Sojourner Truth and the Power of a Portrait

A photograph of the abolitionist and suffrage activist Sojourner Truth that appears in the Library’s newest Primary Source Set for educators, “Civil War Images: Depictions of African Americans in the War Effort,” provides an opportunity to discover the questions that the objects in a portrait can raise about the message that image might have been meant to convey.

A Civil War Nurse’s Memoir: Discerning Women’s Experiences

Primary sources such as the letters and diaries of Civil War Nurse Mary Ann Bickerdyke offer rich insights into the lives of real people. The fragmented, personal nature of these sources requires careful reading in context and comparison across multiple accounts to glean information and construct understanding.

Information Literacy: Why Does the Source Matter? Gilmore’s 1869 Peace Jubilee

Two articles about Patrick Gilmore’s June 1869 peace jubilee in Boston, an event many students and teachers may not be familiar with, might pique students’ interest in learning about the event and lend themselves to structured evaluation and analysis of each source of information

Providing Comfort for Veterans: Primary Sources from the Civil War and Beyond

A number of years ago I published a blog post on wartime clothing drives. I touched briefly on clothing drives and the work to make handmade items for those serving in the military. As I considered what to write about for a post on Veterans Day, I was drawn back to this post.

Reconstructing a Civil War Battle from a Poet’s Letter Home

In the May/June 2017 issue of Social Education, the journal of the National Council for the Social Studies, our “Sources and Strategies” article features a letter that Walt Whitman wrote to his mother on December 29, 1862. Whitman wrote the letter to let his mother know that he had found his brother George alive and healing from an injury sustained during the Battle of Fredericksburg.

Civil War Regimental Flags for African American Troops

What can a flag tell us about the people who marched behind it? We recently rediscovered these regimental flags from the Library’s online collections and were struck by the vivid imagery and mottoes. We did a little research on the flags – and the artist behind them – and decided to highlight them during African American History Month in February.