One of local television's most memorable personalities was Dr. Momus Alexander Morgus. This photograph shows the good doctor, perhaps better known as Morgus the Magnificent, inoculating one of the city's most popular (and hammiest) mayors, deLesseps S. "Chep" Morrison, against some unidentified, but surely unspeakable, disease. [Louisiana Photograph Collection. Portrait Collection.]

In 1989 the Library of Congress launched its American Memory project as a way to preserve materials important to an understanding of the nation's past and to make those materials accessible to all Americans. LC hopes to accomplish its objective by digitizing photographs, pamphlets, oral histories, musical compositions, and other source materials and by making them available through the World Wide Web. The project has already succeeded in providing access to thousands of items. These can be viewed through the American Memory site.

The Library of Congress effort was the inspiration for this far less ambitious exhibit, which we have been so bold as to title Crescent City Memory. The New Orleans Public Library is indeed a key repository for paper reminders of our local past. Such memories are important not only for their nostalgic value, but also for what they can teach us about who were are, where we came from, and, perhaps, where we are going. By remembering--and understanding--our past we can hope to avoid repeating the mistakes of history and strive as well to emulate its successes.

This exhibit therefore looks at people, places, and events in the Crescent City's past with a view toward placing our memories into a historical context. It employs materials from several collections housed in the Library's Louisiana Division.

For more information about these collections, please consult with one of the archivists in the Louisiana Division.

The exhibit was designed and mounted by Irene Wainwright and Wayne Everard. They thank Ridgway's Inc. for reprographic services and Robert Baxter and Charles DeLong (of NOPL's Duplications staff) for lamination services. They also would like to remind viewers of this exhibit that additional pieces of the Crescent City Memory are being preserved by the city's other libraries, archives, and museums and that still other pieces of our past remain hidden away in desk drawers, trunks, and attics throughout the area.

Crescent City Memory will remain on view in the Louisiana Division through the end of 1997. The online version of the exhibit includes many, but not all, of the images and captions used in the in-house version. Staff will be adding new sections to the online version over the next several weeks; click on one of the numbers below to go to that section of the exhibit.

The Emperor Napoleon is always watching over the Louisiana Division's in-house exhibits. As he views "Crescent City Memory" he says to all who pass, "Oui, je m'en souviens bien!" (Yes, I remember it well).

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Updated, September 29, 1997--wme