Library announces additions to digitized collection about Civil War
Diary page with a description of Fort Wagner, by Enos W. Pierce. Page dates are Jan. 25-30, 1863.


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12:23 p.m., Dec. 8, 2009----The University of Delaware Library announces three new additions to its digital collection of materials related to the American Civil War. All materials were digitized from originals in the Special Collections Department of the University of Delaware Library.

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All University of Delaware Digital Collections are accessible globally at no charge from the Library Web under "Digital Collections" or directly at this page.

The three new collections are the Pierce Family Papers, the Rosenthal lithographic prints, and the Alexander Gardner photographs.

The Pierce Family Papers cover the period 1833-1954 with the core of the collection being letters written between 1862 and 1864 by George and Enos Pierce to their parents and brother and sister. Both George and Enos Pierce fought on the Union side of the Civil War as members of the 97th Regiment of the Pennsylvania Volunteers, and both were killed in separate battles in Virginia in 1864.

The Pierce home was in Delaware's Brandywine Hundred, where the family engaged in farming. Additional materials among the papers include photographs, drawings, family documents, clippings, and the words for a song.

The Rosenthal Lithograph Collection includes 23 color prints depicting various Civil War encampments and printed between 1861 and 1865 by Rosenthal's Lith. of Philadelphia, an important lithographic printing company active from 1852 to 1884 and run by four Polish-born Rosenthal brothers, Louis, Max, Morris, and Simon.

The views are part of a large number of Civil War battle and camp scenes published by the company. Over 150 views of specific battles and encampments were made from pencil drawings and hand-colored after printing. Although not signed, the images are credited to Max Rosenthal who had a pass giving him access to every camp of the Army of the Potomac.

The nine photographs taken by Alexander Gardner (1821-1882) in 1865 of the Lincoln conspirators and their execution are included in the Abraham Lincoln Collection given to the University of Delaware in 1972 by the Lincoln Club of Delaware. Alexander Gardner who worked for some years for the well-known photographer, Matthew Brady, was responsible for many photographs documenting the Civil War, including battles and portraits. He was the only photographer allowed to view the execution of four of the conspirators on July 7, 1865.

The physical counterpart of the digitized resources is available for use in Special Collections on the second floor of the Morris Library.

About the Special Collections Department

Holdings of the Special Collections Department of the University of Delaware Library include books, manuscripts, maps, prints, photographs, broadsides, periodicals, pamphlets, ephemera, and realia from the fifteenth to the twenty-first century. The collections complement the Library's general collections with particular strengths in the subject areas of the arts; English, Irish, and American literature; history and Delawareana; horticulture; and history of science and technology.