Binghamton University Student Newspaper, Pipe Dream, Highlights Civil War Event

Library shows Civil War materials

by Joseph Hawthorne

Special Collections staff members Beth Kilmarx and Yvonne Deligato hosted a presentation Thursday to display some of Glenn G. Bartle Library’s Civil War artifacts.

Attendees were encouraged to bring a lunch and eat while they listened to the presenters share their expertise during the brown bag lecture.

Anne Larrivee, an organizer for the event and a subject librarian in human development, social work, Africana and anthropology, said opening the lecture up to students was a new idea for Bartle Library.

“We’ve had brown bags in the past that have been exclusively library faculty and staff,” Larrivee said. “And usually those brown bags are highlighting conferences that people attend and things they’ve learned. So this one was a topic that I felt could be of interest to people outside the library, so I wanted to reach out.”

The event featured two PowerPoint presentations by Kilmarx, a curator of rare books, and Deligato, a Binghamton University archivist, about 16 separate collections that can be used for research on the Civil War and local history archives.

Materials within these collections include letters, diaries, photographs and rare books.

“Because we have materials on the Civil War in Special Collections we were asked to do a presentation on materials we had and talk about specifically what is in the collection,” Deligato said.

Deligato said she has a specific criteria for materials dealing with local history.

“We have a number of books in the local history collection that are about various aspects of local history in Broome County and adjoining counties,” Deligato said.

Larrivee said they wanted to help promote the library and its resources and how people can use the collections for their research.

“It’s a really great time to highlight the Civil War because it just passed the 150th anniversary and the Lincoln movie just came out,” Larrivee said. “And I know that our special collections have 16 separate collections that highlight some Civil War resources.”

Although much of the audience was composed of library staff and faculty, Larrivee said students will find that the secondary information often used during research is easily accessible.

“You find in Google, you find things in the databases that have a lot of research drawn from other research, from other research at times,” Larrivee said. “And so what I would like to highlight is that there are opportunities for other research to find primary resources.”

Tenzin Dorjee, a junior majoring in philosophy, politics and law, said she came to the event because she has an interest in American history.

“Especially during [the] Civil War and Great Depression because there are many things that we can learn from those,” Dorjee said. “I’m interested to look at the first sources, the primary sources.”

Jill Dixon, the acting director of public services of the BU libraries, said the materials presented were intriguing.

“I especially enjoyed learning about the unique bindings of Civil War publications, our local history collection, and women’s involvement in the war,” Dixon said. “I particularly found fascinating the story about a local woman who disguised herself as a man and enlisted in the Army.”

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