Civil War Anniversary Commemorated at Harford Libraries

To commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg and the American Civil War, Harford County Public Library is hosting Civil War 150, a series of events including visits from bestselling authors of books about the Civil War, book discussion groups, a special musical performance and exhibitions that explore this tumultuous time in American history.

Visit Harford County library branches now through June to experience the commemoration of the Civil War.


• A Nation Divided: Juried Photography Exhibition takes place at the Jarrettsville Library from April 18 to May 18, where 20 local amateur and professional photographers interpret the theme through their work. Thirty-two photographs are included the exhibition.

• The Bel Air Library will host an exhibition titled The Mask of Lincoln: Photography and the Making of a President from April 27 to June 15, exploring through photography how Lincoln was able to rise above his humble beginnings. This exhibition is made possible by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service and the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Foundation.

• The Abingdon Library will host an exhibition highlighting Harford County's claim to Civil War infamy through Divided Allegiance: The Booths of Tudor Hall from May 4 to June 8. There is perhaps no better example of "a house divided" than this exhibition which explores the unique and dysfunctional Booth family.

In conjunction with the exhibitions, speakers and authors will visit Harford County to talk about various aspects of the Civil War.

• Baltimore historian Jeff Korman will expand on the "Life and Mysterious Death of John Wilkes Booth" at the Edgewood Library on April 29 at 6:30 p.m.

• For fiction fans, author William Martin of The Lincoln Letter and other Peter Fallon mysteries will visit the Bel Air Library on May 11 at 7 p.m.

• A book discussion of The Lincoln Letter will take place on May 26 at 1 p.m. at the McFaul Center in Bel Air.

• Author Dan Toomey writes on railroad history and will discuss his newest title, "The War Came By Train," on June 13 at 6:30 p.m. at the Abingdon Library.


• This year's A Night Out at The Library guest has also written many books related to the Civil War. On April 19, New York Times bestselling author Jeff Shaara will discuss his recent novel "A Blaze of Glory." Tickets for A Night Out at The Library are $55, available at HCPLonline.org or by calling 410-273-5600.

• A book discussion of another Shaara book, "Gods and Generals," will take place at the Jarrettsville Library on April 10 at 6:30 p.m. A Blaze of Glory will be discussed at the Bel Air Library on April 18 at 6:30 pm.

• To round out the Civil War experience, a role play concert conceived and performed by Duke Thompson, director of the Maryland Conservatory of Music, will be presented. Portraying Lincoln, the concert pianist plays the popular songs of the day and discusses the president's attachment to music and the theatre. A reception, hosted by General and Mrs. Grant, begins at the Havre de Grace Library on June 1 at 6:30 p.m. and the concert begins at St. John's Church next door to the library at 7 p.m.

Registration for all programs and author events is suggested and can be made by calling the branch hosting the program. The events of Harford County Public Library's Civil War 150 are presented, in part, with support from the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Foundation, the Gilder Lehrman Institute, the Bel Air Friends of Harford County Public Library, the Harford County Cultural Arts Board, the Junius Booth Society, Inc., and the Historical Society of Harford County.

Harford County Public Library operates 11 branches and serves more than 176,000 registered borrowers of all ages. Annual circulation is more than 4.5 million.