Answered By: Katie Hutchison
Last Updated: Aug 08, 2016     Views: 2663


To begin, the Walsh Library has considerable number of book titles in our collection that are both primary and secondary sources on the American Civil War as well as slavery. To see what books we have, conduct a book search with keywords such as civil war AND diary, etc.


  • The Brooklyn Daily Eagle - The Eagle was an important newspaper that covered both national and regional news. This archive is searchable and can also be browsed by date.
  • Chronicling America - This Library of Congress maintained website contains multiple newspapers from the Conferate and Union states. Over 1400 newspapers are in the archive, but not all are from the Civil War era. Some titles include: Memphis Appeal (1857-1886), Chatanooga Rebel (1862-1865), New York Sun (1859-1916), and New York Daily Tribune (1842-1866).
  • Harper's Weekly - This was a highly popular newspaper during the Civil War. The site is searchable and in chronological order with thumbnails of the front pages.
  • Richmond Daily Dispatch (1860-1865) - This newspaper was published from the Conferate capital and has digitized 1300+ issues.
  • Secession-Era Editorials - This site contains editorials from newspapers in the 1850s. Includes events like Harper's Ferry, Dred Scott, John Brown, and more.
  • Virginia Runaways: Runaway Slave advertisements from 18th-century Virginia newspapers.

Maps and Photographs

  • Civil War Maps - Brings together materials from three premier collections: the Library of Congress Geography and Map Division, the Virginia Historical Society, and the Library of Virginia. Among the reconnaissance, sketch, and theater-of-war maps are the detailed battle maps made by Major Jedediah Hotchkiss for Generals Lee and Jackson, General Sherman's Southern military campaigns, and maps taken from diaries, scrapbooks, and manuscripts all available for the first time in one place.
  • Pictures of the Civil War - The National Archives has organized the Matthew Brady and Alexander Gardner photographs into broad categories for easy browsing.

Diaries and Letters

Dispatches and Battles

Slavery and Abolitionism

  • Born in Slavery: Slave Narratives from the Federal Writers' Project, 1936-1938 - More than 2300 first-person accounts and more than 500 photos collected by the Federal Writer's Project and Works Progress Administration.
  • Frederick Douglass Papers - Frederick Douglass' papers are digitized by the Library of Congress. Can be browsed by date and then type.
  • North American Slave Narratives - "North American Slave Narratives" collects books and articles that document the individual and collective story of African Americans struggling for freedom and human rights in the eighteenth, nineteenth, and early twentieth centuries. This collection includes all the existing autobiographical narratives of fugitive and former slaves published as broadsides, pamphlets, or books in English up to 1920. Also included are many of the biographies of fugitive and former slaves and some significant fictionalized slave narratives published in English before 1920.
  • Slavery and Abolition in the US: Select Publications of the 1800s - Digital collection of books and pamphlets that demonstrate the varying ideas and beliefs about slavery in the United States as expressed by Americans throughout the nineteenth century. The works in this collection reflect arguments on both sides of the slavery debate and include first person narratives, legal proceedings and decisions, anti-slavery tracts, religious sermons, and early secondary works.  The publications are all drawn from the holdings of the Millersville University Library and the Dickinson College Library, as well as each of their respective Special Collections Departments.  The collection includes more than 24,000 individual pages of printed text and corresponding searchable transcriptions. This online resource is made freely available to the public, and we hope that providing these rare and important research materials will enhance teaching and learning, at all levels of instruction, about this complex issue.
  • Slaves and the Courts, 1740-1860 - Contains just over a hundred pamphlets and books (published between 1772 and 1889) concerning the difficult and troubling experiences of African and African-American slaves in the American colonies and the United States. The documents, most from the Law Library and the Rare Book and Special Collections Division of the Library of Congress, comprise an assortment of trials and cases, reports, arguments, accounts, examinations of cases and decisions, proceedings, journals, a letter, and other works of historical importance. Of the cases presented here, most took place in America and a few in Great Britain. Among the voices heard are those of some of the defendants and plaintiffs themselves as well as those of abolitionists, presidents, politicians, slave owners, fugitive and free territory slaves, lawyers and judges, and justices of the U.S. Supreme Court.

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Main Library: (330) 490-7185
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