6 degrees: Explore your Civil War roots with NARA

New exhibit uses IT to demonstrate interpersonal relationships of Confederate and Union leaders

A new exhibit at the National Archives and Records Administration uses interactive information technology to illustrate a complex web of interpersonal relationships that many Confederate and Union soldiers maintained during the Civil War.

In one interactive part of NARA’s new exhibit “Discovering the Civil War,” people can track the personal relationships that many top soldiers from the opposing sides had with each other. Many of those connections predate the war.

Bruce Bustard, a senior curator at NARA who worked on the exhibit, said even though the soldiers were at war, some continued to have cordial relationships with each other.

The exhibit, which opened April 30, lets people use an interactive graphic interface to see the connections. Other interactive parts of the exhibit allow visitors to explore records and research the conflict virtually.

The exhibit, open daily from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., also includes original documents and large-scale reproductions of some of the millions of Civil War-related records that NARA holds.

The exhibit is presented by the National Archives Experience and the Foundation for the National Archives.

Interactive Civil War exhibit

Courtesy of NARA

About the Author

Ben Bain is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.

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