Nation's Premier Society of Historians Honors Library's Civil War on the Western Border Website

Thu, 10/23/2014
Courtney Lewis,816.701.3669
Nation's Premier Society of Historians Honors Library's Civil War on the Western Border Website

(Kansas City, Missouri) - The Library's historical website Civil War on the Western Border: The Missouri-Kansas Conflict, 1854-1865 added to a lengthy list honors Thursday, October 23, 2014, earning the Roy Rosenzweig Prize for Innovation in Digital History from the American Historical Association.

The Washington, D.C.-based organization is the oldest and largest society of historians and professors of history in the United States. The Rosenzweig Prize, co-sponsored by the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media (RRCHNM) at George Mason University, is awarded annually for "work that reflects thoughtful, critical, and rigorous engagement with technology and the practice of history."

It carries a cash award of $4,000. Previous winners include the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, the University of Minnesota Law Library, the New York Public Library, and the University of Sydney, Australia.

"This recognition is only possible because we worked with a number of outstanding historians, including more than two-dozen professors and promising graduate students," says Jason Roe, the Library's digital history specialist and content manager and editor for the Civil War on the Western Border site (www.civilwaronthewesternborder.org). "Uniting their scholarship with a repository of thousands of original documents from 25 partner archives has made our website a valued resource for members of our community to learn about the Missouri-Kansas border in the Civil War era."

He pointed, among others, to Bryan Le Beau, the provost and vice president for academic affairs at the University of St. Mary's in Leavenworth, Kansas, who oversaw the development of site's scholarly content.

Echoed David LaCrone, the Library's digital branch manager, "It's really gratifying to see the work of the Kansas City Public Library and its partners being recognized nationally by such esteemed practitioners of digital history. I'm looking forward to building on our success with more exciting projects in the area of local history."

Launched in August 2013 through a collaborative effort among libraries, museums, and historical societies across the greater Kansas City region, Civil War on the Western Border offers a vast array of materials - primary source matter, scholarly essays, and topical encyclopedia entries - on the Missouri-Kansas Border War that shook the region from 1854 to 1865. Included are a cutting-edge relationship viewer allowing visitors to browse the connections among those who lived through the conflict; a comprehensive, interactive timeline with event descriptions and links; and an interactive border war map.

The site also is the recipient of the 2014 Award for Excellence in Public History from the Society of Civil War Historians, a 2014 Award of Merit from the American Association for State and Local History, and the 2014 Autry Public History Prize from the Western History Association.

The Rosenzweig Prize will be presented with other American Historical Association awards during the AHA's annual meeting in New York City on January 2, 2015.

The Civil War on the Western Border project was made possible by grant funding from the Missouri State Library as part of its statewide Missouri Digital Heritage initiative, with additional support from the William T. Kemper Foundation-Commerce Bank Trustee.

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