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Saenger Theater…

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7th Annual Pumpkin…

Oct 6 - 31, 2015
The Lutcher/Gramercy Lions Club presents its 7th Annual Pumpkin Patch at the… more

The Collection’s Holdings Go Mobile


Media Contact:
Emily Schmidt, Communication Strategist
Gambel Communications
(504) 324-4242 |

Lauren Noel, Marketing Assistant
The Historic New Orleans Collection
(504) 556-7655 |

The Collection’s Holdings Go Mobile
Free “Historic New Orleans” app takes users on a tour of New Orleans unlike any other

April 2011 | New Orleans, LA — New Orleans is home to some of the oldest architecture in the United States—much of the city, especially in and around the downtown area, is centuries old. Now, for the first time, you can view the New Orleans of yesteryear in real time.

The Historic New Orleans Collection is proud to announce the release of “Historic New Orleans,” a new free iPhone/iPad application, or app, that can create “then-and-now” photo mash-ups. Featuring nearly 400 images from The Collection’s holdings, the app guides users to locations throughout the French Quarter and the Central Business District and displays early 20th-century photographs.

Taken between 1910 and 1950, the images are from the Charles L. Franck Studio Collection. The commercial photography studio chronicled the growth of New Orleans, and photographs selected for the app spotlight buildings, transportation and street scenes.

“When I started working at The Collection, the only way to access the photographs was to physically visit our archive,” said Steve Sweet, manager of Internet and interactive development at The Historic New Orleans Collection. “A few years ago they were made available online, but now you can actually stand on the exact spot where the photograph was taken and view the present through the past.”

A collaboration with national app developer LookBackMaps, “Historic New Orleans” allows users to browse the photos through an interactive map or through the photo database. Information on each image is available through the app, or users can connect back to The Collection’s online catalogue for more details. With the “Guide Me!” function, users can take a current photo with their phone and superimpose it on the historical photo of the same location. Adjusting the transparency of images will show what has changed, and in many cases, what hasn’t changed at all.

“There’s something in being human that wonders what was here before us—who occupied this space, how did they live, what did they leave behind? ” said app developer Jon Voss of LookBackMaps. “By mapping the millions of historical photos available through public libraries and private collections on the web, we start to piece together the puzzle.”

Once the mash-up is complete, the user can save or share the finished product with anyone through e-mail. For those not in the New Orleans area, the app links the photo location to a current Google Maps street view for a similar “then-and-now” experience.

“The ‘Historic New Orleans’ app is a great example of museums finding new and innovative ways to make their collections more accessible and relevant to a variety of audiences,” said Voss. “With its release, The Collection is taking a leading role in finding new ways to share collections with the general public.”

“Historic New Orleans” is available for free at the iPhone App Store. The full contents of the Charles L. Franck Studio Collection, which contains more than 16,000 items, are permanently housed at The Collection’s Williams Research Center, 410 Chartres St.

The development of this app has been made possible in part by Valentino New Orleans Hotels. For more information, call (504) 523-4662 or visit

Editor’s Notes:

  • Photos are available upon request. Please contact Lauren Noel ( or (504) 556-7655) for digital images.

About The Collection

Founded in 1966, The Historic New Orleans Collection is a museum, research center and publisher dedicated to the preservation of the history and culture of New Orleans and the Gulf South. Located in the heart of the French Quarter, The Collection offers guided tours, free rotating exhibitions, a research facility, and a museum shop. For more information, visit or call (504) 523-4662.

The Historic New Orleans Collection – Preserving our Past for a Brighter Future.