National Exhibition on the Civil War Opens at Scotch Plains Public Library

Scotch Plains Public Library is proud to be among the 50 libraries nationwide selected to host the Civil War 150 exhibition, to be displayed in the library’s gallery space from April 28 to May 17, 2014.  Utilizing letters, personal accounts, and images drawn from the Gilder Lehrman Collection, this exhibition traces major events during the Civil War through the eyes of soldiers, presidents, freedmen, and families.  Visitors will come to understand how people dealt with the end of slavery, the nature of democracy and citizenship, the human toll of civil war, and the role of a president in wartime.

Civil War 150 is a national traveling panel exhibition organized by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History in partnership with The Library of America. The project, Civil War 150: Exploring the War and Its Meaning through the Words of Those Who Lived It, has been made possible in part through a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor.

In addition to the exhibit the library will host renowned speakers and authors on topics of Civil War History, illuminating the theme of “conflicted times.”

April 30 at 6:30pm- Opening Reception and Exhibit Preview

May 1 at 7pm- Dr. Linda Caldwell Epps, past president of the NJ Historical Society, will present a program examining the changing role of women in society as a result of the Civil War.

May 3 at 2pm- Musicians Chuck Winch and Lisa Wilkins will present authentic Civil War era songs to explore how popular songs reflected the sentiments and events of the time.  This program is funded by the Horizons Speakers Bureau of the New Jersey Council for the Humanities, a state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

May 8 at 7pm -Craig L Symonds, Professor Emeritus at the US Naval Academy, and author/ editor of 22 books on Civil War history will speak on naval engagements during the Civil War. His book Civil War at Sea will be available for sale and signing.

May 10 at 1pm Catherine Medich from the NJ State Archives, and Members of the Afro American Historical and Genealogical Society will speak on tracing your Civil War-era ancestors.

May 12 at 7pm- Elizabeth Brown Pryor award-winning historian, author, and diplomat in the U.S. Foreign Service, will discuss Robert E. Lee: Conflicted Confederate.

May 15 at 7pm Robert John Andrews, author and historian will present a program titled The Meanwhile Men: Non-Combatants in the Civil War.

All Scotch Plains Public Library programs are free and open to all interested participants. Attendees are strongly encouraged to register in advance, as space is limited: online (, phone (908-322-5007 x 204), or e-mail ( 

The Scotch Plains Library is located at 1927 Bartle Avenue, one block from Park Avenue in the center of town.