September 25, 2002 Civil War Symposium to be Held at Library of Congress Nov. 12-14

Press Contact: Audrey Fischer (202) 707-0022
Public Contact: (202) 707-5093

The Library of Congress will sponsor a symposium titled "The Civil War and American Memory" on Nov. 12-14. The conference will bring together historians, biographers and other Civil War scholars to consider important questions arising from this tumultuous period in American history.

"As 'the nation's memory,' with an unparalleled collection of Civil War materials, the Library is a fitting place to host this important symposium," said Librarian of Congress James H. Billington who will open the three-day event at 4:00 p.m. on Nov. 12 in the Coolidge Auditorium in the Library's Thomas Jefferson Building.

Panel discussions will be held in the Montpelier Room, sixth floor, James Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E. in Washington, D.C. The symposium is free and open to the public but space is limited and reservations are recommended, contact (202) 707-1616.

The event is inspired by the recent publication of "The Library of Congress Civil War Desk Reference," a comprehensive, accessible compendium of information on a broad spectrum of topics related to the war and its aftermath. Edited by Civil War scholars Gary W. Gallagher and Paul Finkelman, and Library of Congress writer and editor Margaret E. Wagner, the book was published by the Library in cooperation with Simon & Schuster. This 949-page hardcover book with more than 100 photographs, drawings and maps, is available for $45 in bookstores nationwide and the Library's Sales Shop (credit card orders: 888-682-3557).

Gary W. Gallagher will deliver the symposium's keynote address and Paul Finkelman will make concluding remarks. Other speakers include: James L. Huston, Oklahoma State University; Joseph Glatthaar, University of Houston; Mark Grimsley, Ohio State University; T. Michael Parrish, Baylor University; Phillip Shaw Paludan, University of Illinois; William J. Cooper, Louisiana State University; Michael Kent Curtis, Wake Forest University School of Law; Wiliam M. Wiecek, Syracuse University College of Law; David W. Blight, Amherst College; and Joan Waugh, University of California at Los Angeles.

The schedule for the symposium is as follows:

Tuesday, November 12
Opening Program
Coolidge Auditorium, Thomas Jefferson Building

4:00-5:30 p.m.
Opening Remarks: James H. Billington, Librarian of Congress
Keynote Address: Gary W. Gallagher, John L. Nau III Professor of the History of the American Civil War, University of Virginia.

Wednesday, November 13
Panel Discussions
Montpelier Room, sixth floor, James Madison Building

9:00 a.m.-10:30 a.m.
Panel 1
Causes of the Civil War: Slavery and Race, and the Evolution of Northern and Southern Culture

10:45 a.m.-12:15 p.m.
Panel 2
Why They Fought: Soldiers and Civilians of the Civil War Era

1:30 p.m -3:00 p.m.
Panel 3
General Assessment: Battlefield Leadership in the Civil War

3:15 p.m -4:45 p.m.
Panel 4
Abraham Lincoln vs. Jefferson Davis: The Commanders-in-Chief

Thursday, November 14
Panel Discussions and Concluding Events
Montpelier Room, sixth floor, James Madison Building

9:00 a.m.-10:30 a.m.
Panel 5
The Civil War and American Law: Civil Liberties, Habeas Corpus, and the Roots of Freedom

10:45 a.m -12:15 p.m.
Panel 6
Reconstruction and Race: The Extended Tragedy of the Civil War Era

1:30 p.m.-3:00 p.m.
Panel 7
Reshaping the Civil War: Changing Views from Generation to Generation

3:15 p.m.-4:45 p.m.
Panel 8
Can We Know the Civil War? Methods and Pitfalls of Civil War Research

Concluding Address
5:00 p.m -5:30 p.m.
Paul Finkelman, Chapman Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of Tulsa College of Law

Concluding Program
5:45 p.m -6:30 p.m.
The Civil War in the Library of Congress Library of Congress curators discuss selected material from the Library's Civil War collections.


PR 02-126
ISSN 0731-3527