Home >  About the Libraries >   Friends of the Library

Civil War Object Lessons: Gardner’s Photographic Sketch Book of the War as Relic, Monument, and Narrative

Photograph from Gardner’s Photographic Sketch Book of the War

In May The Dartmouth College Library was fortunate to acquire the 1866 edition of Gardner’s Photographic Sketch Book of the War, the most powerful and most well-known collection of photographs from the Civil War. It contains 100 original albumen silver prints, each mounted on lithographed cards and bound into two volumes. It was published in an edition of no more than 200 sets and includes many of the most celebrated and recognizable images of the war such as: "Burial Party, Cold Harbor"; "A Harvest of Death"; "Field Where General Reynolds Fell, Battle of Gettysburg"; and "President Lincoln on Battle-Field of Antietam.” The acquisition was made possible by a generous bequest by Hans Penner formerly of the Religion department.


To celebrate this amazing acquisition we are hosting a half-day symposium on September 25th, “Civil War Object Lessons: Gardner’s Photographic Sketch Book of the War as Relic, Monument, and Narrative” to which you are most cordially invited. We will be featuring two visiting speakers, Elizabeth Athens from the Worcester Art Museum, and Elizabeth Young from Mount Holyoke College, as well as two panels of Dartmouth faculty and staff to discuss how the book will be used in their teaching and research.


All presentations will be held in the Kreindler Conference Room (Room 41) in the Haldeman Center.


12:45-1:00           Opening remarks: Elizabeth Smith, Dean of Faculty


1:00-2:00             Elizabeth Athens, Worcester Art Museum


2:00-3:00             "War and the Photograph: Past and Present," Chaired by Barbara "Bonnie" MacAdam

                            Virginia Beahan, "Windows and/or Mirrors:  The Artist's Perspective from Timothy O'Sullivan to Mark Ruwedel"

                            Mary Coffey, "Race, Labor, and the Photographic Mediation of the ‘Troubling Realities’ of the American Civil War"

                            Katie Hornstein, "Picturing War in the Nineteenth Century: Artful Documents"


3:00-3:30             Break


3:30-4:30             "Between Text and Time" Chaired by Katie Hornstein

                            Colleen Boggs, "Between the Pages: Words and Photos in Gardner's Sketch Book"

                            Robert Bonner, "The Eventfulness of Lincoln’s Sketch Book Cameo"

                            Jay Satterfield, "Shifting Images"


4:30-5:30             Elizabeth Young, Mount Holyoke College


5:30-5:45             Closing remarks by Robert Bonner


6:00-7:00             Reception in Rauner Special Collections Library


Sponsored by the Friends of the Dartmouth College Library, the Hood Museum of Art, the Leslie Center for the Humanities, the Department of Art History, the Department of English, the Department of History, and the Dean of Arts and Humanities