Dead Confederates, A Civil War Era Blog

Southern Home Front Online Collection Moved

Posted in Memory by Andy Hall on July 2, 2016

Some of you will be familiar with the online newspaper archive that Vicki Betts, a researcher and librarian at the University of Texas at Tyler, has been diligently transcribing for years. It is a valuable resource, and deserves to be better known.

Vicki recently shifted the archive to a new, more reliable server, that should stand it in good stead going forward. The new address is:

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http://scholarworks.uttyler.edu/cw_news/

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This is the introduction to the new site:
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The following files of transcribed articles from Civil War era newspapers are predominantly from the South, and focus on the homefront, including women, Confederate industry, and material culture. The scattered military articles usually relate either to camp life or to Texas units or events. These articles do NOT include foreign affairs, politics, monetary policy, or general battle accounts. All were gathered in the course of researching various topics of personal interest and do not reflect any systematized indexing.

The articles under “By Title” are listed by newspaper title and then within each file, chronologically. The articles under “Special Topics” have been pulled from those files, across newspaper titles, then arranged chronologically.

If these excerpts are to be used for published research, authors are urged to double check with either the microfilm or the originals to verify the transcription, especially when the quotations include numbers or proper names. The combination of the deteriorating ink and paper of Confederate newspapers and poor microfilming has made some issues difficult to read.

As usual, researchers are also encouraged to approach the “truth” in historic newspapers cautiously. Even more so than now, nineteenth century newspapers often expressed extremely partisan positions. Editors gathered reports and rumors from correspondents, travelers, and other newspapers, usually with little or no verification. At the same time, these papers do reflect what people of the period were reading and perhaps believing. As such, they remain a valuable source, used wisely.

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Vicki has done a remarkable job compiling this resource, a slow and laborious process that has made research so much easier for the rest of us.

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2 Responses

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  1. gaphodoc said, on July 2, 2016 at 2:18 pm

    You are right, it is a fine source I have used often and told others about. Thank you for posting the shift of this material.

    • Andy Hall said, on July 2, 2016 at 2:25 pm

      Vicki herself let me know about the change. She and I will both be speaking at the Civil War Symposium in Jefferson, Texas next month. I’m looking forward to meeting her in person. She does fine and important work.


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