The Historic New Orleans Collection is a museum, research center and publisher dedicated to the study and preservation of the history and culture of New Orleans and the Gulf South. The institution was founded in 1966 by General and Mrs. L. Kemper Williams. Longtime New Orleans residents and avid collectors, the Williams’ established the organization to keep their collections intact and available to the public. In the 40-plus years since its inception, The Collection has augmented its holdings and physical properties, established ambitious publishing and exhibition schedules, and developed innovative educational programs.

The Collection operates two facilities in the French Quarter. The principal gallery, guided tours and museum shop are located in a complex of historical French Quarter buildings at 533 Royal Street. The Williams Research Center, at 410 Chartres Street, opened in 1996 and houses the archive, library, reading room and additional exhibition space. The Collection’s holdings comprise some 35,000 library items, more than two miles of documents and manuscripts, and approximately 350,000 photographs, prints, drawings, paintings and other artifacts.

A list of current and upcoming exhibitions, publications and events is available below.



  • The Collection’s latest and most ambitious publication, Furnishing Louisiana: Creole and Acadian Furniture, 1735 – 1835, is the first comprehensive study of early Louisiana-made furniture. The volume, beautifully illustrated with more than 1,200 images, is available online at and, in The Collection’s gift shop and in various book stores around the city.


The following exhibitions are free and open to the public.