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MS-122: Civil War Institute

MS - 122: Civil War Institute

(9 boxes, 9.36 cubic feet)

Inclusive Dates: 1859 -1997

Bulk Dates: 1940-1965

Download Finding Aid - Adobe PDF (399KB)

Processed by: Thomas Lester

July 2011

Agency History:

The Civil War Institute originated out of a three day conference on the Civil War, November 17-19, 1957, held at Gettysburg College, as part of the activities commemorating the 125th anniversary of the war. Directed by Professor Allan Nevins of Columbia University (A Salutary Influence 993), "the conference was such a success that it was repeated every November through 1961. Each had a different director and was devoted to a different topic. By November 1961 almost every major Civil-War-era scholar had participated in one or more of these conferences." (A Salutary Influence 994) As early as December 1957, President Willard S. Paul spoke to the trustees of the College about his idea to expand the first November conference into a Civil War institute. His hope was to make the College a national center of Civil War studies. In 1959, he named librarian John H. Knickerbocker director, and gave the Institute a small building recently vacated by the bookstore.

Following Knickerbocker's death in 1964, President "Arnold Hanson decided to abandon the effort. The Books and museum articles were placed in (in many instances returned to) Schmucker Library." This would not be the end of the Civil War Institute, as Professor Robert Bloom, history professor at Gettysburg College, and others continued to expand the library's Civil War collection. In 1983, Gabor S. Boritt would hold the first in a series of summer study groups now called Civil War Institutes (A Salutary Influence 995). 

Scope and Content Notes:

This collection contains two different types of materials. Series I contains materials relating to the Civil War in general, and are organized by subject. Series II and III contain materials or records pertaining directly to the Civil War Conferences and the Civil War Institute from 1957 - 1963. (The collections was originally catalogued as Record Group 4.6.2.)

Subject Series I consists of an alphabetical listing of material related to the Civil War. Major subject areas include the Battle of Gettysburg, anniversaries of the Battle of Gettysburg, and Abraham Lincoln. Folders contain material on each subject that can include newspaper articles, magazine articles, images, booklets and pamphlets.

Series II, Civil War Institute Programs and Activities contains mostly materials related to the Civil War Conferences between 1957 and 1963.

The Correspondence in Series III contains general correspondence of the Civil War Institute.

Download Finding Aid - Adobe PDF (399KB)

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