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This guide is designed to help you find research and resources in the field of History.

American Civil War

This page is designed to help you find primary and secondary sources for research projects related to the Antebellum South, the Civil War (1861-1865), and Reconstruction. This page is not exhaustive and more sources may be available through the library and Internet. Please email the Reference Desk at for help finding sources about a specific topic.

Narrow Your Topic

Due to the causes and aftermath of the Civil War, it is impossible to write a single paper about "the Civil War." Narrow your research topic to a specific interest about the war. For example:

  • Causes of Secession
  • The Abolition Movement
  • Prison Camps
  • Emancipation

To brainstorm more suggested topics, visit the Judith J. Carrier Library website

Abraham Lincoln

Suggested subject searches for library books:

Slavery and Emancipation

Suggested subject searches for library books:

African American Perspectives


Suggested subject searches for library books:

Women, Civilians, & the Homefront

  • The American Civil War: a collection of free online primary sources
    • A diverse collection of free websites of primary sources, including newspapers, diaries, and slave narratives compiled by ACRL.
  • Civil War Primary Sources
    • Documents, photographs, letters, diaries, and military orders, and more related to the American Civil War.
  • Emilie Davis Diaries
    • Transcribed diaries of Emilie Davis, an African American woman who lived in Philadelphia during the U.S. Civil War
  • Mary Ann Bickerdyke Papers
    • The papers of Civil War nurse and agent for the United States Sanitary Commission from 1847-1905. (Library of Congress)
  • Rose O'Neal Greenhow Papers
    • Correspondence from 1863-1864 related to Rose O'Neal Greenhow's activities on behalf of the Confederate States of America.
  • The Southern Homefront
    • Documents related to southern life during the Civil War. (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
  • The Valley of the Shadow
    • Civil War-era letters, diaries, and more from two communities in Virginia and Pennsylvania. Online access provided by the Virginia Center for Digital History.

Suggested subject searches for library books:

Military and Veterans

Suggested searches in catalog for library books: