Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress has made three more Civil War-related collections available online (including Clara Barton and Charles Reed)

From Michelle Krowl at the Library of Congress: 

I wanted to let you know about three Civil War-related collections in the Manuscript Division that have recently been digitized and posted to the Library of Congress website. They are chock full of primary source material that may be helpful for classroom use, student papers, scholarly articles, dissertations, books, or just for general interest.

Each collection can be accessed in several ways. Each has its own online presentation site, but can also be accessed through online collection finding aids that are available in html and pdf format. (Sometimes it can be easier to find specific items or types of material through the finding aids.) Original materials can be found through the “Collection Items” tab in the online presentation, and the “Digital Content Available” links in the container lists of the finding aids. All of the collection material is the same regardless of how it is accessed, but two of the online presentations have additional essays, as well as updated related resources.

When you open up the web page with bibliographic information for that set of original materials, you’ll want to either click on the photo of the item (sometimes it is a photo of the file folder) or the “enlarge xx images” link under the photo (both are on the left side of the page). Both will launch the viewer through which the material can be seen.

The new online collections are:

Clara Barton achieved historical fame as a nurse during the Civil War, as an international relief worker following the war, and as the founder of the American Red Cross in 1881. All of these activities are reflected in Barton’s extensive collection of personal papers. Of particular interest to students of the Civil War is Barton’s correspondence with family members like Martha Elvira Stone, the pocket diaries in which she noted the names of soldiers she encountered in hospitals, records of the Office of Correspondence with the Friend of the Missing Men of the U. S. Army, documents relating to the identification of Union soldiers buried at the Confederate prison of Andersonville, and Barton’s war lectures.
Online presentation     Finding aid in html     Finding aid in pdf

The Gresham material in the Lewis H. Machen Family Papers includes family correspondence before, during and after the Civil War. The highlight of this section of the collection is the seven Civil War-era diaries kept by LeRoy Wiley Gresham from 1860 to his death in June 1865. LeRoy, a native of Macon, Georgia, kept a diary entry nearly every single day of the war, beginning when he was about 13 and ending at his death at the age of 17. He notes what news he is hearing, the prices of things purchased for him, and generally what life is like for a teenager on the home front during the war. The reason LeRoy does not enlist in the Confederate army is that he was a long-time invalid, and the diaries also reflect the symptoms of his health problems (the exact origin of which are not specified) and what remedies he uses for treatment and pain management.
Online presentation     Finding aid in html     Finding aid in pdf  (Containers 29-32)

The papers of Civil War soldier and artist Charles Wellington Reed, who served with the Ninth Independent Battery, Massachusetts Light Artillery, includes approximately seven hundred sketches and correspondence relating primarily to the Civil War. The letters are often prefaced by drawings which further illustrate not only the rigors of military life, but also the amusing and mundane aspects. The contents of the letters and corresponding sketches well document the ways in which soldiers adapted to seasonal changes in the weather, how they amused themselves, and the routines of camp life in the Army of the Potomac.
Online presentation     Finding aid in html     Finding aid in pdf

Other collections with manuscript materials are available at: http://www.loc.gov/manuscripts/collections/, while the legacy collections still part of the American Memory portal are available at: http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/index.html

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Kansas City Southern

. . . heading east out of Vicksburg across the Big Black River (April 2014). I was singing that old Gene Clark tune in my head for the rest of the day.