Occasionally I come across a few rare gems in our public stacks that I carefully rescue to be catalogued in Special Collections. Last week, I gathered many multi-volume sets in series of Spanish theater and poetry published by M. Aguilar in the 1940s-50s. What caught my eye was the hint of color on the top edge of one of the books, and when I pulled it from the shelf I gasped at the bright, intricate stencil that looks to have been airbrushed along the textblock’s head, tail and fore-edge. Some have faded over time along the head, but the edges that have not been exposed to light in some time are as bright as ever. The books vary in size and are all cased in soft leather dyed in various colors. Many feature whimsically illustrated end-sheets as you open the cover, and each has a sepia toned portrait of the author facing the book’s title page. A classy and surprising series indeed! You can now access these books in the Reading Room of SC&A, on the third floor of Monroe Library.
News & Events from the Monroe Library
Posts Tagged ‘Special Collections & Archives’
If you live in New Orleans, you know that the weather can change drastically day to day, especially in the winter. I’ve compiled a few photos from our Loyola University Photographs collection to illustrate the weather one might experience in a single week in January. Happy Monday, everyone! Stay warm! (or dry, or cool, depending..)
Here’s a little holiday treat for lovers of New Orleans history and typography. I’ve been making enclosures to preserve our collection of New Orleans Directories, and have enjoyed that these books are all interspersed with type-set ads of many colors. You can glean much about the culture of the time period from these ads. (i.e. the note about a hospital for slaves at the bottom the first ad depicted.) This particular book, Cohen’s New Orleans and Lafayette Directory, 1852, was printed in the office of the Delta Daily newspaper. As you can see, letterpress printers in the nineteenth century would often show off the type in their shops by using every single typeface available when setting ads and title pages. Fun fact: the engraved image facing the title page depicts the first mayor of New Orleans, A.D. Crossman (1846-1854).
Interested in learning more about Louisiana’s waterways and their environmental history? The Gulf Restoration Network Archives are a great place to conduct such research. The Gulf Restoration Network was formed in 1994 by environmental groups, conservationists and activists in New Orleans dedicated to the study of ecological sustainability along the Gulf of Mexico. From the collection finding aid: (The Gulf Restoration Network) has focused on three areas of work: fostering sustainable management of fisheries; stopping polluted run-off that results in the Gulfs Dead Zone; and opposing Corps of Engineers policies that destroy wetlands. It reports on its work in the quarterly newspaper GRN NEWS, which includes the insert Fish Tales. The collection is arranged alphabetically by subject and dates roughly between 1995 and 2001. It consists mainly of correspondence, grants and proposals, and sign-ons and comments. It also contains considerable materials related to the Dead Zone, fisheries and Corps of Engineers projects.
Featured below is one of many spiral-bound reports affiliated with the GRN archives. This particular report is dated from September 1973 and addresses the economic and environmental impacts of industry along Louisiana’s waterways.
Learn more about this collection in the SCA Booth-Bricker Reading Room on the third floor of Monroe Library!
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.
There is no reason to doubt that it was the Citizens’ Bank that gave the name “Dixie” to the South. The origin of that word has never been positively determined, but the tradition that gives the credit to the Citizens’ Bank is certainly stronger than any of the other claims advanced. When the country was flooded with wild-cat money and counterfeiting was so common as to cast suspicion on nearly every species of paper money, the notes of this bank commanded respect throughout the great valley, and, in fact, everywhere in the country, and its ten-dollar notes were the standard of value. These notes in ante-bellum days were printed in the French language, and instead of bearing the numeral in English, they bore the French word “dix.” It became common when one was passing down the great river to trade at the Southern metropolis for him to say that he was going South to acquire some dixes. Thus it happened that the lower stretches of the river became known as the land of the dixies, or “Dixie land.”
“Citizens’ Bank & Trust of Louisiana”, New Orleans, 1916, p. 11
As the new project assistant in Special Collections & Archives here at Loyola, I have thoroughly enjoyed perusing the stacks as I better acquaint myself with the collection. Since my academic background is in printmaking and book arts, I naturally gravitate towards the rare books on our shelves, and I am continuously fascinated by the bindings and material qualities of these old books. Today I would like to share with you this small letterpress-printed pamphlet: “Citizens’ Bank & Trust Company of Louisiana,” New Orleans, 1916.
A modest book at first glance, “Citizens’ Bank..” is a lovely example of early twentieth century letterpress-printing. Although there is no press information on the title page of this pamphlet, there are clues in the tactile quality of the book that reveal how it was printed and what materials were used. It is sewn with a silky cord, and a knot tied on the spine of the book allows the pamphlet to close flat. It is composed of a high-quality mould-made paper, which is evident in the paper’s strong, visible fibers and deckled edge, as well as watermarks that are visible when certain pages are held up to bright light. If you were to lightly brush your finger along the text of this book, you’d notice a texture, an imprint, which occurs because of the amount of pressure applied in the printing process. At close inspection you’d see that some of the text is over-inked in places, which creates a small puddle around individual letters. I could go on and on about the letterpress process, but instead I’ll refer you to this resource if you’d like to learn more.
This book was letterpress printed on high quality paper because its materials were likely intended to reflect the history of a wealthy institution: the Citizens’ Bank & Trust Company of Louisiana. Its brief 31 pages outline the history of the bank, and the book serves as a well-crafted advertisement for the financial institution. You can view more images of this book (and many more) on our tumblr, or come in for a visit on the third floor of Monroe Library!
Stay tuned for an upcoming first-floor exhibit by the Special Collections & Archives team: “LOYNOOA: Loyola University and Opera in New Orleans.” In conjunction with “Encore! Encore! Bravi! Introducing the New Orleans Opera Association Archives” exhibit on view now in the Booth-Bricker Reading Room on the 3rd floor of Monroe Library, we will soon be hanging numerous posters outlining the history of opera at Loyola. Thanks to extensive research conducted by student intern Gloria Cosenza, the exhibit will showcase notable alumni, instructors and events since the inception of the College of Music at Loyola University New Orleans. The show will be hung in the next week on the first floor of the library, across from the library’s music collections.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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
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!
Check out our digital archive of the school newspaper, the Loyola University Maroon, here.
Found in the Archives is a recurring series of crazy cool stuff found in the Monroe Library’s Special Collections & Archives.