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Religious Aspects of the American Civil War   Tags: 19th century, civil war, history, religion  

This guide is to materials in Andover-Harvard's collection that also have a digital version available. It is not a complete inventory of materials in the library from this time period.
Last Updated: Dec 22, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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Service by Rev. Dr. Weston at Camp Cameron - May 5, 1861

From Harper's Weekly. May 25, 1861




Andover-Harvard Theological Library has a long history, rooted in its predecessor institutions at Harvard Divinity School and Andover Theological Seminary, of passionately collecting and cataloging pamphlet and other ephemeral materials. As Dean Charles Carroll Everett reported in his 1881/82 Report to the President of Harvard University: "The Librarian urges the importance of preserving in the Library pamphlets relating to the theological questions of the day. Many of these, which may now seem of small value, will in the future be of great importance, as illustrating the thought and temper of the time." As primary sources, pamphlets give the reader a chance to step back in time and experience the words and thoughts of that time. Pamphlets like these are in many respects comparable to blogs today.

In preparation for a pilot digital preservation project in the spring of 2013, pamphlets in the library printed in the American Civil War period were surveyed and selected ones were chosen as potential candidates for digitization. Seventy-four of these, ones without freely available digitally preserved copies, were then digitized by the Harvard Library's Imaging Services; 58 more were added in January 2014. Special thanks go to Todd Bachmann of Imaging Services for his help. The results of this inventory process are presented in this guide.

What is in this Guide?

This guide is to materials in Andover-Harvard's collection that also have a digital version available. It is not a complete inventory of materials in the library from this time period--in addition to those that are scheduled to be digitized, there are many more with existing digital copies that have been added to this guide. Given the library's history and location, many of the items are from the northeastern United States and reflect the library's Unitarian and Congregational heritage, but there are items from other areas and from other traditions (Presbyterian, Reformed, Methodist, Episcopalian, and others), including one by Rabbi David Einhorn.

The guide is arranged by genre. Links to the HOLLIS catalog records are included for easy searching of additional materials by author, subject, and type, and for indicating the location of the physical item. There are also links to a digitized copy available at Harvard, Hathi Trust, or other freely available sources. Some additional material from the manuscripts and archives collection have been added.


Some of this material is on display in the library during the 2013/14 academic year as part of a sesquicentennial recollection of the American Civil War. Special thanks go to Priscilla Anderson and Livy Bailin of the Harvard Library's Preservation, Conservation & Digital Imaging Department for their professional display of the material.


As with any undertaking of a project and presentation of this size, there are likely to be omissions and mistakes. Please email Cliff Wunderlich with comments and corrections.


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