New Orleans Tours

Uptown Choose Your Own Adventure Tour

Tuesday June 19, 1:00-4:00 p.m.

12:50 p.m. Gather in hotel lobby
1:00-1:30 p.m. Shuttle from Hotel to Uptown, stop at Freret Street on Tulane University campus
1:30-2:15 p.m. Tour, choose one option below

Option 1: Tulane University Special Collections (Louisiana Research Collection, Tulane University Archives, Hogan Jazz Archives & Southeastern Architectural Archive). Within this option, choose to see one of the following:

  • The Louisiana Research Collection (LaRC) is the oldest, largest, and most comprehensive research center for New Orleans and the second largest for Louisiana. As an integrated research library and archives, LaRC offers a full range of library and archival research resources, from books and manuscripts to maps and images.
  • The University Archives comprises one of our richest sources of information on campus. We invite you to visit the “physical memory” of Tulane University.
  • The Hogan Jazz Archive is the leading research center for the study of New Orleans jazz and related musical genres, including New Orleans ragtime, gospel, blues, rhythm and blues, and Creole songs.
  • The Southeastern Architectural Archive is the largest repository of architectural records in the southern United States. The SEAA has progressively sought to enhance the preservation and conservation of architectural records associated with the built environment of the southeastern Gulf Region.

Option 2: Tulane University, Rare Books and Matas Health Sciences Rare Books. Special Collections’ Rare Books unit preserves approximately 50,000 titles dating from a leaf of the Gutenberg Bible (ca. 1456)  to recent first editions.The Rudolph Matas Library is the primary resource library for the Tulane University Health Sciences Center comprising the School of Medicine, the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, and the National Primate Center, and includes a collection of rare books and archival material.

2:15-2:30 p.m. Walk between tour locations for next tour

2:30-3:15 p.m. Tour, choose one option below

Option 1: Tulane University, The Latin American Library. The Latin American Library is among the world’s foremost collections of Latin American research materials in the country. The collections encompass all Latin America and the Caribbean, but a particular area of strength since its formation in 1924 has been the Mesoamerica and the trans-Caribbean region, with unparalleled collections for the Southern states of Mexico and Central America.  Unique holdings include 18 original Mexican pictorial manuscripts; several thousand manuscripts relating to colonial Mexican ecclesiastical and administrative matters; native-language dictionaries, grammars, catechisms, and legal dossiers from New Spain;  political and religious pamphlets, flyers, and ephemera from the 18thcentury to the present documenting politics, art, entertainment, travel and tourism; over 150,000 still photographs and slides from every country in the region; early 19th century newspapers and manuscripts relating to independence movements in Mexico and South America.

Option 2: Tulane University, Newcomb Archives/Vorhoff Library. The Newcomb Archives and Vorhoff Library Special Collections collect, preserve, and make available records and other materials documenting the legacy of Newcomb College and the history of women and gender in the Gulf South.

Option 3: Amistad Research Center. Housed on the campus of Tulane University, the Amistad Research Center is the nation’s oldest, largest and most comprehensive independent archive specializing in the history of America’s ethnic history, civil rights, and social justice movements.

Option 4: Loyola University Special Collections & Archives. Located on the third floor of the Monroe Library, Special Collections and Archives preserves materials related to the history of Louisiana and the South, the Society of Jesus, and Loyola University New Orleans.

3:15-3:30 p.m. Travel back to bus stop at Freret Street
3:30-4:00 p.m. Shuttle from Uptown to Hotel

Cost: $18/person, maximum of 38 people

Tour of St. Louis Cemetery I

Tuesday June 19, 1:30-3:00 p.m.

Established in 1789 by Carlos IV of Spain, St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 is the oldest existent cemetery in New Orleans. The cemetery is the final resting place of many prominent New Orleans families, particularly the Creole population.  In addition, there are society mausoleums for various benevolent organizations representing the French, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish and African-American population.  The cemetery is a reflection of the city’s rich multi-ethnic history and architectural treasures. This tour includes wonderful examples of the artistic talent of free-people-of-color who were skilled stone workers and marble sculptors.

The cemetery is closed to tourists, except to those participating in an authorized tour.  The tour will be conducted by a licensed guide of Save Our Cemeteries, a preservation organization founded in 1974.  It is one of the oldest cemetery preservation societies in the country and was established in response to the possibility that these historic cemeteries would be destroyed due to a changing urban environment.

1:30 p.m. Gather in lobby of hotel for short walk to cemetery
3:15 p.m. Tour ends at hotel lobby

Cost:  $20/person includes a special 25% discount courtesy of Save Our Cemeteries, maximum 14 people

African Life in the French Quarter Walking Tour – SOLD OUT

Friday, June 22, 2:00-4:00 p.m.

Join us for a tour focusing on African American history within New Orleans’ French Quarter. Provided by Hidden History Tours, this tour acquaints visitors with the French and Spanish colonial period, the role of the Catholic Church in the slave trade, forms of resistance, and the counterrevolutionary period of Reconstruction. Sites visited will include the Place d’Armes (Jackson Square), The Cabildo, former slave markets, the site of the first Black daily newspaper in the United States, St. Louis Cathedral, and sites of Reconstruction Era conflicts. Significant walking is required. Length of tour is about 14-17 sites and is about 2 hours long. 

2:00 p.m. Gather in lobby of hotel for walk to start of tour
2:15 p.m. Tour begins at Cayenne Gallerie (Shakor Art), 702 Decatur St., next door to Cafe Du Monde
4:00 p.m. Tour ends at the Bienville Monument at the intersection of Conti Street, Decatur St. and N. Peters St. (.5 mile from hotel)

Cost: $36/person, maximum of 28 people / SOLD OUT


Literary Walking Tour of The French Quarter

(Tour operator: Le Monde Creole)

Friday, June 22, 2:00-4:00 p.m.

A two-hour Literary Tour of New Orleans’ French Quarter.  Celebrating 300 years of literary creation, the tour examines places associated with great writers of New Orleans and places them in the context of the history and culture of New Orleans.  The tour will explore the world of literary figures through visits to courtyards, gardens and private spaces.  Among literary figures are the first native-born playwright of the Mississippi River Valley (Etienne Viel); free people of color writers (Victor Séjour), women writers (Molly Moore Davis, Francis Parkinson Keyes. Ruth McEnery Stuart) and such 20th-century giants as Tennessee Williams and William Faulkner. The tour will end with a visit to the Williams Research Center for a brief “show and tell” of manuscripts associated with the literary figures featured on the tour.

For additional information on Louisiana writers see:

1:45 p.m. Gather in lobby of hotel for walk to start of tour
4:00 p.m. Tour ends at the Williams Research Center, 410 Chartres St, a short walk from the hotel

Costs: $20/person, maximum of 16 people


Service Project: New Orleans City Park

Friday, June 22, 1:30-5:00 p.m.

Join other RBMS members in giving back to New Orleans by assisting New Orleans City Park – one of the nation’s oldest urban parks ( – with an afternoon of habitat restoration and maintenance. Activities will be based on the organization’s needs at the time, but will definitely involve plenty of fresh air! All tools, gloves, and instruction will be provided, but you will want to wear long pants and close-toed shoes and bring a water bottle along with you to fill up. Come do some gardening for a good cause following a productive conference!

No cost, maximum of 20 volunteers. Sign up on this online form We will leave from the hotel lobby at 1:30pm to make it to the volunteer location by 2pm with an estimated end time of 4:30pm. Make sure to eat lunch before we head out!

Coordinator: Colleen Barrett, Philadelphia Rare Books & Mss. Co.