Penn Libraries

Civil War: An Ephemeral Lens into the Life and Times

The Penn Libraries is proud to announce an ongoing exhibit and upcoflagb (1)ming lecture providing a glimpse into American culture during the Civil War through an ephemeral lens. The exhibit, “Civil War: An Ephemeral Lens into the Life and Times” emphasizes the importance of small, printed objects not usually meant to be kept or preserved, such as envelopes, pamphlets, handbills, and sheet music, providing a unique view of daily life on the home front and front lines of both the Union and the Confederacy. The exhibit runs through March 21st, 2016 in the Kamin Gallery on the first floor of Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center.

On Friday, October 9th, eminent scholar of the American South, Tucker-Boatwright Professor of the Humanities and President Emeritus at the University of Richmond, Edward L. Ayers will
give a lecture that will tie into the exhibit. Dr. Ayers has authored or edited ten books, including In the Presence of Mine Enemies: Civil War in the Heart of America, 1859-1863 (2003), which was awarded the 2004 Albert J. Beveridge Award from the American Historical Association and the 2004 Bancroft Prize for Distinguished Book in American History from Columbia University. He also co-hosts Backstory with the American History Guys and was awarded the National Humanities Medal by President Obama in 2013. His lecture will take place at 5pm in the Class of 1978 Orrery Pavilion in the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts located on the sixth floor of Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center.


Edward L. Ayers

Both the lecture and exhibition are free and open to the public. Please RSVP for the lecture at:

About the Penn Libraries
The Penn Libraries serve the world-class faculty and students of Penn’s 12 schools. The Libraries’ collections comprise more than 7 million volumes, over 100,000 journals, some 2 million digitized images, and extraordinary rare and unique materials that document the intellectual and cultural experience of ancient and modern civilizations. Through our collaborative relationships, we supplement Penn’s great local collections with physical access to the Center for Research Libraries (approximately 5 million items), the combined holdings of the Ivies (more than 70 million volumes), and exclusive electronic access to some 2 million public domain titles in the HathiTrust. Today, the Libraries play an instrumental role in developing new technologies for information discovery and dissemination and are noted for groundbreaking work in digital library design. To learn more about the Penn Libraries, visit


About the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts

The Kislak Center is a vibrant space that brings together people, technology and unique content.  Located on the top floor of the Van Pelt-Dietrich Library, it was redesigned in 2013 to allow several different groups to interact with objects of study simultaneously, increasing the use of primary resources in the University’s curriculum and access to the Libraries’ resources for the larger scholarly community. Today the Kislak Center encompasses the Annenberg Rare Book and Manuscript Library, the Furness Memorial Shakespeare Library, the Edgar Fahs Smith Memorial Collection and the Schoenberg Institute for Manuscript Studies. To learn more about the Kislak Center, visit

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