The Civil War Photo Collectors Society (CWPCS), is a membership-driven organization seeking to showcase, interpret and preserve Civil War photographs of soldiers and sailors who served in uniform and others who supported the war effort. We believe that the faces of these men, women and children tell the story of the American Civil War like no other artifact. These photographs are personal mementos taken initially for family, friends and comrades. Each person pictured has a unique personal narrative that adds to our better understanding of the war. The Society endeavors to tell these stories and share them with Americans to ensure that the photographs remain for future generations. Read our FAQ for details.
- Educate collectors, museums, libraries, schools, and the general public on Civil War period photographs.
- Identify soldiers that participated in the Civil War and those that supported the war effort through the photographs that they left behind.
- Preserve Civil War photographs.
- Tell the stories of those that participated or supported the war effort through publications, seminars, lectures and displays throughout the U.S.
- Provide educational resources to collectors, museums, libraries, schools, and the general public for research.
- Provide grants and scholarships to students for the study of American history.
- Promote proper preservation of these photographs in personal collections and home museums, as well as public and private institutions.
The CWPCS was founded by Ron Coddington, Editor and Publisher of Military Images magazine, and Doug York, Editor of Civil War Faces and Civil War Faces Market Place. They were inspired by the enthusiastic community of collectors of Civil War photography. Ron and Doug believe that harnessing the power and passion of this group can benefit the community and raise awareness of the importance of Civil War photography to the public.
Ron and Doug experimented with the idea at the D.C. Photo Show in Arlington, Va. They organized a three-day event, held March 8-10, 2019, that included a behind-the-scenes tour of the Library of Congress, an evening of presentations from four speakers, and a public show and sale that included a dozen dealers.
About this time, Ron was involved in another experiment—a traveling exhibit of Civil War photographs. Working with Lisa Burroughs of the Hubbard House Underground Railroad Museum in Ashtabula, Ohio, they brought museum-quality prints of 22 identified, wartime portraits of African American Civil War soldiers to an exhibit space in the historic home. Ron opened the exhibit on June 21, 2019.
Encouraged by these successes, Ron and Doug decided to form a nonprofit and continue the journey. The official announcement of the CWPCS was made live at the Gettysburg Gathering at the G.A.R. Hall in Gettysburg, Pa., on June 28, 2019. Two days later, a video announcement appeared on Facebook.
Military Images, Civil War Faces and Civil War Faces Market Place continue to operate as independent organizations. The CWPCS is a nonprofit organization.
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Oct. 3-6, 2019: The Daguerreian Society annual symposium in Kansas City. Details forthcoming.
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