About the Exhibit

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On April 30, 2010, the National Archives peeled back 150 years of accumulated analysis, interpretation, and opinion to reveal a Civil War that is little-known and even more rarely displayed an exhibition in the Lawrence F. O'Brien Gallery of the National Archives Building in Washington, DC. The "Discovering the Civil War" exhibition presented the most extensive display ever assembled from the incomparable Civil War holdings of the National Archives, and took a fresh look at the Civil War through little-known stories, seldom-seen documents, and unusual perspectives. The exhibition was presented by the Center for the National Archives Experience and the Foundation for the National Archives.

"Discovering the Civil War" offers the chance to join researchers in unlocking secrets, solving mysteries, and uncovering unexpected events in Civil War records of the National Archives. The exhibition features letters, diaries, photos, maps, petitions, receipts, patents, amendments, and proclamations.

In Washington, DC, "Discovering the Civil War" was shown in two parts. Part One ran from April 30, 2010 through September 6, 2010. Part Two ran from November 10, 2010, through April 17, 2011. The entire exhibit began traveling around the country shortly thereafter. The touring exhibit is no longer available.

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