Life in New Orleans in 1925
January 25, 2007 9:23 AM   Subscribe

Where is good source of information about everyday life in New Orleans during the 1920s?

The short version is that I'm working on a family history project and my suriving family members from New Orleans were too young to have any clear sense of their surrounding environment at that time. I can find a lot of information on art, music, and, for lack of a better term, "the seedy underbelly," less on the mundane details. Certainly, I can glean some contextual cues out of fictional works, but I'm not so sure that that my sense of things are best informed by Tennessee Williams and Walker Percy (the latter of which is certainly a bit anachronistic anyway). I'm spitting distance from two large university libraries but I'm North Carolina. Any suggestions as far as books would be helpful as well as information about city archives, particularly in the post-Katrina world. Note that my budget for this project could potentially allow a trip to Louisiana.
posted by thivaia to Society & Culture (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Why, the local newspaper of course! Call the archivist at the New Orleans Times-Picayune! Harold Ross, the founder the New Yorker, got his start there in the teens and twenties.
posted by parmanparman at 9:30 AM on January 25, 2007

Ask your librarian! Librarians are trained to help you find information - it doesn't matter that you're in County X and you need information about State Y (or in your case, North Carolina and New Orleans) - they can help you.
From a Librarian To Be :o)
posted by crepeMyrtle at 1:47 PM on January 25, 2007

Best answer: See here.
posted by ajr at 4:37 PM on January 25, 2007

Response by poster: Thank you, ajr. That was exactly what I was looking for.
posted by thivaia at 9:05 PM on January 25, 2007

The Louisiana Division of NOPL (ajr's link) is definitely your best bet -- they also serve as the official archives of the city, and will do a limited amount of reference for you via phone/mail.

If you aren't able to find what you want there, or if you do end up coming to NOLA, you might also want to check out the Williams Research Center at the Historic New Orleans Collection.
posted by Siobhan at 2:50 PM on January 29, 2007

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