City Archives
New Orleans Public Library

Mayor C. Ray Nagin
Office of Communications

Records

Date range: 2002-2010
Terms of Access: Available to registered researchers for in-house use, by appointment
Acquisition: Transferred to the City Archives in May, 2010

Historical Note

During the administration of Mayor C. Ray Nagin, the Mayor’s Office of Communications was responsible for all media and public relations programming, community affairs initiatives and marketing for the Office of the Mayor and other agencies within New Orleans city government. The Director of Communications oversaw the Mayor’s Offices of Marketing, Community Affairs, Special Events, Production, Public Information and the Press Office.

Three individuals served as Director of Communications during Mayor Nagin’s term: Patrick Evans (May – August, 2004), Sally Forman (August 2004 – February 2006) and Ceeon Quiett (August 2006 – May 2010).

Scope and Contents:

With the exception of a series of photographic prints, all of the records transferred by the Office of Communications are in digital format. The digital files (with the exception of the video files) have been copied to DVD for in-house use. File types are, for the most part, limited to those produced by Microsoft Office software (Word, Power Point, Excel, Access, Publisher), to PDF, and to commonly readable image formats (JPEG, PNG, and TIFF etc.). However, some video and image files require the use of specialized, less commonly available software.

The file structure listings linked below were taken directly from the hard drives that were transferred to the City Archives. The digital files were not weeded for duplicates or for routine, non-archival material (for example: spreadsheets of mailing labels or media contacts, blank forms, hundreds of routine proclamations issued to individuals, drafts of flyers and invitations, etc.). Original folder/file names were also retained, with no attempt by the processor to correct spelling or clarify abbreviations; thus, keyword searching of the lists, in some cases, will be difficult.

Arrangement:

The records consist of the following series:

  • Series I: An external hard drive labeled “Communications/Marketing Archive”
  • Series II: An external hard drive labeled “Video and Documents – Office of Communications”
  • Series III: Photographs on CD/DVD
  • Series IV: Photographic prints
  • Series V: Video in various formats

SERIES I: Communications/Marketing Archive (hard drive)

Documents and digital images transferred on an external hard drive bearing the label “Communications/Marketing Archive.” The drive contains 4 folders: “Communications Network Drive,” “Photos 2002-2007,” “Photos 2007-2010,” and “Video.” The records in these folders are described in the subseries below:

Subseries I: Communications Network Drive, 2002-2010
ca. 15,550 files

The records appear to be those originally stored on a City Hall network drive used by various members of the Office of Communications staff. Thus, they reflect the wide range of responsibilities of the sub-offices within the Office of Communications. Among these responsibilities were production and design of publications (including the annual budget books), programs, flyers, booklets, greeting cards, billboards (all of these done not only for the Mayor's Office but for various City Agencies); planning and promotion for special events hosted by the Mayor or the City; planning and promotion for tours, programs and receptions for visiting dignitaries; planning and documenting Mayoral trips; production of press releases and press kits, press conferences and media briefings; production of the Mayor's television broadcast "Your One New Orleans Conversation" and various public service announcements for the Mayor and other agencies; management and production of advertising campagins promoting the City; publicity and logistics for major post-Katrina recovery events (demolition, groundbreaking and ribbon-cutting ceremonies); production of content for the City's website; and photographing the Mayor's activities.

A small portion of the files (approximately 600 from as early as 1989) pre-date the Nagin Administration. There is a gap in the files between August 28 - October 14, 2005, apparently reflecting the periord after Hurricane Katrina's landfall on August 29 when the City Hall computer network was not operational.

The great majority of files are in standard electronic formats produced by Microsoft software or in PDF. Although separate series of photographs exist elsewhere (see the series and subseries below), there are approximately 675 image files (JPEG, TIFF and PSD format) included on the drive.

The records have been copied to 4 DVD's for in-house use.

  • Link here for the file structure of folders on DISK 1 [file number 217]
  • Link here for the file structure of folders on DISK 2 [file number 218]
  • Link here for the file structure of folders on DISK 3 [file number 219]
  • Link here for the file structure of folders on DISK 4 [file number 220]
Subseries II: Photos 2002-2007
ca. 8,450 items
Digital images, taken largely by the Office of Communications photographer, reflecting the Mayor’s activities and other city government-related events from 2002-2007 and transferred to the City Archives on the "Communications/Marketing" hard drive in a folder labeled “Photos 2002-2007.” The great majority are in JPEG format (300 dpi), although a very few are in PNG, GIF, TIFF, PSD formats. Several video clips are also included.

On the drive, the images are grouped in subject categories, alphabetically arranged, subjects beginning with the letters M – Z only. No photos in subject categories A – L were received.

Included with the digital images are several folders containing documents and spreadsheets, all relating to the Mayor’s transition into office in 2002 (see folder labeled “Ray Nagin”).

The images and documents have been copied to DVD [file numbers 221-222] for in-house use .

  • Link here to view the structure of this folder.
Subseries III: Photos 2007-2010
ca. 199,000 images
Digital images (primarily JPEGs) reflecting the Mayor’s activities and other city government-related events from December 2007 – April 2010, transferred on an external hard drive labeled “Photos 2007-2010.” The photographs were, for the most part, taken by Julie Plonk, who was hired as graphic designer/photographer in the Office of Communications in November 2007.

The images are arranged chronologically in subfolders labeled “2007,” “2008,” “2009,” and “2010.” Subfolders within each annual subfolder are arranged by month and, thereunder, by folders bearing a title roughly descriptive of the event itself. Each event folder often contains a subfolder labeled "Top," which includes those images the photographer apparently considered the "best" taken at a specific event. The 2007 subfolder includes events from December only and is arranged in weekly subfolders. Two additional folders are labeled “Building Projects” and "Departmental Photos," both also arranged chronologically.

With the exception of 5 bitmap files and 6 video files (AVI format), the files are in JPEG format (at least 300 dpi).

The images have been copied to DVD [file numbers 223-290] for in-house use.

  • Link here to view the structure of this folder.
Subseries IV: Video, 2003-2010
34 video clips
Includes video made by the Office of Communications and local/national network/cable television coverage of various events, interviews, and special programs.

Because of their large size, these files have not been copied to DVD. Equipment to view the videos, depending on file type, may not be available in the City Archives at this time.

  • Link here to view the file structure of this folder.
SERIES II: Video & Documents – Office of Communications (2002-2010) (hard drive)
ca. 2400 items
This hard drive was transferred by Julie Plonk, who served as Graphic Designer/Photographer from November 2007 - January 2009, and as Communications/Marketing Specialist/Project Manager from January 2009 - the end of the Nagin administration. Material on the drive reflects the range of her duties within the Office of Communications: graphic design of billboards, brochures, flyers, booklets, signage, press kits, greeting cards, invitations and recovery material for various city departments; design of Mayoral presentations, including the annual "State of the City" addresses; photographing the Mayor's activities and post-Katrina recovery projects; weekly production of stories for the City's website and newsletter. Ms. Plonk also co-directed Mayor Nagin's "Your One New Orleans Conversation" television show, developed advertising campaigns, assisted at major recovery events (ground breaking ceremonies, demolition and ribbon cutting ceremonies and media briefings). She also documented in detail the stages of renovation for the Mahalia Jackson Theater and created "Kids in Focus," a free summer photography program for children.

More than half of the files are image files (primarily JPEG format, but also including other common image file types -- BMP, GIF, PNG, PSD and TIFF -- and a few imagesrequiring more specialized software -- EPS, SCT, RAW, PXR). With the exception of 36 video files (AVI and WMA formats) and approximately 100 system files, the remainder of the files were created with Microsoft Office software formats (Word, Access, Power Point, Publisher, Excel), or are text files or PDF's. Because Ms. Plonk apparently also used the Communications Network Drive described in Series I, Subseries I, researchers should expect duplication.

The files (with the exception of the videos) have been copied to DVD [file numbers 213-216] for in-house use.

  • Link here to view the file structure of this drive.
SERIES III: Photographs on CD/DVD, 2002-2009 [bulk 2007]
43 disks; 8948 images
The images were apparently taken by the Office of Communications photographer (although a few were shot by photographers working on contract) and, with the exception of 3 disks, reflect post-Katrina subjects. The images files are primarily JPEG format, though some are other standard image formats (TIFF, PNG, etc.). Descriptions were taken from labels on the disks or disk cases, or from examination of the content of the disks themselves. Some of these photos may duplicate those in Series I, Subseries II and III.

  • Link here for an inventory of the folder titles in this series.
SERIES IV: Photographs (Prints), 2002-2003, 2005-2007 [bulk 2002-2003]
136 folders
With the exception of 3 8x10" prints and several color transparencies, the photographs are all 4x6" color prints covering primarily the years 2002-2003. There is one folder each from 2005 and 2006 and 8 folders from 2007 (10 folders are undated). The photographs were transferred in the developers' envelopes and often include an index sheet and, in some cases, negatives. Most of the envelopes bore some sort of identification, which was accepted by the processor. When specific dates were not indicated, the date (month and year only) was taken from the index sheet and thus gives the date when the photographs were developed, not when they were taken.

  • Link here for a list of folder titles in this series.
SERIES V: Video, 1998-2010 [bulk 2002-2005]
782 items
The majority of the videos are primarily professional grade videocassette, although a few were recorded on Mini DV, and CD/DVD's. Fifteen of the tapes pre-date Mayor Nagin's administration. Approximately 1/3 are undated and only 17 tapes are from the years 2006-2010. Topics are overwhelmingly ceremonial or promotional in nature, and range from the video for an insert shot of a “Flag in Breeze” to coverage of Mayoral trips abroad, to "One New Orleans" (the Mayor's public access television broadcasts), press conferences, the "State of the City" address and other speeches. Copies of local, network or cable television interviews with Mayor Nagin or shows about Nagin or New Orleans are also included. There is some duplication between the items in this series and those in Series I and II described above.

The City Archives does not have equipment that allows viewing of the videocassettes. Please consult with an archivist regarding access.

The items were assigned item and box numbers as reflected in the inventory below.

  • Link here for an inventory of the items in this series.


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8/4/2014 -- iw