About

The Friends of the Cabildo Oral History Committee has recorded thousands of hours of interviews of New Orleans residents since the 1960s. In recent years, this project has slowed but has continued through the help of the Threadhead Cultural Foundation. 

Original interviews were recorded on cassette tapes and thus at risk of breaking down due to natural decay. A local donor and the Friends of the Cabildo Board of Directors sent 687 cassettes to Philadelphia-based conservators George Blood Productions to digitize the interviews for long-term preservation. 

The interviews in this collection include New Orleanians such as Lindy Boggs, Samuel Wilson, Ella Brennan, George Dureau, and John Churchill Chase. The purpose of this project is to preserve these voices, seek voices less often represented, and make these histories available to researchers. 

The digitization process has been completed. The final step of the project, and the focus of this campaign, is an online platform maintained by the Friends of the Cabildo that will allow anyone with internet access to listen to these recordings online for free.

Our online platform will be created by local technology start-up Open Archives. Their platform is designed to have a simple user experience that functions on all devices. The timeline for this project is 60 days once the campaign has been funded. 

Risks and challenges

This is an ambitious project that seeks to bring fascinating and seldom-heard parts of New Orleans history to the public. The great news is that we have most of this project completed. The only thing that stands in our way to make these histories available to everyone online is securing funding for the final step of the project.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Personal Thanks on the FOC Website

    Everything helps, and we want to personally thank you for your donation by publishing your name to our website as a contributor to the oral history project.

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    Basin Street Records Signed CD

    In addition to personal thanks on the FOC website, you will get a signed copy of a Basin Street Records CD. Basin Street Records is a record label that has been releasing real New Orleans music for two decades. Donors will receive a signed copy of either a Kermit Ruffins, Rebirth Brass Band, or Dr. Michael White CD.

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    Basin Street Records Signed Collection

    In addition to personal thanks on the FOC website, you will get a collection of three signed CDs from Basin Street Records. Basin Street Records is a record label that has been releasing real New Orleans music for two decades. Donors will receive a signed copy of a Kermit Ruffins, Rebirth Brass Band, and Dr. Michael White CD.

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    Signed Copy of The Accidental City + CDs

    In addition to personal thanks on the FOC website and a signed three CD collection from Basin Street Records, you will receive a signed copy of The Accidental City by Lawrence Powell. This is a key history that follows the founding of New Orleans through U.S. statehood in 1812.

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    New Orleans Architecture Book Series

    In addition to personal thanks on the FOC website, a collection of three signed Basin Street Records CDs, and a signed copy of Lawrence Powell's The Accidental City, you will receive the entire New Orleans Architecture Series. Researched and written by the Friends of the Cabildo, these heavily illustrated volumes feature a color section of architectural renderings from New Orleans Notorial Archives.

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