Digitizing the past

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Digitizing the past

One item in the collection is this Aug. 19, 1863, volunteer agreement to enlist in the Union Army for Giles Moore, a 35-year-old black former slave living in the Cherokee Nation. The signature includes an “x” and the note “his mark.” He enlisted in the 2nd Regiment of the Kansas Colored Volunteers for three years.

UGA Libraries, in partnership with the Atlanta History Center, the Georgia Historical Society and the Board of Regents’ GALILEO virtual library initiative, is part of a new project to digitize more than 80,000 documents relating to the American Civil War.

Funding for “America’s Turning Point: Documenting the Civil War Experience in Georgia” has been provided by the National Historic Publications and Records Commission and is enabling archivists to digitize 81,319 letters, diaries, military records, account books, poetry, photographs and maps that document the American Civil War.

Manuscripts and visual materials are available only in their original format, and the project partners are among the leading research institutions in the Southeast for the study of the Civil War, with hundreds of researchers visiting their locales annually.

As part of the two-year venture, a blog on the progress of the project will be available to scholars and the public. Access to the materials will be through websites at each institution.

The digitized documents will be available via the Digital Library of Georgia, a GALILEO initiative based in the UGA Libraries. The records also will become part of the recently launched Association of Southeastern Research Libraries Civil War portal at http://american-south.org.