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ProQuest Historical Newspapers

An unparalleled digital archive of the most sought-after historical newspapers for research

Background on Civil War Era Collection

ProQuest Civil War Era is the resource American history scholars have been waiting for--comprehensive primary source materials that were previously unavailable digitally, cover a vast range of topics including the formative economic factors and other forces that led to the abolitionist movement, the 600,000 casualties, and the emancipation of nearly 4 million slaves.

ProQuest Civil War Era was developed in conjunction with librarians and expert Civil War scholars to meet valuable research needs as no other resource can. It combines continuous runs of regional newspapers, as well as pamphlets covering a wide range of topics. It's a deep set of primary sources, with documents that encompass the buildup to and evolution of the war that shaped the nation's identity, all in original article and page image. ProQuest Civil War Era focuses on the entire era, from Manifest Destiny through the end of the Civil War--enabling researchers to investigate not just the battles, but also the rising tensions that led the country to war.

About Civil War Era Collection

Civil War Pamphlets Collection

This segment of the collection contains nearly 2000 pamphlets illustrating the "war of words" during the conflict and ranges from 1852-1918.  These primary sources are scanned and indexed in article-level format and can be downloaded as full PDFs.  

Subjects covered include, but are not limited to:

  • Battles and Campaigns
  • Border States
  • Church and War
  • Conscription
  • Constitutional Issues and State Rights
  • Economics and War
  • Literature and Fiction
  • Medical Aspects
  • Military Affairs & Military Leadership
  • Northern Disaffection & Northern Morale
  • Peace Movements
  • Regimental Histories
  • Rolls of Honor & Veteran's Memorials
  • Soldier's Life
  • War at Sea

Each one of these topics (and its expandable subtopics) can be found in the Browse feature of the Civil War Era interface.  

The Slavery & Anti-Slavery Pamphlets Collection

This part of the collection includes 166 pamphlets, speeches, reports, legal opinions, and convention proceedings covering slavery and anti-slavery movements.  These primary sources are scanned and indexed in article-level format and can be downloaded as full PDFs.

Subjects covered include but are not limited to:

  • Blacks (Outside U.S.)
  • Civil War
  • Freedmen
  • History
  • Law & litigation
  • Politics & government

Each of these topics (and its expandable subtopics) can be found in the Browse feature of the Civil War Era Interface.  

Newspapers in the Civil War Era Collection

The  newspapers included in the Civil War Era collection were specifically selected for the regional and diverse perspectives they offer.  These, like the pamphlets, are available in article-level scanning and indexing.  

Southern Newspapers:

  • The Charleston Mercury (1840-1865) - Charleston, South Carolina 
  • The Daily Picayune (1840-1865) - New Orleans, Louisiana
  • The Daily Dispatch (1852-1865) - Richmond, Virginia

Northern Newspapers:

  • The Boston Herald (1848-1865)- Boston, Massachusetts
  • The Columbus State Journal (iterations include: Ohio State Journal (180-1841), The Daily Ohio State Journal (1841), Weekly Ohio State Journal (1841-1849), Daily Ohio State Journal (1849-1853), The Columbus Gazette (1856-1865))
  • The New York Herald (iterations include: Morning Herald (1840) and The New York Herald (1840-1865)

Border State and Mississipi Valley Newspapers:

  • The Louisville Daily Journal (1840-1865) - Louisville, Kentucky
  • Memphis Daily Appeal (1847-1965) - Memphis, Tennessee


Advanced Search Options in Civil War Era Collection

From the Advanced Search page, you can execute specific searches based on the Searchable Fields available.  Those applicable to The Civil WarEra are listed below:
Anywhere except full text --ALL
Document text--FT
Document title--TI
Pamphlet subject heading--SU
Publication title--PUB
Corporate/institutional author--CA
Pamphlet subject headings can be searched from the dropdown menu or from a specific look up field in the middle of the Advanced Search page.  Using the look up offers the advantage of picking exactly the correct subject heading term.  Examples include:
  • church and war
  • medical aspects
  • northern disaffection
  • regimental histories
  • rolls of honor
  • soldier's life
  • war at sea

For more on searching the ProQuest platform, click here.