About This Site
Community & Conflict: The Impact of the Civil War in the Ozarks, is a collaborative digitization effort to document the war in the Trans-Mississippi Theater. Traditional Civil War scholarship has focused on events east of the Mississippi River. Events in Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas, the Indian Territory (modern day Oklahoma), Louisiana, and Texas have received comparatively little attention. To address this scholarly gap, seven organizations in southwest Missouri began development of Community & Conflict in 2007. The project was funded by Library Services and Technology Act digital imaging grants from the Institute of Museum and Library Services through the Missouri State Library.
The digital collection features letters, journals, diaries, court cases and other materials that explore how the war affected communities, families, and soldiers, in the region. By 2012, 11,000 pages of material were scanned, transcribed and made keyword searchable. This accomplishment required the project to grow in size and scope since its inception in 2007. Partnerships expanded to include 21 museums, libraries, and archives from across the country which provided free digital access to their collections through the project. A virtual museum, digital photo archive, and interactive timeline for the Trans-Mississippi Theater were also developed along the core themes of Community & Conflict.
The project has served as a model for other organizations in Missouri to follow as they digitize the state’s Civil War History in commemoration of the sesquicentennial, (2011-2015). Additionally, project staff developed a planning and development manual for digitization projects. This manual provides insight to the logistical requirements of digital projects, tips for selecting and evaluating collections, guidelines for scanning, metadata and transcriptions, and strategies for building strong partnerships with other organizations. The Springfield-Greene County Library District offers this resource to assist other institutions with their digitization efforts.