Civil War Letters

In April of 2011, the Hamilton College Library moved 456 of its Civil War Letters from CONTENTdm to DHi's Islandora repository because Islandora better makes use of the rich TEI encoding of these materials. Since launch, we have continued our practice of training Hamilton College students to do TEI encoding to help us provide users with accurate and precise access to names of people, places, and events mentioned in the letters. Students research and normalize all names, add military ranks where known, disambiguate geographic terms, and normalized regiment names. As a result of this enhanced encoding we have been able to offer searches not only for names mentioned, but the person's full name including their military rank. Locations are indexed by city, county, and state and regiments can be sorted by regiment number or by state. We have also begun offering links to Google maps for all locations mentioned. In the coming year we plan to upload hundreds of more primary source materials related to regiments from Central New York, such as prisoner lists, guard duty reports, enlistment forms, hospital release forms, and a couple complete diaries -- all encoding in TEI. Together these will provide unprecedented access to the life and death issues of Central New York Civil War soldiers.

Project Directors

Collection Development Team