Trans. Status:

Norma Wallace Papers

Call Number: MSS 781
Title: Norma Wallace Papers
Creator: Wallace, Norma, d. 1974 (associated name)
Date of Creation: 1930-2000
Predominant Dates: 1960s
Extent: 1.5 linear feet
Object Name: correspondence
slides (photographs)
address books
tax returns
insurance policies
Collection Type: Archival & Special Collections
Documents & Correspondence
Biography/History: Norma Wallace (d. 1974) was a New Orleans "Landlady" who ran a brothel in the French Quarter from 1920 until her arrest in 1963. She pled guilty, spent six weeks in jail and then left the prostitution business, later opening Tchoupitoulas Plantation Restaurant with her fifth husband, Wayne Bernard, on the West Bank. She committed suicide in 1974.
Scope and Content: Two years before her death, Norma Wallace narrated her life story on cassette tapes, which were later used by author Christine Wiltz to write her book, The Last Madam: A Life in the New Orleans Underworld. The original cassettes are included in these papers. Also included are some early photographs of Wallace, a collection of business and insurance documents from the 1960s, and correspondence from the early 1970s.
A good deal of the correspondence is related to an article published about Wallace in New Orleans Magazine in 1972 and the subsequent interest in a possible biography or autobiography. Additionally, there is a collection of letters Wallace wrote to Rose Mary Miorana, a former employee, in the months before her (Wallace's) death. The remainder of the papers are more ephemeral materials related to her life, such as newspaper clippings, magazines, menus, etc. as well as items added by Wayne Bernard after her death, much of which relates to publicity for Wiltz's The Last Madam.
Arrangement: Series I: Business Records and Documents; Series II: Personal Correspondence, Diaries, Photography & Ephemera; Series III: Newsclippings, Magazines, and Audiotapes.
Notes: Norma Wallace Papers, MSS 781, Williams Research Center, The Historic New Orleans Collection

Finding Aid: An item-level PDF finding aid is available online.
Restrictions: Researchers may be limited to consulting one or two items at a time, per the discretion of the Reading Room staff.

Reproduction of original documents, when permitted, must be performed by the Williams Research Center staff.

Requesting: Please provide the reference staff with the manuscript call number.
Collection Theme(s): Prostitution
Subjects: Wallace, Norma, d. 1974 -- More information
Wiltz, Christine, b. 1948 -- More information
Herman, Pete, 1896-1973 -- More information
Bernard, Wayne -- More information
New Orleans (La.)
French Quarter (New Orleans, La.)
Prostitution -- Louisiana -- New Orleans -- History.
Women -- Louisiana -- Correspondence.
Accession Number: 2015.0074
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