Our Mission Statement


The Civil War Institute creates opportunities for students to put history into action in immersive and experiential ways. Academically, CWI contributes to enhancing the teaching and research aspects of the campus’s intellectual life and serves as home to the Civil War Era Studies minor and Public History minor. Our commitment to student professional networking is put into practice through a range of paid internship and fellowship programs, opportunities for skill development, and sustained investment in career mentorship. Reaching beyond campus, CWI’s annual summer conference, public programs, and digital scholarship initiatives also foster informed public conversation about the history and legacy of the Civil War era.

Our Educational Mission

The Civil War Institute uses its resources to educate Gettysburg College students about a range of professional careers related to the study of history. Facilitating discussion among graduate students, high school students, and teachers is particularly important to the CWI's commitment to educating Gettysburg College students. We accomplish this through:

  • Supporting internships and other professional opportunities in National Parks, preservation agencies, heritage tourism associations, and the museum community at large.
  • Administering the college’s minors in Civil War Era Studies (CWES) and Public History.
  • Sponsoring workshops and lectures during the academic year that are available to Gettysburg College students and to the general public.
  • Recruiting Gettysburg students to assist with the administration and research needs of the CWI during the academic year.
  • Providing support for faculty and undergraduate research.

Our Public Mission

The Civil War Institute offers a unique platform where undergraduates, teachers and high school students, scholars, graduate students, historic preservationists, and public historians engage general audiences. We accomplish this through:

  • Sponsoring a week-long conference at Gettysburg College during the summer composed of a scholarly faculty and directed to a broad public audience that includes Gettysburg College students.
  • Facilitating educational programming, including exhibits, lectures, and select performances for Gettysburg College and the surrounding community, including the Fortenbaugh Lecture.
  • Maintaining a scholarly presence through social media that draws from student research and the collections in the Musselman Library.
  • Collaborating with the Civil War Era Studies Program, the Center for Public Service, the Eisenhower Institute, the Center for Career Development, and the Garthwait Leadership Center at Gettysburg College.
  • Partnering with the Gettysburg National Military Park and the Gettysburg National Battlefield Museum Foundation to promote public programming.
  • Supporting the development of Musselman Library's book and manuscript collections.