Civil War 150 Exhibition Comes to Coker

HARTSVILLE, S.C. — Mar. 26, 2014 — The Charles W. & Joan S. Coker Library-Information Technology Center will host Civil War 150, a national traveling exhibition, on display from Mar. 31 to Apr. 21. The Civil War is one of the most transformative periods in U.S. history. After long-simmering sectional tensions led to seven slaveholding states seceding, the ensuring political strife gave way to war in April 1861. Four years of fighting resulted in 1.5 million casualties making the Civil War the bloodiest conflict in U.S. history.

The Charles W. & Joan S. Coker Library-Information Technology Center is one of fifty sites nationwide selected to host the Civil War 150 exhibition. “We are pleased and very excited to have been selected as a site for this exhibition,” said Alexa Bartel, director of the library. “Through reproductions of documents, photographs, and posters, the exhibition invites visitors to learn about events that took place during the war through the eyes of individuals. Though the Civil War took place one hundred and fifty years ago, people today can still identify with the thoughts and fears of ordinary citizens and soldiers, many of which reflect a humanity that is forever consistent. We hope that this will help our students and visitors better understand the human and political costs of war.”

The Gilder Lehrman Institute developed the exhibition to mark the Civil War Sesquicentennial. The Civil War 150 is divided into five panels: The Nation Divides, 1861; The Union is Dissolved; This Cruel War; Turning Points; and The Price of Victory (1864-1865). Drawing from the Gilder Lehrman Collection, each section traces major events during the Civil War.

The exhibit allows visitors to experience the battle through the eyes of major political figures, soldiers, families, and freedmen. Letters, personal accounts and images tell the stories of how people grappled with the end of slavery, the nature of democracy and citizenship, the human toll of civil war and the role of a president in wartime.

The Coker Library, along with Hartsville Memorial Library, is sponsoring free programs and other events for the public in connection with the exhibition. Contact the Coker Library at 843-383-8125, email Alexa Bartel ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) or visit for more information.

Developed by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History in partnership with The Library of America, this exhibition was made possible through a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The exhibition is part of Civil War 150: Exploring the War and Its Meaning through the Words of Those Who Lived It, a major three-year project funded by the National Endowment for Humanities. The project is centered on the four-volume Library of America series, Civil War 150: Exploring the War and Its Meaning through the Words of Those Who Lived It.

Release written by Alexa Bartel, the director of the library.


About the National Endowment for the Humanities

Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports learning in history, literature, philosophy and other areas of the humanities. The National Endowment of the Humanities grants enrich classroom learning, create and preserve knowledge and bringing ideas to life through public television, radio, new technologies, museum exhibitions and programs in libraries and other community places. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at

About the Library of America

A nonprofit publisher and cultural institution, The Library of America was founded in 1979 with seed funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Ford Foundation to help preserve and foster appreciation for the nation’s literary heritage by publishing and keeping permanently in print authoritative editions of America’s best and most significant writing. Since then more than 200 hardcover volumes have been published, and the series, which celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2007, is widely recognized as the unofficial national edition of American writing. More information about The Library of America may be found at

About the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History

Founded in 1994 by Richard Gilder and Lewis E. Lehrman, The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History is a nonprofit organization devoted to the improvement of history education. The Institute has developed an array of programs for schools, teachers and students that now operate in all 50 states, including a website that features the more than 60,000 unique historical documents in the Gilder Lehrman Collection ( Each year the Institute offers support and resources to tens of thousands of teachers, and through them enhances the education of more than a million students. The Institute’s programs have been recognized by awards from the White House, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Organization of American Historians.

About the Hartsville Memorial Library

The Hartsville Memorial Library is located in downtown Hartsville, South Carolina, in the northwestern part of Darlington County.  It was started by volunteers in 1920. The Hartsville Library Board was officially commissioned on March 27, 1936, by an act of the S.C. Legislature.  In 1968, the library became a part of the Darlington County Library System.


Coker College readies undergraduates for personal and professional success through a distinctive four-year program that emphasizes a practical application of the liberal arts as well as hands-on and discussion-based learning within and beyond the classroom. Coker is ranked among the “Best Colleges” in the South by U.S. News & World Report as well as The Princeton Review. Located in Hartsville, S.C., Coker is within two hours of the cultural, financial and recreational resources of Charlotte, Columbia, Charleston and Myrtle Beach.

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Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  /  Office: 843-383-8017

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