Dr. Tim Roberts Leads NEH Program on Civil War at WIU

Apr 5, 2012

MACOMB, IL -- Under the leadership of Dr. Tim Roberts, the WIU Department of History partnered with the WIU Libraries and the Western Illinois Museum in bringing the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) program, "Let's Talk About It: Making Sense of the Civil War" (LTAI) to Western Illinois University. In commemoration of the Civil War Sesquicentennial, this NEH-funded reading and discussion series, supported also by the American Library Association (ALA) was held at WIU's Malpass Library in 2011-12.

Prof. Roberts served as the Project Scholar for the Department of History, and Marketing and Outreach Librarian Tammy Sayles served as the Project Director for the WIU Libraries. According to Lainie Castle, Project Director from the public programs office at ALA, the LTAI project "was a highly competitive grant application process, with more than 175 proposals received." In her award letter to Sayles, she noted, "We are very excited about your library's unique programming plans to stimulate exploration and discussion." Ms. Sayles noted that her work with Dr. Roberts on this project stemmed from a collaborative project they implemented last year at the Leslie F. Malpass Library on the Macomb campus.

"Tim approached me and asked if I would be interested in partnering with him to apply for the LTAI grant," Ms. Sayles said. "We worked together on the 'Abraham Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War,' a traveling exhibition for libraries, organized by the National Constitution Center and the ALA Public Program Office and made possible through a grant by National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). The ALA and NEH indicated they liked our programming for that project, which we implemented last fall. For the LTAI grant application, we put a lot of thought into the discussion topics. The materials for the grant are exciting because they not only explore Civil War history, but also its legacy in America and include both historical and fictional readings," she added.

Dr. Roberts noted the programs made possible by the grant funding included a series of public conversations held on the WIU-Macomb campus in late 2011 and early 2012.

The grant provided WIU with 25 copies each of March and Crossroads to Freedom: Antietam and 50 copies of the anthology America's War: Talking About the Civil War and Emancipation on their 150th Anniversaries, which were read and discussed during the year-long program.

Adapted from: Teresa Koltzenburg, University Relations

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