The National Archives is offering two free programs this month of interest to Civil War enthusiasts. At noon on Feb. 6, history professor and author Heather Andrea Williams will discuss her research on post-Civil War advertisements placed for missing family members by African Americans.
At 7 p.m. the next day, Feb. 7, a panel discussion is scheduled on the “Emancipation Proclamation in Art and Documents,” with slavery expert and University of Maryland history professor Ira Berlin, chief curator of the Smithsonian American Art Museum Eleanor Jones Harvey and Archives historian Michael Hussey.
The moderator of the panel discussion will be Rex M. Ellis, associate director of curatorial affairs at the National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Williams is the author of the 2012 book, “Help Me to Find My People: The African American Search for Family Lost in Slavery.” http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/01/books/review/help-me-to-find-my-people-by-heather-andrea-williams.html According to a press release from the Archives, Williams used slave narratives, letters, interviews and diaries as part of her research.
A book signing will follow Williams’s program.
Thursday’s illustrated program is based on the current Smithsonian American Art Museum exhibit, “The Civil War and American Art” http://www.washingtonpost.com/gog/exhibits/the-civil-war-and-american-art,1235413/critic-review.html as well as related records found in the Archives. The art exhibit closes April 28.