Posts Tagged ‘Special Collections & Archives’

Lorraine “Lorena” Dureau

Lorraine Dureau Newsham graduated from Loyola University New Orleans in 1955 with a Bachelor of Music. She had become somewhat of a local celebrity, praised for her ability to be both a wife and student, but more importantly for her voice.  She was an up and coming opera singer, having performed with Norman Treigle during the 1940s and an active member of NORD (New Orleans Recreation Department), and was accepted to perform at the Metropolitan Opera House after finishing her time at Loyola but was unable to attend after suffering from a broken rib that put her out of work for the opera season.
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Devastated by her missed opportunity she sought out other options and was encouraged by Miguel Bernal, the dean of the College of Music at the time, to try her hand in Mexico where the opera scene was growing in popularity and was performing year round.  It is not clear by our records the exact time she left, but by 1957 Lorraine was in Mexico, apparently leaving everything behind, including her husband at the time, John Newsham. Her collection is full of photos and articles from her time in Mexico, giving us a picture of what her life was like and all of the people she met and grew close to.
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In Mexico she became a star and her music career soared while earning herself a new name in the process, Lorena Dureau. She preferred performing repertoire of her favorite songs rather than complete operas but excelled in both, appearing on stage, radio, and television, all while also furthering her career as a writer.

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She wrote articles for many publications around the world both during her time in Mexico and after returning to New Orleans in 1978. She had been writing short stories and poems since she was a little girl and took up the skill again as she led her singing career away from performing and in the direction of teaching and turned to novels.  While her first unpublished manuscript was titled By the Sword (date unknown) and written under the pen name Lorry Newman, her first published work was a book titled The Last Casquette Girl (1981), starting her on the trend of romance novels that would follow which included Lynette (1983), Iron Lace (1983), and Beloved Outcast (1987).


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After returning to New Orleans she captured the attention of a local businessman by the name of George Lehleitner, famous for his work both in the New Orleans community and his actions in helping both Alaska and Hawaii achieve statehood. George had seen an article about Lorraine that was written by an old family friend and contacted the friend to say that he was interested in meeting this fascinating woman. Persistent in his desire to meet Lorraine she eventually accepted his offer for lunch, starting the beginning of a wonderful relationship as the two were soon married and lived our their lives with each other, traveling to many places together as Lorraine also re-visited Mexico many times.

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Interesting cannot even begin to describe this woman as her collection takes you on a wild tale of one woman’s journey through life. From her days at NORD and Loyola to Mexico and opera, writing of romance novels and articles on voodoo, dolls, Mexican culture, and more.

This information is from the Lorraine Dureau collection, which is currently being processed at Loyola University New Orleans in the Special Collections & Archives by students.

Blog Post by Caitlin Page, a Special Collections Student Worker.

New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival 2016

New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival

Today all of New Orleans is abuzz with excitement. The day that locals, tourists, and jazz enthusiasts alike have all been (rather impatiently) waiting for has finally arrived, and the entrance gates of the New Orleans Fair Grounds are spread wide to welcome us to the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival!

A Brief History

In 1970, jazz impressario George Wein was hired to create a festival unique to the city of New Orleans, LA. When announcing the inaugural festival, Wein said,”The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival represents a new and exciting idea in festival presentation. This festival could only be held in New Orleans because here and here alone is the richest musical heritage in America.”

The 1970 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival brought together the likes of Mahalia Jackson, Duke Ellington, Pete Fountain, Al Hirt, Clifton Chenier, Fats Domino, The Meters, The Preservation Hall Band, parades every day with The Olympia Brass Band and Mardi Gras Indians among others. Although only 350 people attended the first “Jazz Fest,” the festival quickly developed into a cultural event synonymous with the spirit of New Orleans.

By 1972, the event had outgrown the confines of Congo Square and relocated to the New Orleans Fair Grounds (the 3rd oldest racetrack in the United States). Two years later, the festival introduced its first limited-edition silkscreen poster, now produced annually and recognized as the most popular poster series in the world.

The 1990′s saw the popularity and significance of Jazz Fest soar–the New York Times would write that the festival had “become inseparable from the culture it presents,” and in 2001, the Jazz Fest celebrated the centennial of Louis Armstrong with a total of over 650,000 attendees.

The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival annually hosts a blend of local talent and internationally renown performers and “continues to celebrate the culture of Louisiana with the combined fervor of a gospel hymn and the joy of a jazz parade.”

Happy Jazz Fest, Wolf Pack!

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Check out our digital archive of the school newspaper, the Loyola University Maroon, here.

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.

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

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.

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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.

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

On this day in 1910: Marquette cornerstone

On November 13, 1910, prominent Catholics from around the country gathered here on Loyola’s campus for the laying of the cornerstone of Marquette Hall. According to the Times Picayune of November 14, the cornerstone contained the following items: A cross blessed by Pope Pius X, the names of ecclesiastical and civil authorities, the names of members of the Marquette Association, the names of benefactors and founders, the names of the members of the college faculty, the history of the Jesuit Fathers in Louisiana, the history and charter of the Marquette Association, a button signifying New Orleans as the logical point of the Panama Exposition, newspapers of the city and a letter from President Taft.

This image features the visiting dignitaries performing the Cornerstone Laying Ceremony in the shadow of the construction scaffolding for Marquette Hall. The building took less than a year to build, as classes were held there in September, 1911.

Here are some more images of Marquette in its early years from the University Photographs Collection in the Louisiana Digital Library.

Catholic Education Association on Marquette steps, 1913

Loyola University classes of 1912 and 1913

Students on Marquette, 1920s

Circa 1920 radiotelegraph class in the WWL station, housed at Marquette

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

New Norman Treigle exhibit

Treigle as Boito's Mefistofele

Dr. Valerie Goertzen’s Intro to Graduate Studies class has been hard at work this semester researching the life and career of Loyola graduate and local and international opera star Norman Treigle with archivists Trish Nugent and Elizabeth Kelly. The culmination of this project is the exhibit “The Golden Voice of New Orleans,” now available for viewing outside Special Collections & Archives on the third floor of the library.

The students in Intro to Graduate Studies did original research using the manuscript materials in the Norman Treigle Papers as well as secondary research using Brian Morgan’s biography Strange Child of Chaos: Norman Treigle.

There will be an Opening Reception Wednesday, 11 November 2015, 11:30 a.m., outside Special Collections, Monroe Library 3rd floor. All are welcome to join us for snacks.

Treigle studied at Loyola from 1949-1951 and went on to an illustrious career in North America and Europe. The exhibit explores Treigle’s career as well as his personal life through the variety of materials in his collection including journals, performance scores, costumes, images, correspondence, and more.

The exhibit will be on display through the end of the Fall semester. Thank you to the first-year Master of Music in Performance students for their great work on this project.

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Intro to Graduate Studies class with Special Collections staff

FAST FACTS: Monroe Hall Rededication

In celebration of our newly improved Monroe Hall and in preparation for its rededication on Thursday the 8th at 12:30 PM we offer you some FAST FACTS about the building:

  • Monroe Hall was originally the brainchild of Rev. Francis Benedetto, a physics department chair and CEO of the local WWL radio and television stations. Our Loyola University Physics Department Collection consists of correspondence between Benedetto and the world-renowned physicist and Nobel Prize winner, Dr. Victor Hess.
  • Monroe Hall is named after J. Edgar Monroe, a prominent local businessman and philanthropist, who gave generously to Loyola University New Orleans and other Catholic institutions. Click HERE for access to our Monroe Collection.
  • Monroe Hall houses both the sciences and the arts at Loyola, with approximately 40% of all the courses taught being conducted within its walls.
  • Monroe Hall’s 1960’s original avant-garde design was by modernist architect, Ismay Mary Mykolyk and debuted as a cutting-edge science complex intentionally designed with windows resembling portholes so as to look like a boat.

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The collections linked above can be viewed in the Booth-Bricker Special Collections & Archives Reading Room on the 3rd floor of the Monroe Library, Monday – Friday, 9:00-4:30.

Collection Spotlight: 111th Anniversary of Hearn’s Death

Today is the 111th anniversary of the death of the indomitable Lafcadio Hearn.

In honor of this day, please checkout this prior post on our Lafcadio Hearn Correspondence Collection.

This collection is housed in our Special Collections & Archives and available for your viewing Monday – Friday from 9:00-4:30.

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The Angolite: The Prison News Magazine

The Angolite is one of our most unique periodicals at Monroe Library’s Special Collections & Archives. Its uniqueness comes in part from the fact that the publication is inmate produced at the Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola, LA.

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The Louisiana State Penitentiary AKA Angola (also known as “The Farm”) is the largest correctional facility in the United States by population and has the highest number of inmates with life sentences. It is a working farm, has a prison rodeo, a museum, and an inmate operated radio station KLSP. This publication covers the history of the Louisiana Prison System as well as internal events and programs, creative writing and poetry, outreach events, and initiatives to help the formerly incarcerated and families of those who are incarcerated.

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This award winning magazine is published bimonthly and can be viewed in the Booth-Bricker Special Collections & Archives Reading Room on the 3rd floor of the Monroe Library, Monday – Friday, 9:00-4:30.

If you are interested in learning more about Angola, there is a fascinating documentary called The Farm: Angola USA available for check out from Monroe Library.

Collection Spotlight: The Basil Thompson Papers

Basil Thompson (1892 – 1924) was born and raised in New Orleans and was a prominent literary figure in the city post World War I until his untimely death at the age of 31 from pneumonia. He was a published poet as well as an editor and founder of the small but influential New Orleans literary magazine, The Double Dealer.

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(Picture of Basil Thompson in 1908 2nd from left in the front row. Thompson graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Loyola in 1910.)

Our Basil Thompson Papers collection housed in our Special Collections & Archives at Monroe Library offers insight into Basil’s literary career, his early childhood, and his family’s history. Through correspondence, personal diaries, scrapbooks, and ephemera, details of Thompson’s life emerge. The contents of this collection not only come from Basil Thompson’s hand but also from other family members such as his father New Orleans insurance man, T. P. Thompson, his mother Ida Marie Zorn Thompson, and grandfather Antoine Urban Zorn.

Postcards, letters, publications, diaries, journals, scrapbooks, and photographs flesh out this collection offering fascinating insight into the life and work of a well-known member of the New Orleans literary community and a family’s history.

Here are some images of one of Basil Thompson’s childhood scrapbooks (an analog version of a modern day Facebook or Tumblr page). These are filled with pictures of exotic locations, cards, ticket stubs, poetry, antidotes, and members of his favorite baseball team.

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(Images of one of Basil Thompson’s childhood scrapbooks from The Basil Thompson Papers, Box 4, Folder 4)

For further research on Thompson we also have some original issues of his The Double Dealer magazine as well as a 4-volume complete reprint available in our holdings in the Special Collections & Archives. This distinctive publication sought to establish literary legitimacy for the South (as directly motivated by H.L. Mencken’s scathing essay from 1917 on the culture of the South, “The Sahara of the Bozart”) while rooted in the unique character specific to the city of New Orleans.

Published in New Orleans on Baronne Street from 1921 to 1926, The Double Dealer was exceptional during its time not only due to its publication of women writers and African American writers, but also for its printing of modernism and experimental writers framed within a purposefully classical context. This balance bolstered The Double Dealer‘s intentions (as characterized by its subtitle) of being “A National Magazine From The South”.

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The Double Dealer was a significant part of the Southern Renaissance that occurred between the wars with a roster of contributors that include William Faulkner, Ezra Pound, Thornton Wilder, Sherwood Anderson, Djuna Barnes, Ernest Hemmingway, Robert Penn Warren, among many notable others. Its contributions to the literary culture of New Orleans can be traced to the creation of other magazines such as The Southern Review and The Outsider.

The Basil Thompson Papers and The Double Dealer are available for viewing in the Booth-Bricker Special Collections & Archives Reading Room on the 3rd floor of the Monroe Library, Monday – Friday, 9:00-4:30.

The Art of Fore-edge Painting

Today, our exploration of Special Collections & Archives uncovers seldom-seen examples of disappearing fore-edge paintings!

Fore-edge painting, simply put, is the technique of applying paint to the edges of the pages of a book. Two types of fore-edge paintings survive, including those applied to closed fore-edges (visible) and adversely, applied to fanned fore-edges (disappearing).

Above: The Pilgrim’s Progress: In Two Parts

While visible fore-edge painting dates back (possibly) as far as the 10th century with the earliest signed and dated example citing 1653, the techniques employed to create mysterious, disappearing fore-edge paintings developed slightly later and reached peak popularity during the 19th and 20th centuries.

Above: The Poetical Works of John Greenleaf Whittier

In order to produce a disappearing fore-edge painting, a skilled artisan renders the desired scene on the fanned pages of a manuscript using watercolor pigment. After the paint has thoroughly dried, the book is closed and subsequently, gold is applied to the fore-edges. The watercolor painting is thus rendered “invisible” by gilding and only becomes visible when the text’s pages are fanned.

Above: The Poetical Works of John Milton

These and several other fore-edge painted books gems are available for viewing in Special Collections & Archives Monday-Thursday, 9:00-4:30 and Friday, 9:00-12:00! You can also learn more about the history and production techniques of fore-edge painting by perusing books like this one.

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