2011 is the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War. A few months ago I wrote a blog about the books in the Fontana Regional Library outlining the events of the war. Now I want mention some the electronic sources you can use to learn more about the war in general, individual incidents, or even researching your Civil War ancestor.
Let’s start with some of the resources in NCLive. NCLive a treasure trove of all sorts of electronic databases, audio books, and videos you can access with your library card number. If you are at home, you access NCLive by going to the Fontana Regional Library’s website (fontanalib.org), then click on the NCLive link on the left hand side of the website. The History and Biography link is on the right hand side of the NCLive home page. There are a number of different databases you can use including: Acadamic Search Premier, MasterFile Premier, American Slavery: A Composite Autobiography, NCLive Video Collection, North American Women’s Letters and Diaries. (You must select a library system: Fontana Regional Library; then enter the current LCLive password, which you can get from your local library.)
The Making of America at Cornell University is a must website for a Civil War devotee. Not only does this site have the complete Official Records on the War of the Rebellion and the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in full text and searchable format, but also magazines and books of the period, which are also searchable. The Official Records used to be only available in large libraries, but now, thanks to digital era, the contents of this volumes are no more distant than your own computer. Near the end of the nineteenth century, all correspondence from both sides in the Civil War was gathered together over 40 years, indexed, and published in four series totaling 70 volumes for the armies and two series containing 30 volumes for the navies. If you are interested in a particular battle or place where action took part you can use the index to link with the pages where you can find the information you need.
If you are interested knowing what the United States Congress was doing during the conflict, The Congressional Globe will provide you with verbatim record of the debates in both houses of the Congress. Additionally, the House Journal and the Senate Journal will yield more information on the workings of both houses.
Another key place for finding information on the Civil War on the internet in the American Civil War Homepage. This was begun in 1995 when the webmaster was a student at the UTK School of Library and Information Sciences. After sixteen years it was closed to any more additions last month. Electronic resources are divided into categories for ease of accessing.
The staff at any our branch libraries stands ready to help you find information whether it be in print or electronic format.