Los Angeles Times: After Katrina, a priceless musical archive was thought lost. It showed up in Torrance. “Hurricane Katrina pushed into New Orleans early in the morning of Aug. 29, 2005, and within a few hours, the first floodwaters had crossed the doorway of Sea-Saint Studio. One by one, the three outfall canals bordering Lake Ponchartrain failed and water rushed into Gentilly, the quiet residential neighborhood where Allen Toussaint’s home and studio were located. Even as the storm moved out, the lake continued to pour itself into the city. The next day, Aug. 30, skies were blue and Sea-Saint was fully submerged.”
Tulane University: Hogan Jazz Archive awarded grant to digitize recordings of first African American DJ in New Orleans. “The Hogan Jazz Archive of the Howard Tilton Memorial Library was awarded a $11,500 grant from the GRAMMY Museum Grant Program to digitize and preserve recordings from Vernon Winslow, the first African American disc jockey in New Orleans.”
NOLA: After a Facebook fracas, online map, new support network for black New Orleans restaurants. “In mid-July, with some unexpected time on his hands as Tropical Storm Barry effectively shut down the city, [Westley] Bayas decided to do something about it. He created an online map to help connect the dots, and connect more people with more of these restaurants, the Where Black NOLA Eat maps (see the map here and below). Today it shows 116 businesses, from full-service restaurants to bars and sno-ball stands.”
Sounds like an awesome Kickstarter project: Preserve & digitize 30,000 historic New Orleans newspapers . “Currently, the entire collection is housed safely at our New Orleans headquarters where it will stay in the original Mylar sleeves until we have the full capability to process and re-enter it into record with our proposed unprecedented image quality and data utility. Our next major undertaking is to scan and digitize the entire New Orleans DNA holdings–over 500,000 sides of newsprint & special supplements, mostly from The Daily Picayune and Times-Picayune from 1888-1929, a collection unrivaled in both continuity and condition.”
The New Orleans Advocate: King cake baby too lewd for Facebook? Post violation for nudity leaves company ‘shocked’. “King Cake Snob is a competition run annually by Innovative Advertising, a Mandeville-based company, which ranks king cakes from across the region. As part of its usual marketing push, the group tried to post sponsored Facebook ads featuring tiny baby dolls, the totems traditionally found in the classic Carnival treat. But the sight of plastic babies wearing nothing but their birthday suits led Facebook to block the ads.”
4WWL: New website offers a peek at the French Quarter’s past. “It’s only 13 blocks long and six blocks deep, but the French Quarter has countless stories. And now many of them are available with the click of a mouse. The non-profit Vieux Carre Commission Foundation has launched the Vieux Carré Virtual Library… a new website that catalogs tens of thousands of images and documents for the nearly 4,000 structures in the city’s oldest and most famous neighborhood.”
Ars Technica: How do you preserve beloved New Orleans folk art? A Web font, of course. “Few if any cities value local culture as much as New Orleans, but even the Crescent City has to navigate modern realities of change. And as new residents move in or new businesses replace old ones, some beloved bits of the city’s artistic fabric occasionally need intentional preservation. Case in point: the work of Lester Carey.”
A 1970s feminist newspaper from New Orleans has been digitized and put online. From the collection’s home page: “Distaff was the first and only feminist newspaper published in New Orleans. Founded in 1972 by Mary Gehman and Donna Swanson, Distaff served as a forum for women’s voices in politics, activism, and the arts. One of the few newspapers published by and for women in the Gulf South, Distaff covered a wide range of topics and issues, including reproductive rights, pay equity and women’s rights in the workplace, lesbian activism, the Equal Rights Amendment, literature and the arts, and women in politics. Issues were edited and produced by a coalition of New Orleans women known for their activism in political spheres. A preview issue was published in 1973 and the newspaper continued to be published until 1982. There was a hiatus in publication from 1976-1978.”
Live Music Blog: New Orleans Jazz Fest Performer History Search Engine Released!. “With New Orleans Jazz Fest kicking off today, the city of NOLA is coming alive in the spirit of music. … For those of us not there and bored over the weekend, or for those of us that are there and perhaps need something to help nurse that hangover before you head back out onto the racetrack, check out this amazing new search engine released by the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation Archive. It allows users to search for artists that have played the festival over the years starting back in 1970.”
The archives of photographer Harold Baquet has been donated to the Historic New Orleans Collection. “Baquet’s work appeared in various local and national publications, including Ebony, Jet, Rolling Stone, Essence and Time magazines, and he worked for a time as a photographer for both City Hall and the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation before spending more than 25 years with Loyola University. Touring the city of his birth with a camera in hand, Baquet captured images of second lines, Mardi Gras Indians, flambeaux, jazz musicians, Mardi Gras celebrations and daily life in the French Quarter.” The story says the archive will be made available to the public – I really hope that means digitized….
The New Orleans Museum of Art has joined the Google Cultural Institute. “For now, there are 71 works of art from NOMA featured on Google’s portal. There are plans to add more. In all, the museum has about 40,000 works of art. The museum houses one of the most important, and eclectic, fine arts collections in the South.”
The NOLA Hip Hop and Bounce archive is expanding with twenty more video interviews which will be added to the archive later this year.
The Ogden Museum is gathering memories of Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita for a digital archive. “From Aug. 1 through 31, people can record their memories at computer stations throughout the Circle Gallery in the museum at 925 Camp St. Those recollections will become part of the Hurricane Digital Memory Bank, which is operating the program with the museum.”