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State historian discusses Civil War diaries

Nov. 7, 2006

KALAMAZOO--Dr. William Anderson, director of Michigan's Department of History, Arts and Libraries, will speak on "Civil War Diaries" at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 14, in the Dalton Center Lecture Hall at Westerm Michigan University. The program is open to the public free of charge.

A Civil War and baseball historian, Anderson is the author and editor of five books and numerous articles on those subjects. Among his books are "They Died to Make Men Free: History of the 19th Michigan Infantry," "We are Sherman's Men: The Civil War Letters of Henry Orendorff" and "The Detroit Tigers: A Pictorial Celebration of the Greatest Players and Moments in Tigers' History."

Anderson was first appointed director of the state Department of History, Arts and Libraries in 2001 by then-Gov. John Engler and was re-appointed by Engler's successor, Gov. Jennifer Granholm. He retired from West Shore Community College in 1998 following a 33-year career in higher education.

WMU received a grant of more than $95,000 from the Library of Michigan in 2005 to digitize the Civil War diaries of eight men who served in several Midwestern Union regiments. The diary entries represent a wide variety of experiences and perspectives, ranging from that of a musician to a prisoner of war. The grant was part of a statewide effort to digitize valuable and significant local and state-related information held in Michigan libraries and make it easily available via the Internet.

The event is sponsored by the Friends of the University Libraries, and a brief reception will follow the program. Contact Sharon Carlson at sharon.carlson@wmich.edu or (269) 387-8490 for additional information.

Related article
WMU lands grant to digitize Civil War diaries

Media contact: Jeanne Baron, (269) 387-8400, jeanne.baron@wmich.edu

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