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Lucas Clawson
Hagley Museum and Library’s Lucas R. Clawson will host a discussion on Delaware, the Civil War and how he uses primary source documents to do his research on July 20 in Morris Library.

July 20: Civil War aftermath

UD Library to host talk by Hagley historian

The impact of the American Civil War on Delaware will be the focus of a program this month with Lucas Clawson, Hagley Museum and Library historian, and the University of Delaware Library’s Delaware Digital Newspaper Project team.

They will discuss how Delawareans dealt with the repercussions of the country’s most devastating conflict during “The Aftermath of the American Civil War in Delaware,” to be held at 10 a.m., Thursday, July 20, in the Class of 1941 Lecture Room of the Morris Library. It is open to the UD community and the public.

Clawson, reference archivist in Hagley’s Manuscripts Department, will lead the discussion on the heavy toll the Civil War took on the state. Thousands of Delawareans fought and died; the state’s industries produced record amounts of war materials; and Delaware’s politicians fought bitterly among themselves over issues like slavery, states’ rights and President Lincoln’s war policy. Some of those wounds created by the war lingered for decades. Others never healed.

Throughout the lecture, Clawson will delve into how he uses primary source documents, such as digital newspapers in Chronicling America, to do his research.

Chronicling America, the Library of Congress’ database, makes digital versions of historic newspapers freely accessible to researchers like Clawson, as well as the general public. Thanks to a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) grant, the Library’s Delaware Digital Newspaper Project team has digitized nearly 75,000 pages from 15 Delaware newspaper titles for Chronicling America. The Library anticipates a total of nearly 95,000 pages from more than 100 Delaware titles between 1836 and 1922 will be available by the close of the grant cycle in September.

Very familiar with the importance of primary source documents in research, Clawson works with DuPont Co. and du Pont family records to help researchers who visit the institution; helps Hagley’s staff interpret the site’s history; and curated Hagley’s exhibition on the American Civil War called “An Oath of Allegiance to the Republic: DuPont and the Civil War,” which ran from 2011 to 2012.

Those planning to attend are encouraged to RSVP by Tuesday, July 18, by emailing rsvp-library@winsor.lib.udel.edu, calling 302-831-6250 or on Facebook. Walk-ins are welcome.

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