NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA–One of the priceless resources of the city is now open to the public again. The Historic New Orleans Collection is now taking in visitors to it’s Tricentennial Wing.
One of the most beautiful qualities of the museum is that you literally have to walk through historic New Orleans to arrive at it’s doors.
President and Chief Executive Director, Daniel Hammer remembers closing down at the start of the coronavirus pandemic in March saying, “it’s really challenging see the French Quarter so reduced in it’s activity. It was a big change for us.”
COVID-19 has affected museums greatly. Many museums are struggling and all museums are finding new innovative ways to stay afloat. The Historic New Orleans Collection was quick to switch gears by offering a wide array of virtual material, including online tours and exhibitions. With the museum no physically open, the virtual offerings won’t stop. Instead, the museum and research center now has the best of both worlds to offer.
“A big part of the reason that people come here is that they see a big connection to their own stories. Certainly as we do more online, we find that the audience isn’t limited to people who live here in New Orleans, but it has widened the reach to everyone.”
Three exhibitions are open. Cajun Document showcases a photography exhibit from the 1970’s. French Quarter Life shows the people and places of the Vieux Carre. Land of Dreams is a beautiful room that showcases a local artist who depicted older photographs of the city and it shows the glory of summertime in New Orleans; including a scene of Lincoln Beach.
Normally, the collection is a repository of information and stories from years past. However, the coronavirus pandemic was historic in and of itself and the historians are finding themselves part of history by working on a project called, “From the Front Line.” The project is designed to help document the story of COVID-19 in New Orleans by collecting oral history.
“That is a very important role that museums are dedicating to do. We are working to document what is going on right now in our community with this virus,” says Hammer.
To enjoy the exhibitions at the Historic New Orleans Collection, the only things required are a mask and a ticket reservation made in advance.