Collaborative Civil War Exhibit on Display at GCC's O'Connell Library

BATAVIA, NY – When Genesee Community College students return to the Batavia Campus this week and stroll into the Alfred O’Connell Library they are in for an inspirational treat. More than a dozen miniature models depicting various scenes and situations of wartime are on display, as well as a full case of authentic Civil War weapons and accoutrements, uniforms, a tent, and a selection of framed newspapers dating back to the 1850’s.

BATAVIA, NY – When Genesee Community College students return to the Batavia Campus this week and stroll into the Alfred O’Connell Library they are in for an inspirational treat. More than a dozen miniature models depicting various scenes and situations of wartime are on display, as well as a full case of authentic Civil War weapons and accoutrements, uniforms, a tent, and a selection of framed newspapers dating back to the 1850’s. The general public is invited to enjoy the Civil War Exhibit which continues through February 17, 2012 and is open during normal Library hours.

A grand opening reception of the Civil War Exhibit is scheduled Wednesday, January 25, 2012 at 12:30 pm and features a presentation by Derek Maxfield, GCC’s Civil War Historian and history instructor. His program will be entitled, "Turning a Page: War Becomes Real in 1862." He will be in full costume as a Civil War era gentleman and he will be joined by several other Civil War re-enactors in full dress.

The collaborative exhibit represents the efforts of a cadre of interested parties including the Holland Land Office Museum, Genesee County History Department, GCC Alfred O’Connell Library, and a few very dedicated local citizens and Civil War and history enthusiasts, including Tom Bowers, Sue Conklin, David Armitage and John Molyneux.

The fantastic array of 3D miniature models were constructed and loaned by David Armitage of Batavia. Among the unique settings are life-like depictions of the C.S.S. Hunley, the first submarine used in war; a scene after the battle of Cold Harbor, one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War; the Siege of Petersburg, Virginia; the Attack of Fort Fisher; and the wounding of Stonewall Jackson. Mr. Armitage also allowed GCC to display some of his personal replicas of Civil War weapons including a musket, several sabers, a canteen, and confederate cash.

Mr. Armitage is not only an extraordinarily skilled craftsman, but he is a Civil War re-enactor. Many of his models are based on iconic photos of the war, which he then reproduces in miniature with exacting detail.

The collection of Civil War era newspapers includes Semi-Weekly News from 1861; the National Anti-Slavery Standard from 1856 and The Evening Post from 1862. These are on loan from John Molyneux, a GCC adjunct professor who teaches Composition at Lima and Dansville Campus Centers. The display by Genesee County History Department features Civil War photos, records, news clippings and historical facts relating to news and information from upstate New York, and specifically Genesee County.

“This exhibit continues the commitment of Genesee Community College to highlight many aspects of the Civil War during this sesquicentennial anniversary of our nation’s history,” Mr. Maxfield said. “The next series of educational lectures, which are free and open to the public will soon be announced.”

For additional information or to share news posts about other Civil War stories and events, please go to GCC’s Civil War blog at http://civilwaratgcc.wordpress.com.

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