Wednesday, February 17, 2010


The Kansas City Public Library is leading an effort to get thousands of Civil War-era letters, photos and military papers together in one place where anyone can see them anytime — the Internet.

The library has been awarded a $43,469 Missouri State Library grant to begin the digitization project and Web site, “The Missouri-Kansas Border: Where the Civil War Really Began.”


After the planning phase, the library plans to request additional grants to complete the project.

Henry Fortunato, the library’s public affairs director, says that website will educate the local community, nation and the world on the critical role that the people and the communities of this region played before and during the Civil War.

The library already has scanned some documents, including a yellowed, hand-scripted letter from a soldier hospitalized in Lexington, Ky.:

I for one am tired of this awful war which has cost so many lives and no one but some supernatural power knows or can tell how many more is to suffer and die.

A similar project for the Springfield area has also been funded. That project, begun in mid-2007, has received four grants totaling more than $272,000, said Abe Rakov, deputy communications director for Secretary of State Robin Carnahan’s office.


The Springfield and Kansas City projects are part of Secretary Carnahan’s Missouri Digital Heritage Initiative.

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