The American Civil War
as seen through the collections of the
Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center

Introduction to the Video Catalog
In celebration of the sesquicentennial of the Emancipation Proclamation and the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Gotlieb Center staff and students of the Center mounted a major exhibition on the American Civil War on display from March through mid-September of 2013.

For the benefit of those who were unable to view these “Treasures from the Vault” or want to learn more about them in their context, this Video Catalog presents images of the exhibition. The catalog also offers insights from scholars of this transformative era in the American adventure.
Assistant Treasurer of the Military Historical Society of Massachusetts describes the Civil War as the first modern war.
Professor Silber discusses Boston's complex role in the antebellum and Civil War era.

Alexander describes a "Strictly Private" letter from Abraham Lincoln to Vice President Hannibal Hamlin, dated September 28, 1862.
The students explain their impressions of working with the original archival material.

Alexander discusses how advances in the technology of photography and the proliferation of photographic images affected Civil War era society.

Professor Boots explains her attraction to the music of the Civil War era.

Alexander explains Lincoln's political acumen, as evidenced by a letter written to General Ulysses S. Grant, February 4, 1865.
Professor Silber discusses the North's unbridled hostility toward Jefferson Davis, and the ridicule often made of him in the press.
Alexander makes note of the shock felt by the nation at the assassination of Lincoln, especially by such a well-known celebrity figure as John Wilkes Booth.
Assistant Treasurer of the Military Historical Society of Massachusetts explains the prevalence of amputations as a method of treating war wounds in the Civil War.
Alexander discusses the history of the Volk Life Mask and Hand Molds of Abraham Lincoln on display in the exhibition.