty-three year old yoga teacher/nanny/full time employee at Whole Foods Market in Baton Rouge, “with a dream”. The Loyola voice faculty made a strange decision, and they accepted me into their program. I have been studying classical voice and the art of operatic performance for over three years now. This summer I was given the opportunity to study the business of opera, and specifically the business my grandfather ran for almost 20 years at the New Orleans Opera Association. During my internship, I worked as an associate of the Special Collections and Archives department on the third floor of Monroe Library. My project for the summer was to layout a timeline based on the history of the New Orleans Opera Association (NOOA) in correlation to the one hundred boxes which make up the NOOA collection. On the first day, I was briefed on basic rules and practices of keeping and working in archives. I learned the layout of each collection and what kinds of information these collections had to offer in way of research aids.

Learning the basics of managing and maneuvering an archive seems to me a legitimate library science skill that I could use to persuade employers looking to hire someone for a basic library position or any position that would require book keeping or basic organization/ attention to detail qualities. I eventually created a digital timeline using software called TimelineJS.


Click image above to go to timeline

Granted the software was very easy to use, it will be a great tool for future presentations and possibly an element to a kind of portfolio I might put together to impress employers. The last, important skill I learned while working as an intern this summer was how to work with new personalities. I pride myself in having known and worked with many different kinds of people, and this summer I met a couple of new attitudes I was otherwise not familiar. I regretfully admit that I am a people pleaser, first and foremost; but I feel like I made headway into reasons why being a stand up, reliable worker is the most important and usually the easiest way to gain anyone’s affection or approval. I don’t need to be “nice” or “cute” in order to be an asset to the team. What a team wants more than anything – for the sake of the individuals and the project at hand – is a clever, focused, confident worker. All of my colleagues have offered themselves as references for future job opportunities I may have. These women are eager to see me succeed in whatever I do, and they are some of the smartest, empowered, good-humored women I have met. I believe we will stay friends for quite some time.

The first day of my internship was May 23, and though I stopped working twenty hours a week on August 1. I am still working with the team, though they could only take me on at ten hours a week instead of twenty to meet their budget. On August 23, I will have been with SC&A for three months. I am not sure I can articulate all of the amazing new ideas I’ve had in such a short time. These new ideas range from how the past can shed light on a successful future for the opera as a thriving art form in New Orleans, to the necessary facets of my own projects as an up and coming artist in the world – and how I can make a thriving career for myself as a performing artist. I kept a notebook while working in the archives. This notebook is full of lists of things to do for the exhibits and places where I can find what I need, etc. However, in and throughout my notes, I have scribbles of marketing ideas for myself – equipment I need to purchase, ideas for a kind of press package, thoughts on head shots, possible day jobs for when I graduate, lists of repertoire I need to learn, quotes and special places of beautiful photos of my grandpop. One of the most amazing parts of this New Orleans Opera Association project was reading about how all of these famous musicians made it to the top. I picked up on a few key points that have kept me thinking forward into my own future. The first is passion for the music and for the art of performance – a passionate dedication to beauty, precision, and honesty when making opera. Second, there is a teacher who believes in the student or artist. It seems strange that dependence does in fact exist especially in a world where individualism is strong and we believe that the individual can do whatever he or she puts their minds to… But the truth is, with an art such as voice, a quality teacher is a necessary for the progress of the vocalist – a teacher who believes in the student’s possible career and a teacher who can articulate breathing technique, freedom of muscles, sound and creative expression. The third quality is diligence. I think diligence encompasses perseverance at a steady pace, thorough and quality preparation, and a promise to live up to his or her vocal talent. By this I mean, never taking for granted the natural vocal gift that exists, taking good care of it and looking forward to expressing it.


Gloria working in the archives, summer 2016. Image courtesy of Gloria Cosenza.

One of my music business advisers strongly recommended I register for the internship course within the music industry curriculum. He has always told me that if I am going to try for an operatic performance career that I will need some kind of a back up plan in order to supplement my income. This summer I learned that though my grandfather had a unique vocal talent and stage presence, he was also an incredible businessman. Because he was a performer, he was able to communicate with many different kinds of people and those people wanted to be around him. All summer I read of how he had never imagined he would spend fifty years of his life stage directing and managing a professional opera house. He loved opera and everything else happened from that passion. Where my own career is concerned, I believe I have a significant chance of making a living as a singing actor. If this is not the case, I will remain content as long as I am surrounded by music and according to Boethius I always will be.

Collection Spotlight: Deiler Papers


from J. Hanno Deiler Papers Box 1 Folder 5, "Church and Parish Records: Carrollton, 1848-1900"

Today marks 167 years since the birth of J. Hanno Deiler, creator of Special Collections & Archives’ J. Hanno Deiler Papers. Deiler was born at Altoetting, Upper Bavaria on August 8, 1849. In 1871 he accepted a position as principal of a German school in New Orleans.  He arrived in New Orleans early in 1872, and in 1879 he became professor of German at the University of Louisiana, which later became Tulane University.

It was Deiler’s ambition to cultivate a taste for German literature, culture, and song in New Orleans and to improve the condition of Germans in the United States.  He served for many years as director of the Deutsche Gesellschaft, an immigrant aid society.  He started the German Archives for the History of the Germans in the South.  In 1882 he founded and served as president of the New Orleans Quartette Club,  which was dedicated to the preservation of German culture and song.  He was president of the New Orleans German Gazette Publishing Company and wrote extensively about Germans in the United States, especially in Louisiana,  contributing to numerous German and American periodicals and authoring one book, The Settlement of the German Coast of Louisiana and the Creoles of German Descent (available in digitized form here and here at the Internet Archive).  In 1898 the German Emperor recognized Deiler’s literary achievements and his services to the German people in the U.S. by conferring upon him knighthood in the Order of the Crown. Deiler died at his summer home in Covington, Louisiana on July 20, 1909.


from J. Hanno Deiler Papers Box 1 Folder 2, "Census of German Villages, 1724 "

These papers consist principally of notes Deiler took while researching the history of Germans and German-Americans in Louisiana.  They also contain writings by Deiler, a small amount of correspondence, and miscellaneous items.  Much of the material is undated; most items probably originated between 1890 and 1909.

Additional materials relating to Deiler are available at the Historic New Orleans Collection, including the Deutsches Haus Collection.


from J. Hanno Deiler Papers Box 1 2 Folder 14, "Count de Leon, Duke of Jerusalem and the Colony 'Germantown,' Webster Parish, Louisiana"

This collection is available for research in the in the Booth-Bricker Reading Room in Monroe Library’s Special Collections & Archives Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM till 4:30 PM.

deLesseps Story “Chep” Morrison, Honorary Degree Recipient

deLesseps Story “Chep” Morrison, Sr., was an attorney and politician. He served as the 54th Mayor of New Orleans from 1946-1961 and as an United States ambassador under President John F. Kennedy from 1961-1963.

Loyola awarded Morrison with an Honorary degree at the 1958 Commencement Ceremony.

deLesseps Story "Chep" Morrison

deLesseps Story Morrison at graduation

deLesseps Story Morrison

Fr. Donnelly, deLesseps Story Morrison and Archbishop Rummel at graduation

As mayor, Morrison engaged in more large-scale urban renewal by helping in the construction for the New Orleans Civic Center, the New Orleans Union Passenger Terminal, several street-widening projects, and the construction and expansion of the New Orleans housing projects.

deLesseps Story Morrison

Archbishop Rummel (middle), deLesseps Story Morrison (right), and student at graduation

In 1961, President John F. Kennedy appointed Morrison as the ambassador to the Organization of American States, a inter-continental organization that promotes solidarity and cooperation among its members.

deLesseps Story Morrison

Fr. Donnelly (left), Archbishop Rummel (middle), and Honorary Degree recipient deLesseps Story "Chep" Morrison at graduation

On May 22, 1964, deLesseps Story “Chep” Morrison and his son Randy died in a plane crash in Ciuadad Victoria, Mexico.

deLesseps Story Morrison

deLesseps Story Morrison makes speech at commencement

To honor him and his political legacy, deLesseps Morrison, Sr., was posthumously inducted into the Louisiana Political Hall of Fame in 1995.

Blog Post by Raven Evans, a Special Collections work study student.

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

History of Mass Tourism collection

Special Collections & Archives is very excited to announce that Adam Matthew Digital recently released The History of Mass Tourism, a collection of primary sources from around the world. The digital collection includes two from Special Collections & Archives: the Anthony J. Stanonis Travel Scrapbook and Diary Collection and the Anthony J. Stanonis Collection of New Orleans tourism.

From their website:

“This resource presents a multi-national journey through well-known, little-known and far-flung destinations unlocked for the average traveller between 1850 and the 1980s. Guidebooks and brochures, periodicals, travel agency correspondence, photographs and personal travel journals provide unique insight into the expansion, accessibility and affordability of tourism for the masses and the evolution of some of the most successful travel agencies in the world.”

Partnering with Adam Matthew enabled nearly the entirety of both Stanonis collections to be digitized in full, and we are in very good company along with:

  • Blackpool Central Library Local History Centre
  • Brooklyn Historical Society
  • California Historical Society
  • The Camping and Caravanning Club Archive
  • John W. Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising & Marketing History, Duke University
  • George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
  • Massachusetts Historical Society
  • Michigan State University Libraries
  • New Hampshire Historical Society
  • The Newberry Library
  • The New York Academy of Medicine Library
  • Thomas Cook Archives
  • The National Archives, UK
  • University of Westminster Archive

The site requires a subscription, but the Monroe Library has trial access through July 8. Please visit the front desk to be logged in.

Image from The Bachelor in New Orleans, included in The History of Mass Tourism

We are thrilled that so many people will be able to use these collections digitally. Thank you to Adam Matthew for including us in this resource.

Collection Spotlight: Phil Johnson Editorials Collection

A television broadcasting legend in New Orleans, Phil Johnson worked for nearly 40 years at the city’s top-ranked CBS affiliate, WWL-TV. During his career, he served as promotion director, documentary producer, news directors, assistant general manager, and editorialist. Johnson retired from WWL-TV in 1999.

A graduate of New Orleans’ Jesuit High School (1946) and Loyola University (1950), Johnson began his journalism career at the now defunct Item newspaper. His print experience also included a brief stint in print journalism in Chicago, and a prestigious Neiman Fellowship at Harvard University in 1959. He would return home, at the dawn of the local television era, taking a position as promotion director at WWL-TV in 1960, just three years after the station signed on the air.

As a professional communicator Johnson received countless honors and awards. His writing and narration of television documentaries earned him an Emmy and three George Foster Peabody Awards: in 1970, for a documentary called “Israel: The New Frontier;” in 1972, for “China ’72: A Hole in the Bamboo Curtain,” which featured footage filmed by the first non-network American news team allowed into the Communist nation in almost 25 years; and in 1982, for “The Search for Alexander.” Johnson also served as a war correspondent, reporting for the station from Vietnam, Beirut and Israel.

New Orleans viewers may know him best for the 10,000 broadcast editorials he produced throughout his tenure as editorialist at WWL-TV, presenting the station’s editorial opinion on local, state and national topics from 1962 to 1999.

In 1997, Johnson was named to the New Orleans Broadcasting Hall of Fame and merited a Lifetime Achievement Award from his peers in the Press Club of New Orleans.

In 1999, Johnson’s alma mater, Loyola University New Orleans, awarded him its Integritas Vitae Award, the university’s highest honor for an individual “with a high moral character in a lifetime of unselfish service without exception of material award or public recognition.”

The editorials in this collection were authored by Phil Johnson during his long career at WWL-TV and aired on the station as a regular nightly presentation from March, 1962 through July, 1999. Following his retirement Johnson returned to deliver infrequent editorials at Christmas, and on the occasion of a colleague’s death.

WWL-TV was established by Loyola University New Orleans in 1957 and owned by the university until 1990.

The collection chronicles the 36-year political history of New Orleans and Louisiana from 1962-1999. All editorials were written and delivered by Johnson unless otherwise noted in the index. Please refer to the index key of designations.


Special Collections and Archives, located on the third floor of Monroe Library, is open for research and quiet study Monday-Friday, 9:00-4:30.


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

Collection Spotlight: Historic Postcard Collection

Series I of the collection includes postcards that consist of true photographs, both hand colored and black and white, as well as hand drawn images of Catholic structures and locations throughout the state of Louisiana, including postcards of Loyola University in New Orleans. The majority of the postcards depict the exterior of churches, but there are several interior images and other exterior subjects included. A majority of the postcards in this series are addressed to Mrs. Lena Sawyer, a resident of New Orleans, Louisiana.

This is an artificial collection informally collected over time at the Loyola University New Orleans Special Collections & Archives.

Series II of the collection features postcards and postcard booklets from foreign locations, mainly in France and Switzerland. None of the postcards in this series are addressed.

Special Collections & Archives, located on the third floor of Monroe Library, is open for research and quiet study Monday-Friday, 9:00-4:30.


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

Lunch at Tujague’s in 1945

Maude Liersch Scrapbook Cover

One of the fascinating things about reading through someone’s personal papers are the minute details you uncover. One such example is from this scrapbook, inscribed “Florida 1945 Ado + Neva” on the cover.

Maude Liersch Scrapbook Page 37

Maude Lehman Liersch (1895-1977) assembled this scrapbook to document several trips she took with her husband Joe, a physician and son of one of Kansas City’s pioneer druggists. The bulk of the scrapbook is taken up by a road trip the Lierschs took with friends Adolph “Ado” or “Otto” F.  (1884-1961) and Neva  Wiedenmann Seidel (1890-1979) from October 27-November 9, 1945. The quartet began in their hometown of Kansas City, Missouri and circled the Midwestern, Southeastern, and Southwestern United States. Destinations included Springfield, MO; Memphis and Chattanooga, Tennessee; Tifton, Georgia;  Melbourne, Key West, Fort Myers, Sulphur Spring, Silver Springs, and Pensacola, Florida; New Orleans and Thibodeaux, Louisiana; Houston, Texas; and Mena, Arkansas. Maude took detailed notes of all food and beverage as well as prices for their accommodations. In her entry for their visit to New Orleans, she writes:

Tuesday, Nov. 6 – 1945

Left at 5:20 a.m. Went through Bankhead tunnel under Mobile river at Mobile, Ala. 25c – Had breakfast at Mobile at Toddle House. Waffle and ham – Service was poor as changed shifts – boys left and girls came on. Joe and I did not get coffee. Stopped at Biloxi for sweet rolls and coffee – Very good. Reached New Orleans 10:50 a.m. Took a guide $2.00 each – all over old part of New Orleans as well as new. Had lunch at 2 o’clock at “Tujague’s” – soup, meat, lettuce, roast beef, cauliflower, hard bread, cream puff, coffee. Had coffee and donuts at old market. Went on wharf where were unloading coffee from Brazil and then conducted over U.S. Mississippi. Berries from a camphor tree in cemetery. Detour to Thibodeaux - French people – stayed at Dixie Hotel. Almost did not get a place to stay. Each had a room – just wash stand in room. $2.00 couple. Ate in Hotel. Asked if wished French drip or Maxwell House coffee. Walked around town – Bought clothespins 25c doz. Night at Thibodeaux. One of the first trading posts between New Orleans, and country along Teche Bayou. Adjacent to oil field.

Maude Liersch Scrapbook Page 38

Tujague’s, est. 1856, is the second oldest restaurant in the French Quarter. A look at their current menu shows many of the same dishes Maude ate.

Maude Liersch Scrapbook Page 40

Perennial Special Collections favorite The Bachelor in New Orleans (published in 1942) described Tujague’s as “an old timey drinkery that pays little attention to fashion in bars. Here you will find no red leather bar stools, no super-duper fixtures. Here is drink served in the way and in the surroundings your father drank it. Specialty of the house is the Absinthe frappe.”

This scrapbook is part of the Anthony Stanonis Travel Scrapbook and Diary Collection and is currently on display in our exhibit Media Traditions:  Scrapbooking, Memory Archives, and Self-Presentation along with other scrapbooks that draw correlations between memory archives of the past and contemporary modes of self-presentation. Portions of the exhibit are view-able from the Monroe Library 3rd floor hallway and the rest are in the Booth-Bricker Special Collections and Archives Reading Room, open Monday – Friday 9am-4:30pm.

Collection Spotlight: Anthony J. Stanonis Collection

Anthony J. Stanonis received a B.A. in history from Loyola University New Orleans in 1997, then an M.A. in 1998 and a Ph.D. in 2003, both in history, from Vanderbilt University. Stanonis’s research interests have centered on the cultural and economic implications of urban tourism. While researching the history of tourism in New Orleans for his dissertation, he acquired an assortment of artifacts generated by that city’s tourist industry. His research resulted in the publication of his book, Creating the Big Easy: New Orleans and the Emergence of Modern Tourism, 1918-1945, published in 2006 by the University of Georgia Press.

This collection comprises Stanonis’s personal acquisitions of materials pertaining to the New Orleans tourist industry. It includes guides, maps, brochures, books, and other literature put out by public and private groups and businesses, spanning roughly from 1902 to 1960.

Special Collections & Archives, located on the third floor of Monroe Library, is open for research and quiet study Monday-Friday, 9:00-4:30.


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