Pamela D. Arceneaux, Senior Librarian/Rare Books Librarian with The Historic New Orleans Collection, will discuss her most recent book ""Guidebooks to Sin: The Blue Books of Storyville, New Orleans.""
For most of Storyville’s twenty years (1898-1917), guidebooks were produced containing directories listing hundreds of prostitutes by name, address, and race as well as full-page advertisements for some of the better brothels. In New Orleans, these various published guides were known collectively as “Blue Books,” even though they did not all bear that title officially. New Orleans was not the first nor the only city to offer such guides to their vice districts, but probably produced them on a more regular basis than most other cities. By modern standards, the tone of these guides is almost demure; none of the Storyville-era Blue Books specifically describe the sexual services offered, nor do they list fees. Issued annually around Carnival and targeting a white male audience, these little books can be seen as marketing tools, not only to the city’s vice district but to the depiction of New Orleans itself as a popular and exotic winter convention and tourist destination. Lunch will be served. RSVP by Thursday, November 8.
Copies of Guidebooks to Sin: The Blue Books of Storyville, New Orleans, a richly illustrated, hardcover annotated bibliography, will be available for sale. $50.00
No charge members / $10 non-members
New Orleans JCC - Uptown