access to our holdings is a LaRC priority and we are pleased to
announce three new digital collections. They span a range of subjects
from Louisiana literature to Louisiana art to Louisiana’s contributions
to WWII. We would like to thank Pat
Vince, Director of User Services
& Library IT, Jeff
Rubin, Digital Initiatives and Publications
Coordinator, and their team at the Tulane Digital Library, particularly
Birzer, who oversaw scanning and metadata creation.
Kennedy Toole papers
from around the world now have online access to the personal and
literary papers of beloved New Orleans novelist, John Kennedy Toole
(1937-1969). Toole is best-known as the author of Confederacy of Dunces,
for which he posthumously received the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in
The papers of John Kennedy Toole include correspondence, personal items, and images. There is a considerable amount of
memorabilia that his mother, Thelma Ducoing Toole, kept concerning her
son, including reviews and articles about Toole and his works. The
papers of his parents, John D. Toole and Thelma Ducoing Toole,
are also part of the collection.
Much of the personal memorabilia of Toole’s life, and his parents’
lives, was originally preserved by the collection’s donor, Thelma
Ducoing Toole, who was persistently intent on the publication of her
son’s comedic masterpiece. Toole, born in New Orleans, excelled in all
levels of his education, graduating Phi Beta Kappa with Honors in
English at Tulane University at the age of twenty. He agonized as to
whether to teach or to write, and attended graduate school at Columbia
while teaching at Hunter College. His opportunity to spend time writing
fiction came ironically while stationed with the Army in San Juan,
Puerto Rico, where he taught English as a second language.
After returning to New Orleans, he met with disappointment attempting
to publish “A Confederacy of Dunces.” He continued to vacillate between
attempting to teach and attempting to write, but sadly his life
ultimately ended in suicide. Many years later, his ground-breaking
novel was published by Louisiana State University Press, primarily
through the efforts of his mother, who, with manuscript in hand, was
fortunate to find a receptive audience in well-known novelist Walker
This digital project was made possible by an anonymous donor who
created the Thelma Ducoing Toole Memorial Fund.
Image: Hand-tinted portrait of
Toole taken at Harper's Studio in New Orleans, c. 1940.
Whitesell glass plate negatives
glass plate negatives by noted New Orleans photographer Joseph Woodson
“Pops” Whitesell (1876 – 1958) are now available online.
Internationally-renowned, Whitesell was one of the most exhibited
photographers of his day, including an exhibition of his work at the
Smithsonian in 1946. Today his work is part of the permanent
collections of many institutions, including the Brooklyn Museum, the
Smithsonian, the Chicago Historical Society, the New Orleans Museum of
Art, and the Louisiana State Museum.
Whitesell moved to New Orleans from his native Indiana in 1918. By 1921
he had established a studio in the French Quarter where he became a
noted portrait photographer. In addition to documenting New Orleans
society, including debutantes, wedding parties, and Carnival royalty,
Whitesell was a central figure of French Quarter bohemia and was part
of the arts and preservation movement that became known as the French
now available online is "World War II Posters by Louisiana Artists of
the WPA Federal Arts Project, 1940-1941."
The twenty-eight silk screened posters were produced under the
direction of Angela Gregory, Louisiana State Supervisor for the Federal
Arts Project, at the group's workshop at 718 Toulouse Street, New
Orleans. Artists involved in this project included John McCrady, Roland
G. Duvernet, T.A. Byrne, and others. Subjects include rationing,
conservation, recruitment, public health, domestic security, national
secrets, and the sale of war bonds and stamps.
long have women fought?
latest exhibit is “How Long Have Women Fought for Liberty? A History of
Louisiana's Women's Political Activism." It highlights notable New
Orleans women activists and their struggle to obtain the right to vote,
with a special emphasis on how our city’s social stratification and
educational institutions shaped the local suffrage movement. The
exhibit is on display in Room 201, Jones Hall, through May 2017.
The exhibit was created by Tulane student Emily Galik as part of her
internship for the class "Public History" taught by Professor Jana K.
Lipman. Emily also created a study guide which is available online
here. Emily is from Ellicott City, Maryland, and is a third-year
student majoring in history and political science. She is also a
Preserving the heritage of New Orleans women is a special mission of
the Louisiana Research Collection. From the personal papers of notable
women (including Lindy Boggs, Hilda Phelps Hammond, Ethel Hutson,
Angela Gregory, and many others) to the records of women’s
organizations (including the Poydras Home, the Quarante Club, the YWCA,
the Independent Women’s Organization, the Christian Women’s Exchange,
the Louisiana Women’s Committee, and the National Council of Jewish
Women) the Louisiana Research Collection is a leader in preserving the
contributions of women to New Orleans. A partial guide to LaRC's
women's resources is available online here.
the end of another year approaching, this is a natural time to reflect
on the past and plan for the future. The past few years have been
transformative for LaRC, during which we have proven that we think big,
plan big, and accomplish big things.
We haven’t done it alone. Putting our Carnival designs online was made
possible by the Charles L. “Pie” Dufour Fund. Putting John Kennedy
Toole’s papers online was made possible by an anonymous
wished to permanently memorialize Toole’s mother by creating the Thelma
Ducoing Toole Endowed Fund.
Such gifts are essential to LaRC's mission to preserve the culture and
heritage of our state. Therefore, please consider including the
Louisiana Research Collection in your end-of-year gift planning.
Year-end gifts to LaRC can be doubly effective. First, you will be
supporting LaRC's work and goals. Second, tax benefits may enable you
to do more than you realized was possible. The availability of the
income tax deduction helps a charitable person be even more charitable
by lowering the cost of giving.
The Louisiana Research Collection gratefully accepts bequests,
securities, and real estate. Especially helpful
are endowed funds or
named positions, by which you can permanently memorialize a
friend, colleague, or loved one. You can also donate to LaRC using a
credit card here. To learn about more options and the kinds
of support LaRC needs, please visit the giving section of our website,
Head, Louisiana Research Collection
Jones Hall Room 200
New Orleans LA 70118
Image: “Acorns,” a float
design from Krewe of Proteus 1892 parade. You can view the full
design, enlarge it to examine the beautiful detail, and browse the rest
of LaRC’s more than 5,500 online Carnival float and costume designs here.
Archives Processing and Digital Initiatives associate, attended the
annual meeting of the Louisiana Archives and Manuscripts Association.
It was held at Nicholls State University in Thibodeaux, October 7.
LaRC’s Thelma Ducoing Toole intern, is now a Dean's Fellow at the
Columbia University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences in New York.
We were fortunate to work with Kyle and wish him all the best.