Pamplin Park’s archives go digital

Pamplin Historical ParkPamplin Historical Park & The National Museum of the Civil War Soldier is launching a new digital archives accessible through their website.

This searchable database will give scholars and history lovers an opportunity to view documents from the 18th to 20th Centuries as many across the country surf the internet while staying at home.

The core of the Pamplin Historical Park archives is the famed Wiley Sword Collection which ranges from personal letters to general orders. Wiley Sword was the author of several Civil War histories and awarded the Fletcher Pratt Prize for the best book of Civil War history. He was also nominated for the Pulitzer, Parkman, Bancroft, and Western Heritage prizes before passing away. Sword had spent his lifetime building this collection for use in his own research and writing. Donated in 2015, many of these documents are too delicate for display, so to advance the Park’s mission of education and preservation,digital copies of these invaluable resources are now available to the public for use and research.

Included in the Pamplin Historical Park archives is the Gladstone Collection and over 3,000 periodicals and titles in the Civil War Research Library. A rare assortment of mail envelopes and postage related archives comprise the Park’s Gladstone Collection. Access to the Civil War Research Library of book titles and periodicals only is available to the public by appointment by calling (804) 861-2408 extension 306. Policies and fees concerning the scanning of documents and image requests is available for download at the Park’s archives webpage.

The new digital archives can be accessed through the Pamplin Historical Park’s homepage at and going to the “About The Park” drop down menu tab before clicking on “Pamplin Digital Archives.” Three categories consist of Antebellum, Civil War and Postbellum archives. Antebellum includes documents dating to before the Civil War, such as civilian, Seminole Wars, and the Mexican-American War. The Civil War category consists of personal letters of soldiers and civilians, general orders, staff endorsements, etc. Postbellum documents include memoirs of soldiers and survivors, letters from their descendants, and recollections of Reconstruction.

This will be a long-term and ongoing project with new documents being added on a regular basis. Visitors are encouraged to check in frequently to see what new documents have been added to the digital archives.


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