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21, January 2013

Dr. King's Short Visit Left Legacy at Museum Library

Like many other cities in the United States, St. Louis has monuments to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: a bridge, a major street, a school, a statue in Fountain Park. So many of us know the famous “I Have a Dream” speech that it almost seems we were there when he delivered it on that muggy August day in 1963 at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington. Read more »

18, January 2013

Civil War Love Letters: January 18, 1863

While James endured the changing weather conditions in Nashville, he heard news of the burning of several Union boats. On January 13, 1863, a group of drunken rebel guerrillas from Confederate major general Joseph Wheeler’s cavalry brigade stopped Union boats on the Cumberland River at Harpeth Shoals, 30 miles from Nashville. The rebels took possession of the steamer Hastings, which was carrying over 200 wounded men to Louisville. When the rebels boarded the boat, they robbed the soldiers and passengers, even stealing blankets, medicine, and clothing from the wounded soldiers. Read more »

17, January 2013

When More Isn't Merrier

As the Museum prepares its 250 in 250 exhibit to commemorate the 250th anniversary of St. Louis, we are taking our readers behind the scenes of the yearlong exhibit-making process.

OK, this is going to be tough.

The idea was this: To commemorate St. Louis’s 250th anniversary in 2014, we create an exhibit that tells that history through 50 people, 50 places, 50 moments, 50 images, and 50 objects. The exhibit would be called 250 in 250. Read more »

16, January 2013

Following in James Love’s Footsteps: The Battle of Stones River in Tennessee

As part of my research for the Civil War Love Letters series I decided to travel to the three battlefields where James was present during his time in the war. I spent a week driving from one battlefield to another, many times driving through the same areas where James marched 150 years ago. I planned the trip for the same time of year as two of James’s battle experiences, so aside from the highways, cars, and buildings, the landscape of trees in full fall foliage covering the hills and valleys of Kentucky and Tennessee looked much the same as they did in his time. Read more »

16, January 2013

The Doll Project

The memorials are easy to miss. A group of stuffed animals, maybe some photos, a cross draped with flowers—roadside tributes have become a ubiquitous feature of the American landscape. But when you stop and look more closely, you find that these monuments are telling stories: stories of loss but also of life.

Image at left: Lois Ingrum, creator of the "Doll Project." Read more »

11, January 2013

Civil War Love Letters: January 11–15, 1863

Hd. Qts. 8th K. V.
Camp at Nashville
Jany 11th 1863

My Dearest Molly

In the feverish unrest consequent on a continued absence of our mails but partly because of a bad digestion and a very feverish state of the nerves, I am impelled again to address you, though I fear under such circumstances with but poor effect. My hand trembles dont it? Will my ideas come at will?

Our mail has gone to Murfreesboro, not once but half a dozen times and that is worse punishment than if there was no mail at all. It is aggravating! Positively! Read more »

8, January 2013

A “Dangerous” Film, or the Case of the Misbegotten Label

Film cans often sit for years on shelves, awaiting the care of a professional film archivist, curator, or qualified preservationist to identify, document, repair, and conserve their contents. One of the more problematic kinds of film that we occasionally encounter in our work is nitrate film. The earliest film base (the material to which the film emulsion adheres) was made of nitrate cellulose. Read more »

3, January 2013

Civil War Love Letters: January 3–4, 1863

James primarily discussed the events of the Battle of Stone’s River in his earlier letter of January 3. In his second letter of the day, he focused on his activities in Nashville.

Hd. Qts. 8th Kans. Vols.
Jany 3d 1863

My Dear Molly

In my last just this moment mailed, I proposed to begin my notes several times but each time got lead away in the wish to give you a connected account of the battle &c &c. Read more »

3, January 2013

Civil War Love Letters: January 3, 1863

Since his last letter on December 26, James was preoccupied with the events surrounding the Battle of Stone’s River, or Murfreesboro, Tennessee. While James and his regiment, along with 10,000 other troops, remained in Nashville to guard the city, other regiments from his brigade and division marched 25 miles toward Murfreesboro, where Confederate general Braxton Bragg and his men were camped. By December 30, the forces of Union general William S. Rosecrans’s Army of the Cumberland faced Bragg and his men, with both sides planning attacks on the enemy’s right flank the following day. Read more »

26, December 2012

Civil War Love Letters: December 26, 1862

Hd. Qts. 8th Ks. Vol
Camp at Nashville
Decr 26th 1862

My Dearest Molly