Civil War: Crowd-Sourcing History

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This is a bit more Donald’s thing than mine, but it is simply too neat to not share– a site called Civil War Photo Sleuth (CWPS) is collecting all the photographs they can (you can upload them, anonymously if you like), sorting them using facial recognition software, and people are picking out clues such as insignia and noting them down.

Per Vintage News:

The official CWPS website was launched in August 2018 by Kurt Luther and his students at Virginia Tech, Ron Coddington an editor for Military Images, and Paul Quigley, head of the Virginia Center for Civil War Studies.

Since then they have identified around 75 photographed individuals and have many more eligible for comparison.

The people behind this webpage are striving to create the world’s most comprehensive database of Civil War photographs that would include not only soldiers and sailors but also civilians.

The page is in the process of connecting with the Digital Public Library of America and a host of different museum, library, and cultural institution’s archives around the globe.

CWPS users have complete control over how they want to display the photographs they submit and can also post anonymously.

They can share their photos only with specific people, or make them public for all group members.

Even if you don’t want to sign up, they’ve got a very nice resource page.

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  1. Only 85 people since August?

    I think I can help them along. Those three are Generals Grant, Sheridan and Sherman. That one is Lee. And that tall man with the tall hat is, I think, Mr. Lincoln.

    Frankly I would think you could identify more than that by examining a couple of good books on the Civil War.

    I find the whole thing very interesting. I hope it is successful.

  2. *laughs* Yeah, using recognized photos was an interesting choice…., but they got started because there are a lot of basically snapshots in the various history collections where they not only don’t know who the guy is, they don’t know who donated it.

    We’re talking “Oh, that’s James M. Sharper of three-miles-south-of Chantilly, VA; his family moved back to England three generations later” type identifications.

  3. Did they post Bernie Sander’s Civil War pics? He was a colonel in the Civil War. After that, he started-up KFC. No one knows for which side he served.

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