Kansas City Public Library and Partners Civil War on the Western Border: The Missouri-Kansas Conflict, 1854-1865
The Missouri State Library's Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) planning grant provided funds for a massive inventory of 20,000 pages of primary sources at 25 Missouri and Kansas archives. Utilizing the expertise of our Project Partners, the sources were rank-ordered according to historical significance, preservation concerns, and potential interest to researchers. More than 5,000 pages were selected for the initial round of digitization, with the rest to be added in the future. Besides digitization, our team utilized a semi-normalized transcription convention, developed by the Missouri Valley Special Collections, to present the original texts as searchable PDF files.
The initial round of digitization occurred under a second LSTA grant from the Missouri State Library. The second phase of the project lasted nearly a year and involved digital preservation standards training at the Kansas Historical Society, travel to dozens of locations, digitization of the documents, and creation of transcriptions and metadata to organize the content. By the end of the second phase, more than 6,000 pages of primary sources had been digitized.
Finally, a grant from the William T. Kemper Foundation allowed for the third phase of the project -- the creation of a standalone website to showcase this unique collection, build a complementary timeline and map, and solicit the contextual scholarship that ties everything together into a comprehensive resource on the Civil War on the Western Border.
The result of a collaborative effort among libraries, museums, and historical societies across the greater Kansas City region, this website provides free access to 6,000 pages of primary source materials and introduces visitors to unique interactive features, including a cutting-edge relationship viewer that displays historical connections from the original documents, a comprehensive visual timeline that provides links to additional resources, and a reconfigurable Border War map. Not to be overlooked is a contextual, thematic layer consisting of original scholarly essays and topical encyclopedia entries, all written by top historians in the field.
Contributing Institutions in this project provide access to materials for educational and research purposes only. The written permission of the copyright owner(s) and/or other right holder(s) (such as publicity and/or privacy rights) is required for distribution, reproduction, or other use of protected images(s) beyond that allowed by fair use or other statutory exemptions. Responsibility for making an independent legal assessment of an image(s) and securing any necessary permission ultimately rests with person(s) desiring to use the image(s).