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VIVA Outreach Committee

The Outreach Committee promotes and publicizes VIVA and its resources and advocates VIVA's funding needs and the benefits that VIVA confers to appropriate agencies, organizations and legislative groups.



Harper's Weekly Reconstruction Era (1866-1871)

The Virtual Library of Virginia
For Immediate Release: Fairfax, Virginia 8/30/2000

HarpWeek’s Reconstruction Era, Part I (1866-1871), Added to VIVA Resources

Civil wars are reputed to be the most brutal of wars, and the American Civil War was no exception. The bitter legacy of the war lived on in the Reconstruction years, years characterized in the South by the likes of carpetbaggers, scalawags, and the Ku Klux Klan. Economic opportunity and justice for African-Americans, now free, would be turned aside by reactionary “black codes” enacted in the South to preserve white supremacy. A president would be impeached by a Congress convinced that he was treating the vanquished South with too much leniency. Other great social changes were sweeping the country: industrialization, waves of increased immigration, and westward expansion.

Harper’s Weekly not only recorded the turbulence of the times with in-depth articles, biting political commentary and cartoons, but also captured the tastes and mores of the times with its literature, illustrations, and advertisements. This magazine was the premier weekly source of news and culture to a nation entering a new phase of its history.

One year ago, VIVA, the Virtual Library of Virginia, obtained a subscription to the Civil War component (1857 through 1865) of HarpWeek for all Virginia institutions, both public and independent. Now, through further efforts, it has secured online access to the second installment of digitized full-text pages of HarpWeek, bringing coverage up through 1871, and adding access to 5,500 pages of text and images. The ambitious HarpWeek project includes rich indexing to every article, illustration, advertisement, and literary offering included in Harper’s Weekly. VIVA members can link to the resource directly at:

Using HarpWeek on the Web, students across Virginia share in the excitement of using primary source material to view the world through 19th century eyes. Much more than a chronicle, Harper's Weekly provides a rich record of the culture, the attitudes, and the interests of U.S.citizens at a crucial juncture in their history. For example, HarpWeek contains:

The publisher of the HarpWeek database, recognizing the potential of the resource as a teaching tool, has provided a web site ( to highlight the uses of HarpWeek in the classroom. The web site contains Special Reports (also available in print) that aid in taking full advantage of HarpWeek for Literary Studies and Women’s/ Gender Studies. Links are also provided to web sites that use HarpWeek to guide research on such subjects as:

  VIVA, The Virtual Library of Virginia, is the consortium of the libraries of the 39 state-assisted colleges and universities (at 52 campuses) within the Commonwealth of Virginia. In addition, 32 independent (private, non-profit) institutions and The Library of Virginia participate where possible. VIVA’s mission is to provide, in an equitable, cooperative, and cost-effective manner, enhanced access to library and information resources for Virginia’s academic libraries serving the higher education community.  VIVA is sponsored by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV).


For additional information contact:
Katherine A. Perry
VIVA Director
B222 Fenwick Library
George Mason University
Fairfax, Virginia 22030-4444
Tel: (703) 993-4652



VIVA is funded by the Virginia General Assembly and the VIVA member institutions, and is sponsored by the State Council of Higher Education (SCHEV).