Mayor Ernest N. Morial

City Archives
New Orleans Public Library

Date range: 1977 - 1986
Size of collection: 353 cartons
Terms of Access: Available to registered researchers by appointment

Historical Note

The mayor is elected by vote of the qualified electors of New Orleans to a term of four years. The city charter limits individuals to two consecutive terms. In order to run for the mayor's office, individuals must be citizens of the U.S., qualified electors of the city, and residents of New Orleans for at least five years.

The mayor is the chief executive officer of the city government. According to the charter he is responsible for:
-- overseeing boards and commissions;
-- supervising all executive and administrative operations;
-- enforcing the charter and ordinances of the city;
-- appointing the Chief Administrative Officer and the City Attorney;
-- appointing, with City Council approval, members of boards and commissions;
-- submitting annual operating and capital budgets;
-- recommending pay plans for the city work force;
-- signing contracts, bonds, and other legal instruments that the Director of Finance is not authorized to sign); and
-- seeing that contracts are faithfully executed.

With respect to the City Council, the mayor may:
-- convey messages or other information to the Council;
-- attend Council meetings;
-- call special sessions; and
-- veto ordinances.
Ernest N. "Dutch" Morial took office as the first African-American mayor of New Orleans on May 2, 1978. He was elected to a second term in 1982. Among the highlights of the Morial years were the police strike of 1979, the Louisiana World Exposition of 1984, and the development of the Almonaster-Michoud Industrial District in eastern New Orleans. For biographical information and a more detailed history of the Morial administration, see the Appendix to this guide.


The Morial mayor's office essentially was organized into four sub-units: the Executive Office, Intergovernmental Relations, Planning and Development, and Human Resources (in addition, the Mayor was advised by an Executive Counsel and was assisted in operating city government by his Chief Administrative Officer--unfortunately though, no records from either of these aides has yet been accessioned by the City Archives). There was, moreover, considerable fluidity within the office during the eight years of the Morial administration. This fluidity is addressed more fully in the detailed descriptions that follow.

The records are arranged to reflect the organization noted above.

Detailed Description of the Records

The following is a brief outline of the arrangement noted above and of the descriptions that make up the body of this finding aid. Follow the links to detailed descriptions.

Executive Office of the Mayor
Correspondence Series (28 cartons)
Subject Files (51 cartons)
Boards and Commission Records (11 cartons)
Records of Scheduled Appointments (22 cartons)
Fiscal Records (3 cartons)
Mementos (3 cartons)
Intergovernmental Relations Administration
Public Information Office Records (41 cartons)
International Relations Records (24 cartons)
Legislative Coordination Files (2 cartons)

Office of Planning and Development (71 cartons)
General Subject Files
Cultural Series
Economic Development Series
Education Series
Environmental Series
Housing Series
Planning Series
Transportation Series
Impact Analysis Group Series
Human Services Information System Series
Neighborhood Commercial Revitalization Records
New Orleans 2001 Plan Records
Miscellaneous Files (1)
Miscellaneous Files (2)

Division of Human Resources
Records of the Executive Assistant for Human Resources (49 cartons)
Records of the Community Services Office (19 cartons)
Records of the Special Assistant to the Mayor (25 cartons)
Division of Human Resources Political Files (1 carton)

Miscellaneous Files (3 cartons)


The Morial mayoral records were arranged and described by archivists Wayne Everard and Irene Wainwright. Assisting with portions of the processing were volunteer Helen Jordan, intern Clem Unangst, and Louisiana Division staff member Janel Coates.

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Rev. 1/31/2000