Mapping the Fourth of July in the Civil War Era: A Crowdsourced Digital Archive

Paul Quigley's picture
Online Digital Resources
United States
Subject Fields: 
African American History / Studies, American History / Studies, Archival Science, Educational Technology, Social History / Studies

How did Americans celebrate Independence Day during the Civil War era, as their nation appeared to be falling apart? Find out for yourself at "Mapping the Fourth of July," a new crowdsourced primary source digital archive containing newspaper articles, letters, and diaries from a wide variety of perspectives.

As you plan your syllabi for the coming academic year, consider using Mapping the Fourth. The site makes it easy for teachers at all levels to integrate July 4 primary sources into their courses. You can require a short transcription and tagging exercise that introduces your students to primary source use, or a semester-long research paper investigating changes in July 4 celebrations in a specific city--or anything in between.

Check out Mapping the Fourth today:

If you have any questions or would like to request customized guidance for your courses, email us at

Coordinated by Virginia Tech's Virginia Center for Civil War Studies, Mapping the Fourth involves faculty, staff, and support from around Virginia Tech: the Center for Human-Computer Interaction, History, Computer Science, the School of Education, and the University Libraries. The project is funded with a “Literacy and Engagement with Historical Records” grant from the National Archives’ National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

Contact Info: 

Paul Quigley

Virginia Tech History Department

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