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Deserter Country with Robert Sandow

Richards Center and Penn State alumnus Bob Sandow will be featured in a Pennsylvania Cable Network program on desertion during the Civil War. The program will air October 7, 8, and 10. Bob is an Associate Professor of History at neighboring Lock Haven University.

The People's Contest

Civil War archives provide access to the northern home front

Penn State Live–Friday, June 24, 2011:

One hundred sixty years ago, 10 years before the start of the Civil War, Pennsylvanians played a pivotal role in resisting the Fugitive Slave Act, entering a national debate over slavery’s future in the republic. A new project, "The People's Contest: a Civil War Era Digital Archiving Project" at http://peoplescontest.psu.edu/ online, aims to advance scholarship on the experiences of ordinary northerners during a period of extraordinary conflict, a lesser understood aspect of the Civil War era. The website chronicles Pennsylvania's history from 1851, marked by the bloody Christiana fugitive slave riot, to 1874, when the state adopted a new constitution after the Civil War.

"The People’s Contest" is a joint effort of the Penn State University Libraries and the George and Ann Richards Civil War Era Center. Coinciding with commemorations of the Civil War sesquicentennial, the site provides a resource center for all of the project's primary sources. It includes a searchable database of Civil-War era collections located throughout Pennsylvania, most of which are held by smaller historical societies without online catalogs. The database allows researchers to search by keyword, location name, and genre and gives collection location and contact information, bringing previously hidden collections to the attention of researchers and scholars.

"The People's Contest" has received grant funding from the Institute for Museum of Library Services and is also based on partnerships with the Senator John Heinz History Center, the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, and the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.

Through the collaboration of the Richards Center and the Libraries, "The People’s Contest" houses digital collections and links to other Civil War sites and collections held by Penn State at http://www.libraries.psu.edu/psul/digital/civilwar.html online. This latter site includes a roster of nonreporting drafted men and deserters (containing entries for 38,000 Pennsylvania soldiers), Pennsylvania regimental histories, Civil War newspapers, books, journals, biographies and diaries, and other open-access collections.

Legacy of Civil War era celebrated by University Libraries' exhibit

In conjunction with the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, the exhibit "Home Front to Battlefront: Celebrating the Civil War Legacy" chronicles the Civil War era and its legacy. The exhibit will be on display June 23 through Oct. 7, in 104 Paterno Library on Penn State's University Park campus.
When Jun 23, 2011 08:00 AM to
Oct 07, 2011 05:00 PM
Where Paterno Library, Penn State University Park
Contact Name Penn State University Libraries
Contact Phone 814-865-1793
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"When the shot, fired from the rebel gun at Charleston upon Fort Sumter in that memorable spring morning in April 1861, sent a wave of indignation and anger surging throughout the length and breadth of the northern States, the little body of students within the walls of what is now called 'Old Main,' at the Farmer’s High School . . . felt the shock of that mighty wave …," from a transcription of excerpts from "John I. Thompson Civil War Reminiscences."

Drawing upon a rich array of unique primary source materials -- including family letters, diaries, photographic images, historical lithographs and broadsides, official government records -- the exhibition explores themes of slavery and abolitionism, sectionalism, the battlefield experience of the common soldier, health and medical conditions during the war, Penn State and the Civil War, and the construction of cultural memory of the epic conflict. It pays particular attention to activities in the north during this period of the United State's history, drawing from Historical Collections and Labor Archives, within The Eberly Family Special Collections Library.

Exhibit hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., or by appointment. For more information, call 814-865-1793.

More information about this event…

Home front to Battlefront

Legacy of Civil War era celebrated by University Libraries' exhibit

Penn State Live–Friday, June 24, 2011:

 

 

In conjunction with the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, the exhibit "Home Front to Battlefront: Celebrating the Civil War Legacy" chronicles the Civil War Era and its legacy. The exhibit will be on display June 23 through Oct. 7, in 104 Paterno Library on Penn State's University Park campus.

"When the shot, fired from the rebel gun at Charleston upon Fort Sumter in that memorable spring morning in April 1861, sent a wave of indignation and anger surging throughout the length and breadth of the northern States, the little body of students within the walls of what is now called 'Old Main,' at the Farmer’s High School . . . felt the shock of that mighty wave …," from a transcription of excerpts from "John I. Thompson Civil War Reminiscences."

Drawing upon a rich array of unique primary source materials -- including family letters, diaries, photographic images, historical lithographs and broadsides, official government records -- the exhibition explores themes of slavery and abolitionism, sectionalism, the battlefield experience of the common soldier, health and medical conditions during the war, Penn State and the Civil War, and the construction of cultural memory of the epic conflict. It pays particular attention to activities in the north during this period of the United State's history, drawing from Historical Collections and Labor Archives, within The Eberly Family Special Collections Library.

Exhibit hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., or by appointment. For more information, call 814-865-1793.

The Enemy Within

Congratulations to Penn State graduate and former Managing Director of the Richards Center, Michael Smith.

This month the University of Virginia Press publishes his book on northern fears of corruption during the Civil War. 

Stoked by a series of major scandals, popular fears of corruption in the Civil War North provide a unique window into Northern culture in the Civil War era. In The Enemy Within, Michael Thomas Smith relates these scandals—including those involving John C. Frémont’s administration in Missouri, Benjamin F. Butler’s in Louisiana, bounty jumping and recruitment fraud, controversial wartime innovations in the Treasury Department, government contracting, and the cotton trade—to deeper anxieties.

Michael Thomas Smith is an Assistant Professor of History at McNeese State University and the author of A Traitor and a Scoundrel:  Benjamin Hedrick and the Cost of Dissent.


 

 

The Won Cause

Congratulations to Barbara Gannon on the Univ. of North Carolina Press' publication of her book on black and white comradeship in the Grand Army of the Republic.

In the years after the Civil War, black and white Union soldiers who survived the horrific struggle joined the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) – the Union army's largest veterans' organization.  In this thoroughly researched and groundbreaking study, Barbara Gannon chronicles black and white veterans' efforts to create and sustain the nation's first interracial organization.  (UNC Press)

Barbara A. Gannon is assistant professor of military history at the University of Central Florida and a 2005 Ph.D. graduate of The Pennsylvania State University.