As a partner in Ohio’s Civil War sesquicentennial, Ohio Humanities sponsored the development of an interpretative plan for the state’s four-year commemoration. Executive Director Pat Williamsen says it is important to be involved in these statewide projects because, “they have such a wide reach throughout the state and align with our mission to spur conversations about important aspects of Ohio’s history and its impact on us as Ohioans.”
One such result of the project was a traveling exhibit about Ohio in the Civil War. The Ohio History Connection, funded by Ohio Humanities and American Electric Power, sponsored development of “Ohio & the Civil War: 150 Years Later”; a special traveling exhibit produced for the 150th commemoration of the Civil War. The exhibit was developed especially for small institutions that typically do not have access to traveling exhibits because of space and cost limitations.
The exhibit explores Ohio’s participation in the war and focuses especially on individuals’ choices that impacted local communities and the course of the war. Three themes-Democracy, Transformation, and Memory-are used to reveal Civil War stories that impacted Ohio in the 19th century to the present day. Through the lens of these themes, the exhibit explores topics such as civil rights, political dissent, pacifism, religion, and popular culture and reveals patterns in our country’s response to such topics throughout history.
Exhibit hosts have included historical societies and museums, libraries, educational institutions, community organizations and other groups. To-date, the panel exhibit has traveled to 33 locations and has been viewed by an estimated 500,000 people. The exhibit even made an appearance in Maryland in October of 2012 at the Antietam National Battlefield Park Visitor Center.
More on the exhibit and Ohio in the Civil War can be found at www.ohiocivilwar150.org