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Civil War Resources in Duke's David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library

Civil War Literary Manuscript Collections

This list contains literary manuscript collections of individuals and organizations active during the Civil War, or commenting upon it directly.  Many additional small collections, and related collections of authors influenced by or preceding the war, such as Thomas Nelson Page, Alexander Beaufort Meek, and Thomas Holley Chivers can also be found in the Library. 

Civil War Bestsellers

The following list, of books which sold over 300,000 copies in the U.S. during the Civil War years (excluding bibles, hymnals, textbooks, almanacs, cookbooks, manuals, and reference works), is drawn from Frank Luther Mott's Golden Multitudes: The Story of Best Sellers in the United States

Civil War Music Collections

Finding More Sources

The links below use the subject heading "United States-History-Civil War, 1861-1865" in conjunction with the subheadings to find many contemporary and later literary works about the Civil War:




Literature and the War

Additional materials may be found by searching using the subheadings above as subject keywords and limiting the search to the dates 1861-1865. 

Many literary works published in the Confederate states have been digitized from Duke's Confederate Imprints collection and can be found online here.  In addition to Confederate imprints, Duke's Special Collections have strengths in humor, periodicals, and broadside verse of the period.  

Useful Secondary Sources

The following secondary sources are useful guides to the literature of the period and/or later literary works on the topic:

Alice Fahs, The Imagined Civil War: Popular Literature in the North and South, 1861-1865

Albert Menendez, Civil War Novels: An Annotated Bibliography

Edmund Wilson, Patriotic Gore: Studies in the Literature of the American Civil War