Digitizing Records in Southeast Missouri

From the Southeast Missourian:

Civil War document project entering final phase

After a year of phone calls, travel and surveys of original Civil War materials, the digital-documentation project at Southeast Missouri State University’s Kent Library is now prepared to begin its final phase.

The project, titled “Confluence and Crossroads: The Civil War in the American Heartland,” has gathered more than 1,600 individual documents, photographs and artifacts from the period that are relevant to the history of the conflict in 23 Southeast Missouri counties and five in Southern Illinois. With a second installment of funding worth more than $73,000 from a grant administered by the Missouri State Library, digitizing and cataloging the historic items can now proceed.

“Ours was the second-largest digital-imaging grant given by the state library in this cycle of funding,” said Dr. Lisa Speer, project director. “Total funding for the project has amounted to over $153,000.”

The goal of the project is for Kent Library to develop extensive digital archives of area Civil War materials to be made available for viewing on the Internet. It also seeks to include only materials that are unique to the contributing counties.

Project members scoured counties in Southeast Missouri and Southern Illinois to inventory and photograph authentic war-related items…. (Read More)

I would point out this is just one of many projects around the country with a similar aim – using technology to bring otherwise obscure records into the fore. Virginia has the multi-year Civil War 150 Legacy Project, for instance, run by the Library of Virginia.

Yet another facet to sesquicentennialism, if you ask me.

Certainly more important than “12 fascinating Civil War sites” or debating over what flag we should fly over some chapel.

Published by Craig Swain

"Historical marker hunter" and Civil War enthusiast.

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