Tulane University's Howard-Tilton Memorial Library offers a Special Collections Division for student and professional research. The Special Collections Division has six departments:
Some of its holdings include the papers of Confederate President Jefferson Davis, the Gettysburg letters of Confederate General Robert E. Lee, and the papers of New Orleans Pulitzer Prize winning author John Kennedy Toole (A Confederacy of Dunces). Scholars have visited from around the world, but Special Collections prides itself in helping students and educating cultured travelers on the rich history of New Orleans and the Gulf South. Many well-known writers have used the facility for research on the books they've written.
The Hogan Jazz Archive preserves oral histories, recordings, sheet music, and images, about Jazz in New Orleans.
The Manuscripts Department is the home of New Orleans' most comprehensive research archives, with documents ranging from the colonial period to the present. Strong points include the Civil War, Jewish Studies, women's studies, medicine, Mardi Gras, Louisiana politics, Southern literature and more.
The Tulane University Archives houses the official records of Tulane University. Interested parties can find Tulane PhD candidates' doctoral dissertations, old catalogues and publications, as well as information on the university's founders and benefactors.
The Louisiana Collection contains historical printed materials from French explorations to the present. These include 19th century books, pamphlets, maps, sheet music, newspapers and photographs. The Louisiana map collection contains extensive documentation about Louisiana as well as the historical Louisiana territory, "La Louisiane".
The Rare Books section holds more than 50,000 titles from such authors as William Faulkner, Lafcadio Hearn, Robert Southey and others. There is also a leaf from an original, 550-year-old Gutenberg Bible.
The Southeastern Architectural Archive is the largest collection of architectural drawings and records in the state. The archives support the study of architectural and urban history in New Orleans and Louisiana.
And, for students and researchers of Latin American history, there is a wealth of printed and other archival material, especially as it relates to American intervention in Latin American affairs in the 19th and early 20th centuries.
Tulane University's Special Collections are all located in Joseph Merrick Jones Hall on Tulane's main uptown campus. The Collections are free and open to the public but, for the convenience of those who are doing research, a call ahead of time is advised. Staff members can advise you as to what type of material is available on your subject matter and they can have it pulled and waiting for you when you arrive.
To get there take from downtown New Orleans take the St. Charles Avenue Streetcar for about a 30-minute ride from Canal Street. Get off at Tulane University, which is located right across from Audubon Park. Walk through Tulane's campus (going away from the park) until you get to Freret Street. The Joseph Merrick Jones Hall is located at 6801 Freret Street.