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Civil War Resources in Morris Library   Tags: digital collections, history, history education, history study, scrc, southern illinois, special collections, special topics  

Last Updated: Apr 12, 2013 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts
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About Our Civil War Collections

Morris Library offers a wealth of primary and secondary resources to assist students and researchers at all levels who wish to study the American Civil War (1861-1865).

The Special Collections Research Center (SCRC), located in the Hall of Presidents on the library's first floor, preserves thirty separate collections of original documents related to the war, ranging from several hundred letters to a single letter or diary.  Notable collections include the Mann Family Papers, Benjamin Wiley Papers, Edwin Loosely Papers, and Webster-Elliott Correspondence, all chronicling the war's impact on individuals, couples, families and communities in southern Illinois.  These primary materials are available for students and researchers to examine in the SCRC reading room, Monday through Friday, 8:30 to 4:30.

Many of these letters are also available to study online through our "Southern Illinois Civil War" webpage.  This digital collection now features 700 items totaling nearly 3000 pages of scanned letters, diaries, and photographs.  When completed, the webpage will house more than a thousand unique digital items.

Periodic posts on the SCRC blog "Raiders of the Lost Archives" share noteworthy and timely items from our Civil War holdings, highlighting opportunities for further research.

Morris Library's secondary resources include reference materials that cover the political, military, and social aspects of the Civil War and its era.  Hundreds of monographs examine the war as a whole and individual battles and campaigns from all angles, including biographical, strategic, diplomatic, and political.  Government Documents provide a complete run of the Official Records of the War of the Rebellion, the Congressional Serial Set, and other contemporary compilations, such as the 1883 Pension reports that list every pensioner in the nation by state and county, giving the reason for disability and the amount received per month.

Morris Library and SCRC will celebrate the Civil War sesquicentennial (2011-2015) with periodic exhibits in the Hall of Presidents and other commemorative activities.  The Civil War 150 traveling exhibit, a partnership of the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History and the Library of America, will visit Morris Library for three weeks in April-May 2014.  This five-panel installation is part of a nationwide effort to publicize the sesquicentennial.  Speakers will discuss the local impact of the war before audiences drawn from the university, area schools, and the southern Illinois region.

Civil War Quick Links

  • SIUC Illinois Civil War Collections
    SCRC holds more than thirty collections of letters, diaries, and other papers documenting the service of Illinois soldiers in the Civil War.
  • SIUC Civil War Digital Collections
    Follow this link for access to scans of more than 700 letters and diary entries, representing most of the Civil War holdings in SCRC.
  • Raiders of the Lost Archives
    SCRC's blog showcases our collections and includes occasional posts about our Civil War collections.
  • Illinois Civil War Muster and Descriptive Rolls
    Part of the Illinois Secretary of State's Cyberdrive Illinois website, the Civil War Muster and Descriptive Rolls database allows you to search for any soldier who served in an Illinois regiment and learn where and when he joined, the rank(s) he held, and other identifying information.
  • Soldiers and Sailors Database
    The National Park Service maintains this database of all soldiers and sailors, Union and Confederate, for whom records survive.
  • Civil War Collection
    A searchable collection of newspapers from the Civil War era.
  • Chicago Tribune archive
    Search the Chicago Tribune historical archive for Civil War era articles.
  • Contact SCRC
    If you have a question about our Civil War collections or any of our holdings, please call us during regular business hours or leave a message at any time.

Civil War Resources

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Aaron Lisec

Contact Morris

Morris Library
Southern Illinois University
Carbondale, IL 62901
Information Desk: (618) 453-2818
Administrative Office: (618) 453-2522
Circulation Desk: (618) 453-1455

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