City Archives & Special Collections

City Archives & Special Collections
New Orleans Public Library
219 Loyola Ave.
New Orleans, LA 70112

From Robert E. Lee to Mama D

Beginning in 2019, the New Orleans City Council Street Renaming Commission began the process of replacing the names of Confederates and white supremacists with those of New Orleans artists, activists, and innovators who made positive contributions to the city's history.

A wealth of stories resulted from the nomination process, with more nominees than available streets. To share more of these stories with the public, the Midlo Center for New Orleans Studies at the University of New Orleans, in partnership with NOLA4Women and the New Orleans Public Library, created research guides, digital games, and TikToks using the resources of the New Orleans Public Library.

What is a Research Starter Kit?

Research starter kits can launch students into conducting their own research at the library. The kits include information on how to navigate databases and archives that assist students in finding additional information on the historical figures who most interest them. They encourage students to explore the lives of important, but sometimes lesser known figures in New Orleans history.

What are Online Mystery Games?

These are playable video games based on one of the women featured in the From Robert E. Lee to Mama D project. The three featured games vary in difficulty and content.

Also check out this You Tube Video that explains the formation of the project and why exploring this topic is important.

Visit From Robert E. Lee to Mama D to utilize these awesome tools and learn about New Orleans's artists, activists, and innovators!

New Orleans Street Renaming Commission Research

The City Archives & Special Collections was contacted by staff from the City Council of New Orleans to investigate the histories behind streets in New Orleans that have been identified as having suspected ties to the Confederacy. Our task was to discover when the streets were named, who they were named for, what (if any) the previous name of the street was, and finally to locate any specific city ordinance enacting the name change.

Compiled by Brittanny Silva and Andrew Mullins

For more information about the Street Renaming Commission and follow-up reports outlining proposed new street names, you can visit the City Council Street Renaming Commission website.

Digital Resources

As part of our programming and reference services, the City Archives provides lists of resources to help patrons with additional research. The majority of the resourcesare available for access at home.

Sources For Remote Research

  • Access
  • Genealogy I
  • Genealogy II
  • Newspaper Research
  • Property Research
  • Records Care
  • Digital Images
  • Additional Resources

    E-Resources available with your library card includes books, audio books, and magazines. There are many titles, both fiction and non-fiction, focusing on New Orleans and the surrounding area.

    City Archives & Special Collections Facebook Page. Our page features content from our collections including images, exhibits and collection highlights.

    Impact Stories

    Learn how the New Orleans Public Library interacts with your community through Impact Stories. The stories featured below show the how the City Archives impacts the community and how our records can be used to show how the Library can play a part in community life. Go to Impact Stories to read all the entries.

  • 'Libraries Save Lives': The Case of Elvis Brooks
  • Library Researchers Provide Facts-Based Foundation for Street Renaming Project
  • Alvar Library: A Fixture of the Community since 1940
  • Nix Library: Going 'Above & Beyond' for Almost a Century
  • Children’s Resource Center Library: A Historic Landmark that Continues to Serve
  • 'I Couldn't Have Done It Alone': Library Resources Help Turn Hobby Into a Career
  • 'A Help and a Haven': What Nora Navra Library Means to its Community
  • Algiers Regional: 'A Library for the Future'
  • 'A Beautiful Discovery': NOPL Resources Help California Woman Unravel Family History

    New Orleans and Louisiana Fact Finder

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    CB 03/2019