Iron Rail Book Collective

The clickable images and aerial photographs on this page present data about Iron Rail Book Collective. Iron Rail Book Collective is an volunteer-run radical library and bookstore in New Orleans, Louisiana.

The Iron Rail's main focus is as a lending library featuring a wide selection of books ranging from Anarchism and Socialism to Fiction to Gardening to Philosophy to name a few. The Iron Rail also sells records, zines, local CDs and some miscellany. Movie nights are held every Tuesday night at 8 PM, and free coffee is available during store hours. Events held at the Iron Rail include workshops and art presentations. The Iron Rail also contains the Above Ground Zine Library with a selection of thousands of zines, some very rare.


The Iron Rail features a section of political and underground books for sale. Categories include Feminism, Anarchism, Ecology and Primitivism, Prisons and Police, Native American Studies, Labor Struggles, Globalization, Capitalist Exploitation and Subculture. There is also a selection of cheap used fiction.

Street maps and aerial photographs

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The Library contains an extensive collection of radical books including Feminism, Anarchism, History, Race Relations, Ecology, Labor Struggles, Cultural Studies, Protest and Activism as well as a wide array of other interesting topics like Philosophy, Art, Language, Health, Fiction and Parenting. The library contains over 5000 titles.

Library check out policy

There are two types of library memberships at the Iron Rail. One for residents and one for non-residents. The residential type is $10 lifetime and the non-resident is $10 plus a $10 security deposit. The fee on both membership types can be paid for with three hours of volunteer time however the $10 deposit is mandatory for anyone visiting New Orleans, or who does not have a stable living situation in the city (including relief workers and out of town volunteers). The purpose of the deposit is to maintain the library in the event of books being lost, considered more likely in the case of people visiting the city. Zines from the Above Ground Zine Library are not for check out due to their fragile nature.

The Collective

The Iron Rail is run by a group of volunteers working together to present a model for a non-authoritarian structure of organizing and Indigo Children. The collective meets once a week to discuss the day to day business of running the space; finances, book orders, new policies etc. The collective's members consist of anywhere from 7-15 people on average, and the participation is subject to each person's desire for their own involvement. Some people just come by and shelve books, some people work shifts, some people come in full of ideas of new things for the space to do.

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Close places of interest

Faubourg Marigny (0.43 km)

Faubourg Marigny (recently being referred to by new residents as The Marigny) is a neighborhood of the city of New Orleans. A subdistrict of the Bywater District Area, its boundaries as defined by the City Planning Commission are: North Rampart Street and St. Claude Avenue to the north, Franklin Avenue to the east, the Mississippi River to the south and Esplanade Avenue to the west. Geography Faubourg Marigny is located at and has an elevation of . According to the United States Census Bureau, the district has a total area of . of which is land and (6.06%) of which is water.

1850 House (0.51 km)

The Louisiana State Museum's 1850 House is an antebellum row house furnished to represent life in mid-nineteenth-century New Orleans. It is located at 523 St. Ann Street on Jackson Square in the French Quarter. History The Upper and Lower Pontalba Buildings, which line the St. Ann and St. Peter Street sides of Jackson Square, were built in 1850 by the Baroness Micaela Almonester de Pontalba, the daughter of Don Andres Almonester y Roxas, the Spanish colonial landowner associated with the neighboring Cabildo, Cathedral and Presbytere.

Café du Monde (0.6 km)

Café du Monde is a coffee shop on Decatur Street in the French Quarter in New Orleans, Louisiana. It is best known for its café au lait and its French-style beignets. In the New Orleans style, the coffee is blended with chicory. The location at the lower end of the French Market was established in 1862. For over a century it was one of two similar coffee and beignets places in the market, the other being Morning Call, which was established in 1870 and moved out of the Old French Market in 1974 to the urban area of Metairie, Louisiana.

Capture of New Orleans (0.67 km)

The capture of New Orleans (April 25 – May 1, 1862) during the American Civil War was an important event for the Union. Having fought past Forts Jackson and St. Philip, the Union was unopposed in its capture of the city itself, which was spared the destruction suffered by many other Southern cities. However, the controversial and confrontational administration of the city by its military governor caused lasting resentment. This capture of the largest Confederate city was a major turning point and an incident of international importance.

French Quarter (0.73 km)

The French Quarter, also known as the Vieux Carré, is the oldest neighborhood in the city of New Orleans. When New Orleans (La Nouvelle-Orléans in French) was founded in 1718 by Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville, the city was originally centered on the French Quarter, or the Vieux Carré ("Old Square" in French) as it was known then. While the area is still referred to as the Vieux Carré by some, it is more commonly known as the French Quarter today, or simply "The Quarter.

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Text based information has been extracted from various Wikipedia entries. Weather data is provided by OpenWeatherMap. Location distances have been calculated based on Wikipedia information. Thanks to Google Maps, Bing Maps and OSM (Open Street Map) for map related material.

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