“A Twitter Feed” of the Civil War–What Historians Really Do, Part 2

la-1471386823-snap-photoSometimes things just fall into our laps, and sometimes we have to break down walls just for the chance to be turned away.  This opportunity is one of the former, and a beautiful opportunity it is! A Facebook friend sent me the initial information–an article from the LA Times about the discovery by the hard-working curators at the Huntington Library of a huge stash of previously lost telegrams from the Civil War. They were found in a wooden box, and are in excellent condition. They have not been touched in 150 years, more or less, and need to be transcribed for the Library.

This is where the magic comes in . . . YOU can help! There is a website set up for volunteers to view documents, work on them, and have their work accepted by the Huntington. What an opportunity for all of us to help preserve a tiny bit of the war we all honor. The link is:


I have not done this yet, as I have another obligation (Ellsworth!!), but I am chomping at the bit to get into this site and see what is going on. It is open to the public, and they are asking for volunteers.la-1471375803-snap-photo

No one knows better than I how much technology has impacted historical research. Artifacts previously untouchable can now be digitally photographed and made available for all of us. With money tight and time tighter, this makes it so much easier to plan a trip to a museum or sight for hands-on research. Just discussing a collection can now take place in real time, and an artifact or document is just a click away.

DSC_0025Here is an opportunity to become part of this effort. Please consider at least looking at the site. If it is successful, we may all be able to be part of the work necessary to make our history whole. The Huntington Library has a lot of wonderful articles concerning Lincoln that do not get nearly the publicity they ought to. It is within its mossy walls that the original of the letter Lincoln wrote to Elmer Ellsworth’s parents after Ellsworth was shot in Alexandria, considered by many to be one of the most beautiful letters ever written, resides. To see it “for reals” is simply indescribable. I was able to do so, and for that privilege, I owe them big time.

It’s a way to pay both back and forward!


3 Responses to “A Twitter Feed” of the Civil War–What Historians Really Do, Part 2

  1. I clicked the link in this post and got the following reply:
    Project zooniverse/decoding-the-civil-war. not found.
    If you’re sure the URL is correct, you might not have permission to view this project.

    Is there a better URL?

  2. Elizabeth–hmmmmm. Here’s what I did: I clicked on the link from the blog post & got what you did. Then I went back to my Facebook page & from there went to the original article:

    The link from there–Decoding the Civil War–is exactly what I put in the blog post, but it takes me to the correct site:

    I know this seems like a lot of work–I have not gone to the Huntington Library site yet, but that is a possibility as well. Let me know what happens . . . please!

    1. Thanks, Meg — your first link above took me directly to the correct page. And what a fascinating and exciting project! Thanks so much for spotlighting it!

Please leave a comment and join the discussion!

%d bloggers like this: