Exhibits at the U of A Libraries
(Reference Desk Glass Case, Mullins Library)
This exhibit showcases rare books that relate to the historical themes of the American Civil War. The rare books holdings of the University of Arkansas Libraries Special Collections include more than 2,000 titles housed in the department because of their exceptional value, curiosity, or distinction.
The works included here show some of the ways the Civil War was documented and remembered in the final years of the war and even decades after its conclusion. These included an early first-hand account of the war in Arkansas published in 1864, Pea Ridge and Prairie Grove by William Baxter. The earliest histories of the war attempted to more fully understand the meaning of the catastrophic conflict that costs hundreds of thousands of lives and left large swaths of the country in ruins. The Atlas to Accompany the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies published by the U.S. Army in the 1890s provided scholars and historical devotees with site plans of fortifications, illustrations of soldiers in uniform and important locations, and maps of battlefields. Alongside the emerging historical understanding of the Civil War, numerous authors published nostalgic and elegiac writings that helped create the mythologies that endure even today such as Sparks from the Campfires and Hardtack and Coffee.
For more information on the extensive collections of rare and unique published and archival materials available on the Civil War and other areas of interest, visit Special Collections in Mullins Room 130, or contact the department by email at SpeColl@uark.edu.