Center for the Study of the Civil War in the West
The goals of the Center include raising public awareness of the historical importance of the Western Theater in the outcome of the Civil War. The Center will also help establish the University as a center of Civil War research, build stronger ties with area schools, and enhance the History Department’s graduate program. We hope to generate public interest and support for our academic mission through summer workshops and institutes.Faculty: The new endowed Frockt Family Professorship in History provides Western an opportunity to recruit an established scholar in the social and cultural history of the Civil War. Using this professorship as an anchor, the center will build upon the department’s present strengths in the Civil War’s military history, political and constitutional history, and the history of slavery.
Scholarly Resources: The Civil War collection of secondary works and newspapers in Western’s Helm-Cravens Library is one the university’s most extensive holdings, and Helm-Cravens also houses an impressive array of U.S. government documents on the antebellum and Civil War periods. These holdings are supplemented by the secondary and newspaper collections located in the Kentucky Library, and complemented by its important manuscript collections on the Old South and Civil War Era.
In addition, Western is currently in the process of acquiring an extensive microfilm collection of Old South, Civil War, and Gilded Age documents and manuscripts that includes: Antebellum plantation records, Civil War campaigns and regimental histories, Confederate government and military manuscripts, and the legal history records of the Attorney General. This collection will greatly expand research opportunities for Western’s faculty and students. The availability of this microfilm collection in the “Heart of the Western Theater” will make Western attractive as a center for research and writing for regional teachers, Western Alumni, and Civil War scholars throughout the nation. The Center’s Web Site is currently under construction, and the first scholarly conference is planned for 2008.