Reading the War News in Broadway, New York — from a sketch by our special artist.” Drawing in The Illustrated London News from the Beck Center at Emory University.

Did your Civil War ancestor make a scrapbook about the Civil War?

If so, then you may have a window into your ancestor’s attitudes toward the war and what he or she thought important to remember.

Ellen Gruber Garvey, a professor of English at New Jersey City University, in a column in The New York Times noted:

“A newspaper-clipping scrapbook . . . does not give us the direct information or expression we expect from diaries. Instead, it is a reminder that like us, Northerners and Southerners living through the Civil War relied on the media to tell them what was happening at a distance, or even across town. They looked to the media to support and express their feelings. And like 21st-century Web users sharing links, they saved items that mattered to them and sent them around again to friends, family or strangers.”

What is in your ancestor’s scrapbook? What does it say about him or her?

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