Monday, May 2, 2011

Butler Center for Arkansas Studies Launches New Civil War Website

In conjunction with the start of the Civil War Sesquicentennial, as well as the kick off of Arkansas Heritage Month, the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies is pleased to announce the launch of a new website devoted to the Civil War in Arkansas. Titled “A Nation Divided: Arkansas and the Civil War,” the site presents a wealth of information on our state’s role in its most trying conflict. The site, which has been sanctioned by the Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission, provides easy accessibility to the Butler Center’s vast Civil War–related holdings. Of primary interest to researchers will be the large number of manuscript collection finding aids posted to the site. The finding aids, which serve as gateways to the collections, are divided into Union and Confederate sources and provide detailed descriptions as to the contents of each collection. Within the collections, researchers will find hundreds of letters, diaries, official documents, and photographs. In addition, a number of the primary materials have been digitized and placed in the site’s digital gallery. Now, Arkansas’s citizens as well as people from around the world will be able to quickly and easily view historical documents and photographs related to Arkansas’s role in the Civil War. Two of the first collections to be digitized provide information on greatly under-studied topics of the war: African American involvement and Arkansas’s Unionists. In conjunction with the annual themes developed by the Sesquicentennial Commission, we have also posted material related to the remembrance of the war in Arkansas. Other Civil War–focused resources on the site include lesson plans for teachers; lists of books, photographs, and microfilm available in our research room in the Arkansas Studies Institute; and information on the numerous online databases that we subscribe to. It is our hope that the website will not only spur research into new areas of Arkansas’s past, but that it will also broaden our overall understanding of the war and its effect on our state. Please check it out – http://www.butlercenter.org/civilwararkansas/

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