People's Contest Digital Archive

Help us transcribe the stories of American life in Pennsylvania during the Civil War.

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"This is essentially a people's contest. On the side of the Union it is a struggle for maintaining in the world that form and substance of government whose leading object is to elevate the condition of men…"

People's Contest Digital Archive

About People's Contest Digital Archive

The People's Contest Digital Archive collects the experiences of Americans living in Pennsylvania during the era of the American Civil War. It promotes research and understanding of the ways in which people of different backgrounds went about their lives during the mid-19th century. Providing transcriptions of the diaries and journals in the People's Contest helps us to broaden access to the materials and contribute to our understanding of life during the Civil War era.

By helping to transcribe the diaries and journals, you will be helping us to provide access to these collections, to promote the institutions who contributed them to the project, and to help with teaching, research, and engagement around 19th-century American history. You will also be helping to build educational opportunities around the use of archival and special collections.

The People's Contest is a collaborative project of the University Libraries and the George and Ann Richards Civil War Center at Penn State University. The project website features a unique statewide bibliographic database of hidden collections, digitized manuscripts, and contextual essays.

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