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Union library to feature Civil War exhibit honoring African Americans

Union University’s Emma Waters Summar Library will host an exhibit Nov. 2-Dec. 14 that recognizes the contributions of African Americans in health care during the Civil War.
Union University’s Emma Waters Summar Library will host an exhibit Nov. 2-Dec. 14 that recognizes the contributions of African Americans in health care during the Civil War.

JACKSON, Tenn.Oct. 30, 2013 – An exhibit honoring African Americans who served in healthcare professions during the Civil War will be displayed at Union University’s Emma Waters Summar Library Nov. 2-Dec. 14.

The “Binding Wounds, Pushing Boundaries: African Americans in Civil War Medicine” exhibit is provided by the U.S. National Library of Medicine’s traveling exhibition program. The exhibit consists of six panels featuring photos and facts about how African Americans helped heal the wounded during the war.

“The involvement of African Americans in Civil War medicine is a part of history that’s not well known,” said Paul Sorrell, the creative projects coordinator for library services. “The panels tell a new story of an old event.”

Anna Beth Morgan, the associate professor of library services and associate vice president for academic resources, said Union is the first location in West Tennessee to showcase these panels.

The exhibit will be located inside the library to the right of the entrance. At least one case of Civil War artifacts will be displayed near the panels as well. Medical antiquities on loan from Jackson’s Carnegie Center for the Arts and History, the Brooks Shaw Collection from the Old Country Store and the Jackson-Madison County General Hospital will be displayed.

The library also will host a reception and presentations for the exhibit Nov. 7. The reception will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the library, where attendees can view the panels and artifacts. Presentations will follow at 7:30 p.m. in room D-3 in the Penick Academic Complex.

For the presentations, David Thomas, a professor of history, will discuss the war’s historical significance while Jill Webb, a professor of nursing and the assistant director of the Honors Community, will talk about the war’s medical aspects.

Morgan said local social studies classes may visit the exhibit as well, and a detailed curriculum for both children and young adults is available for teachers who wish to incorporate the exhibit into their lesson plans.

“It’s important to respect the work that African Americans have done,” Morgan said. “The exhibit itself was birthed out of an understanding that the role of African Americans in the Civil War, particularly in healthcare, has been understated through the years.”

For more information about the exhibit curriculum, visit www.nlm.nih.gov. To learn more about the exhibit itself, contact Melissa Moore, Union’s public services librarian, at (731) 661-5408.

By Beth Knoll


Media contact: Mark Kahler, news@uu.edu, 731-661-5215

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