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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.



HarpWeek, Harper's Magazine Civil War era

The Virtual Library of Virginia
For Immediate Release: Fairfax, Virginia 9/29/1999

HarpWeek, the Civil War Era (1857-1865) Now Available for All VIVA Institutions

As the Civil War raged, 1861-1865, Americans thirsted for news about the ebb and flow of the brutal conflict. They could not turn to CNN for the latest news from the battlefront, but they did have one unique source--Harper's Weekly. This news magazine satisfied the public's curiosity with a rich format of firsthand accounts, sketches of the battlefields, cartoons, and patriotic commentary. If posterity had to choose one source to preserve the memory of the Civil War years, it would be Harper’s Weekly.

Now, through the efforts of VIVA, the Virtual Library of Virginia, this influential American news magazine is available via the Internet, to all VIVA institutions, both public and independent. The ambitious HarpWeek project has digitized the 7,500 pages of Harper’s Weekly for the years 1857 through 1865, and has also provided rich indexing to every article, illustration, advertisement, and literary offering included in Harper’s Weekly. By the end of the year, patrons will also be able to search a full-text SGML database containing every word in the publication. VIVA members can link to the resource directly at:

Using HarpWeek on the Web, students share in the excitement of using primary source material to view the world through mid-19th century eyes. Much more than a chronicle of the Civil War, Harper's Weekly provides a rich record of the culture, the attitudes, and the interests of U.S.citizens at mid-century. For example, HarpWeek also 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 developed by faculty that show research through HarpWeek 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).