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Chicago Tribune Historical Archive »
Search the entire text of the Chicago Tribune, including classified and display advertisements, from 1849 to 1988. Browse items such as a description of Abraham Lincoln’s inauguration as president and an account of the president’s remarks at Gettysburg in 1863.
A Chicago Public Library card is required to use this resource unless using a Chicago Public Library computer.
Unless otherwise noted, these resources are available on all Chicago Public Library computers or on non-Library computers with your Chicago Public Library card.
African American History Online » teen pick
American History Online » teen pick
Select “Civil War and Reconstruction” under the Topic Centers heading in each database to browse the database's resources on this period in American history.
American National Biography Online »
Jump to the Civil War subset of this database to find items such as an overview essay on the causes of the Civil War and biographies of political figures such as William Henry Seward, Union and Confederate military leaders, and writers such as Ambrose Bierce.
Ancestry Library Edition »
This database offers a wealth of resources for those researching their family history. Of particular interest to the Civil War era are the databases American Civil War Soldiers and Civil War Pension Index.
Available only on Chicago Public Library computers.
Gale Virtual Reference Library »
Search full-text encyclopedia articles on a variety of topics related to the Civil War. Find information about children and the Civil War and excerpts from diaries and letters from the home front.
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Featured CPL Collections and Programs
- Social Science and History Department »
The Social Science and History Department at the Harold Washington Library Center has a broad range of material on world, U.S., local and ethnic history, with a particular emphasis on Chicago and Civil War history.
- Special Collections »
The Special Collections and Preservation Division at the Harold Washington Library Center has significant holdings about the Civil War, from swords to books.
- Wayne Whalen Digital Archive of the Grand Army of the Republic and Civil War Collections »
This collection features detailed photographs of Civil War artifacts, including closeup views of elements not easily discernible to the eye, such as maker’s marks on swords. The Wayne Whalen Digital Archive of the Grand Army of the Republic and Civil War Collections is made possible by generous gifts to the Chicago Public Library Foundation by the partners of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP in honor of Wayne Whalen’s interest in Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War.
- The Civil War @ the Smithsonian »
Browse the extraordinary collection of Civil War artifacts held by the Smithsonian Institution. Examples of holdings include the typical uniform of a Confederate soldier, weapons and objects that pertain to everyday life during the Civil War.
- Civil War in Art: Teaching & Learning Through Chicago Collections »
This website features nearly 130 works of art that can help teachers and students learn about issues, events and people connected to the Civil War. The photographs, paintings, sculpture and other artworks are from Chicago institutions, including the Chicago Public Library.
- Civil War Maps, 1861-1865 »
This collection brings together maps from the Library of Congress Geography and Map Division, the Library of Virginia and the Virginia Historical Society. It contains maps, charts and atlases that depict battles, troop positions and movements, engagements and fortifications. Find a map of Andersonville prison, maps of the Battle of Gettysburg and an essay on the history of mapping the Civil War, among many others.
- Illinois Civil War 150th Anniversary »
This website from the Save Illinois History and the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency features a statewide calendar of events and exhibits related to the Civil War sesquicentennial, a list of resources highlighting Illinois and the Civil War and a historical timeline.
- Illinois During the Civil War »
This site presents primary source materials illuminating politics and society in Illinois during the Civil War. Browse images as well as themes such as Soldiers’ Lives and Law and Society in Illinois and the Union.
- Lincoln at 200 »
This is a collaborative project of the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission, the Chicago History Museum and the Newberry Library. It features two web exhibitions: Lincoln and the West and The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War.