“Other Souths” online archive launches at Elon

A digital archive containing thousands of searchable records about Alamance County residents during the Civil War makes its formal public debut Feb. 9 as scholars from Elon and beyond host panel discussions in Whitley Auditorium.

Charles Irons
The site, created by assistant professor of history professor Charles Irons, allows researchers and the general public to sort through Census data and Confederate military records to glean a better understanding of the county before and after the war.
Irons will discuss the site – www.elon.edu/othersouths – during a Feb. 9 panel discussion on campus. “Alamance County in the Civil War and Reconstruction” is free and open to the public, and featured speakers include Carole Troxler, professor emerita of history at Elon; Scott Nelson, a professor of history at The College of William & Mary; and Robert Kenzer, a professor of history at the University of Richmond.
Student researchers assisted Irons over the past two years as he compiled records and entered them into a database he designed. Being able to access the information electronically yields several advantages.  “In a digital format, it is easier both to find specific individuals and to identify broader patterns,” Irons said.

The digital archive is considered a work in progress. Irons has invited local residents to submit any historical records to be included in the site.
“The addition of letters, diaries, and even some ‘formal’ texts like court records would enhance the site enormously,” he writes on the site. “All of these sources would be digitized with care, transcribed, and integrated into the site by being linked to the relevant individuals.”
The following is a schedule for the Saturday afternoon panel discussions in Whitley Auditorium:
2-3:15 p.m.: Troxler and Irons discuss Alamance County’s role in the Civil War and the “Other Souths” digital archive.
4-5:30 p.m.: Nelson and Kenzer place the roles of Alamance County into a regional and national context.

For more information on the project as reported by the (Burlington, N.C.) Times-News, click on the link below. To contact Irons directly, email cirons@elon.edu