UA Archives commemorates Civil War Sesquicentennial


More than 200 rare letters from The University of Akron archival collections that document the War Between the States were digitized to commemorate the Civil War Sesquicentennial and are now available online. Kent State University School of Library and Information Science student Adam Wanter implemented the project under the direction of UA Archival Services faculty and staff.

Joseph Sailor Letter

A letter in the Joseph Sailor Collection.

The letters represent four distinctly different collections held in Archival Services: The William McCollam Papers, the John J. Polsley Papers, the Joseph Sailor Letters and the Alvin Coe Voris Letters.

The letters cover military and camp life of both soldiers and officers, battles and skirmishes, and soldiers’ and citizens’ thoughts on the war as it unfolded. These collections and other resources on the history of the Civil War can be viewed online at University Libraries Archival Services Digital Collections.

“The letters document the profound effects the war had on the people of Ohio and the region," says UA archivist S. Victor Fleischer who heads UA Archival Services and serves as an associate professor of bibliography. "Digitizing the letters not only helps to commemorate the war and honor the contributions of Ohioans, but also brings their experiences to light in order to educate a new generations of Americans about this important time in our nation’s past,” 

About the Civil War Sesquicentennial

The 150th anniversary of the American Civil War is being commemorated by a number of organizations, both locally and nationally, including the National Park Service, the Smithsonian Institution and the Ohio Historical Society. For more information about the Civil War Sesquicentennial (2011-2015) in Ohio, please visit the Ohio Civil War 150 project online.  

About The University of Akron’s Archival Services

UA’s Archival Services, which is part of University Libraries, collects, preserves and provides access to historic resources that primarily document the history of The University of Akron and the region. The department, which is located in Room LL10 of the Polsky Building in downtown Akron, is open to students, faculty, staff and the general public, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Appointments are recommended, but not required.  To learn more, visit Archival Services online.

Media contact: Denise Henry, 330-972-6477 or