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Making Sense of the American Civil War: FAQs for Program Administrators

December 20, 2011 | By Federal/State Partnership

"Making Sense of the American Civil War" is a scholar-led reading and discussion program for public audiences, presented by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Library Association's Public Programs Office, and avilable in 36 states and the District of Columbia.


Calendar | Orientation Workshop | Project Resources | Final Reports | Credits and Logos | Promotional Materials

Calendar for Program Administrators

  • October 21, 2011:  Program and promotional resources, including a suite of customizable marketing materials and project logos.
  •  November 3, 2011: Opportunity to participate in a workshop in St. Petersburg, Florida, designed for statewide program administrators and a project scholar, to explore ways in which libraries and other venues can be used as spaces for civil dialogue about disputed matters, to discuss programming and outreach strategies, and to participate in a model reading and discussion program. Session participants are expected to read in advance the project essay by Ed Ayers and  pages 41-71 in America’s War: Talking About the Civil War and Emancipation on their 150th Anniversaries.
  • After November 3, 2011: Site Support Notebook, which will offer resources to assist librarians and other project hosts with program implementation.
  • November 7, 2011: One hundred sets of March, Crossroads of Freedom: Antietam, and the anthology America's War: Talking About the Civil War and Emancipation on their 150th Anniversaries, edited by Edward L. Ayers, will be shipped free of charge by ALA. Additional copies of America’s War may be purchased through major distributors (e.g., Amazon, Ingram, Baker & Taylor, Barnes & Noble), and an e-book may be purchased through the ALA Online Store (for individual use) and Amazon, OverDrive, and other vendors (for library collections/lending). 
  • November 7, 2011: Promotional materials, including 200 folders, 200 copies of the thematic essay, 1000 bookmarks, and 100 copies of the project publicity poster, to be mailed by ALA.
  • January 2012-December 2012:  An online discussion list for statewide program administrators. In addition, ALA will offer technical and programming support for libraries that are hosting programs, including a separate online discussion list just for the hosting sites.

Orientation Workshop for Project Directors

The orientation workshop for statewide program administrators took place in St. Petersburg, Florida, at the Vinoy Renaissance Hotel on November 3, 2011. The statewide program administrator was required to attend.

The afternoon session of the workshop, which was open to all conference attendees, featured a model reading-and-discussion program. Session participants read in advance pages 41-71 in America’s War: Talking About the Civil War and Emancipation on their 150th Anniversaries.

Please contact Patti Van Tuyl (pvantuyl[at]neh[dot]gov or 202.606.8299) with questions regarding the workshop.

Project Resources include:

Final Reports

Organizations administering the statewide programs are required to submit an online final report by January 31, 2013. Information about the content of the report and about access to the reporting form is forthcoming. 

Sponsor credit and logos

In all promotion for your Making Sense of the American Civil War series, be sure to include sponsor credits. The credit line in written materials such as press releases, media alerts, and newsletter articles should read as follows:

Making Sense of the American Civil War, a reading and discussion series, has been made possible through a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Library Association.

On printed materials, logos for NEH and ALA are required, and use of the Let’s Talk About It logo is optional.



Let's Talk About It

Larger versions of these logos are available on the American Library Association website.

Promotional Materials

As administrator of the statewide program, you will receive by mail 100 printed posters, 1000 bookmarks, 200 thematic essays and 200 folders to pass along to the sites hosting your programs. The electronic versions of these and other promotional materials are posted below, if you would like to customize and print more copies. 

Flyer: PDF / word

Postcard: PDF / word

Customizable Poster: PDF / word

Web ad images: gif / jpeg

Web banner: small / large

Bookmark: PDF

Essay by Edward L. Ayers: PDF

Customize a PDF

Customize a word document


These files are for Making Sense of the Civil War materials.  They do not include the Let’s Talk About It brand in the program title.  If you would like to use promotional materials that refer to the program as Let’s Talk About It: Making Sense of the Civil War,  you can find them at the American Library Association website.