Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Civil War legacy preserved

Picked up from the Daily Times


ONANCOCK -- In observance of the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War, the Virginia Sesquicentennial Civil War Commission and the Library of Virginia have asked The Eastern Shore Historical Society to join with them in a state-wide search of original manuscripts and documents that still remain in private hands.

On June 4 and June 5, the community is invited to share their Civil War era documents at two separate locations in Accomack and Northampton counties. This will be an exciting opportunity to preserve your private collections and make them available to the world without them leaving your possession.

This program, titled The Civil War 150 Legacy Project, was created specifically to locate, identify, scan and then digitalize precious artifacts and original source materials in the state of Virginia that relate to the Civil War and emancipation. The scanned documents will then be kept in the archives at the Library of Virginia and made available through their online database, which can be accessed globally for research for generations to come.

"This is a great chance for people to share their carefully guarded treasures that their families are reluctant to relinquish. Anyone can sign up, have their items scanned immediately in front of their eyes and then safely take them home to press into the pages of their family Bibles or file away in shoeboxes in the attic. It is designed to be seamless and easy for both amateur enthusiasts or big time collectors," Jenny Barker of the Historical Society said.

Materials may include letters, memoirs, pension materials, military passes, discharge papers, diaries, hand drawn maps, pictures, claims for damages and reminiscences during the years of 1859-1867. Of particular interest to the project are global and pacifist perspectives and the viewpoints of individual African Americans, foreign observers and women. The only stipulation is that items brought in for scanning must be owned by the individual presenting the materials for digitalization. Items do not have to specifically be about Virginia as long as they contain valuable anthropological content.

The Ker Place Museum, Headquarters for the Eastern Shore of Virginia Historical Society, in Onancock will be the location for the scanning and digitalization on Saturday, June 4 from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. The Barrier Islands Center located in Machipongo will be the Northampton County location on Sunday, June 5, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Pre- registration is a must and all questions and scheduling can be made through the Eastern Shore of Virginia Historical Society. Please call 757-787-8012 or email Jenny Barker at jbarkerkerplace @verizon.net.

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