Arts & Entertainment

Traveling Exhibit of Civil War Documents and Photographs Opens at Scotch Plains Public Library

Credits: Photo obtained from the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History
Dr. Linda Caldwell Epps will present a program examining the changing role of women in society as a result of the Civil War on Thurs., May 1 at 7 p.m. Credits: Photo provided by The Scotch Plains Public Library
On Sat., May 3 at 2 p.m., musicians Chuck Winch and Lisa Wilkins will present authentic Civil War era songs and original compositions to explore how popular songs shaped and reflected the sentiments and events of the time. Credits: Photo provided by The Scotch Plains Public Library
Craig L. Symonds, Author and Professor Emeritus at the United States Naval Academy, where he has taught naval history and Civil War history for thirty years will participate in a lecture on Thurs., May 8 at 7 p.m. Copies of Civil War at Sea, and his newly released book  Neptune: The Allied Invasion of Europe and the D-Day Landings,  will be available for purchase and signing Credits: Photo provided by The Scotch Plains Public Library
Elizabeth Brown Pryor historian, author, and diplomat in the U.S. Foreign Service will speak on Robert E. Lee: Conflicted Confederate on Mon., May 12 at 7 PM. Credits: Photo provided by The Scotch Plains Public Library
Author, columnist, and pastor, Robert John Andrews will present a program titled The Meanwhile Men, a program about how non-combatants served in the Civil War on Thurs., May 15 at 7 p.m. Credits: Photo obtained from

SCOTCH PLAINS, NJThe Scotch Plains Public Library (1927 Bartle Ave.) displays some of the most significant documents, photographs and posters in American history as Civil War 150, a national traveling panel exhibit comes to town from Thurs., May 1 through Sat., May 17.

Scotch Plains was one of the 50 libraries nationwide selected to host the exhibition, which highlights major events in the war through the vantage points of the soldiers, presidents, freedmen and families.  Visitors will have the opportunity to learn about the most transformative period in U.S. history.

“It was a very rigorous application process to get both the exhibit and funding,” said Pamela Brooks, head of adult services at the Scotch Plains Public Library. “We had to lay out a budget and highlight the programs that we planned to offer.”

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Brooks believes that it was the library’s rich involvement in civil war and military educational programs prior to the application that played a major role in drawing the prestigious exhibit to the Scotch Plains Public Library.

“We are so pleased to be able to offer this exhibition to our community and following in the footsteps of many of our other Civil War programs that have been embraced", added Brooks.  “We are very grateful to the Gilder Lehrman Institute, the friends of the Scotch Plains Library, and the National Endowment for Humanities, which largely funded the program.”

In conjunction with the exhibit, the library will host the following free educational programs related the Civil War:

Civil War 150: Exploring the War and Its Meaning through the Words of Those Who Live It from the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History is a partnership with the Library of America, a nonprofit publisher dedicated to preserving America’s best and most significant writing.

“The goal of the project is to encourage a deeper understanding of the civil war through the words and actions of those that lived through it,” said Susan Saidenberg, Director of Public Programs and Exhibitions at the Gilderman Lehrman Institute of American History.

Civil War 150 programs are free to the public, but registration is encouraged, as space is limited.

For more information on this exhibition at the library, please call 908-322-5007 Ext. 204 or email

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