The National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections (NUCMC) is commemorating the sesquicentennial of the Civil War by compiling information about historical documents from across the country regarding the outbreak of the Civil War, complete with links to the home historical societies and repositories of the materials.

NUCMC is a cooperative cataloging project at the Library of Congress that has been operating for many years. Their Civil War effort, entitled “NUCMC and the Documentary Heritage of the American Civil War,” can be viewed here.


The online presentation is the first of a five-year, five-part program highlighting Civil War collections for the sesquicentennial. The online information for this year focuses on the election of Abraham Lincoln, the secession crisis, the outbreak of hostilities, mobilizing for war and foreign public opinion.

Future updates to “NUCMC and the Documentary Heritage of the American Civil War” will include are planned as follows:

2012: personal narratives of members of the Union and Confederate armed forces;
2013: the sesquicentennial of the Emancipation Proclamation and the African American experience from slavery to the end of the Civil War;
2014: the home front, women in the war, the role of charitable organizations, economic aspects of the war and patriotic societies;
2015: the sesquicentennial of the death of Abraham Lincoln, Reconstruction, Confederate exiles and the rise of veterans’ organizations.

Of the project, Associate Librarian for Library Services Deanna Marcum said, “With this timely commemoration of the Civil War, NUCMC succeeds in showcasing its work and demonstrating the wealth of materials in previously ‘hidden collections’ that we are interested in exposing, not just at the Library of Congress but at our colleague institutions nationally.”

NUCMC seeks the assistance of eligible repositories in identifying and describing archival collections relating to the conflict. Eligible repositories must be located in the United States or its territories, must regularly admit researchers, and must lack the capability of entering their own archival cataloging into the bibliographic database managed by OCLC, the world’s largest library cooperative.

If you know of a library or archives that could contribute, please visit www.loc.gov/coll/nucmc/ for more information.