Monday, March 31, 2014

Confederates at the Keyboard: Southern Piano Music During the Civil War Era

The Civil War 150 exhibition is now on display in the Library. We are excited to have Dr. David Thompson with us for our opening program. Dr. Thompson will present a lecture with recital on “Confederates at the Keyboard: Southern Piano Music during the Civil War Era” in the Hannah Lide Coker Recital Hall on Tuesday, April 1 at 7:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

Thompson, a South Carolina native, completed his master’s and doctorate in piano pedagogy at the University of South Carolina and his bachelor’s in piano performance at Limestone College. He is a member of the College Music Society, Music Teachers National Association, and Music Educators National Conference.  He recently completed a two-year term as State President of the South Carolina Music Teachers Association.

Thompson is currently professor of music at Limestone College in Gaffney, S.C.  He teaches private and group piano, music theory and history. Thompson also accompanies the college–community chorus and serves as co-chair of the musical theater major.  A nationally certified piano teacher, Thompson maintains an active schedule as soloist, collaborative artist and adjudicator.  He adjudicates for many organizations including the Music Teachers National Association, the National Guild of Piano Teachers and the National Federation of Junior Music Clubs. Thompson has performed in many different national and international venues, including the United States, England, Germany, Austria, Korea and Iceland.  

Thompson has presented programs, lectures and recitals for various musical and historical events including the Society for American Music National Conference, The Civil War and American Society Seminar, The Spoleto Festival, Civil War Music Heritage Gathering and Encampment, the Symposium on South Carolina Civil War History, South Carolina Music Teachers Convention and College Music Society Mid-Atlantic Conference.

His publications include a CD recording entitled “Confederates at the Keyboard: Southern Piano Music during the Civil War Era” and an essay by the same title published in “Bugles Resounding: Music and Musicians of the Civil War Era” published by the University of Missouri Press.

This event is a part of Civil War 150, a national traveling exhibition from the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History from Mar. 31 to Apr. 21 hosted by The Charles W. & Joan S. Coker Library-Information Technology Center. The Gilder Lehrman Institute developed the exhibition to mark the Civil War Sesquicentennial.

Civil War 150 exhibit now open!

From the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division

The Library is hosting Civil War 150, a national traveling exhibition from March 31 to April 21. The Civil War is one of the most transformative periods in U.S. history. After long-simmering sectional tensions led to seven slaveholding states seceding, the ensuring political strife gave way to war in April 1861. Four years of fighting resulted in 1.5 million casualties making the Civil War the bloodiest conflict in U.S. history. One hundred and fifty years after the Civil War, the voices of soldiers and their families still ring true.

The Coker Library is one of fifty sites nationwide selected to host the Civil War 150 exhibition. We are excited to have been selected as a site for this exhibition. Through reproductions of documents, photographs, and posters, the exhibition invites visitors to learn about events that took place during the war through the eyes of individuals. Though the Civil War took place one hundred and fifty years ago, people today can still identify with the thoughts and fears of ordinary citizens and soldiers, many of which reflect a humanity that is forever consistent. We hope that the exhibit will help you better understand the human and political costs of war.

The Gilder Lehrman Institute developed the exhibition to mark the Civil War Sesquicentennial. The Civil War 150 is divided into five panels: The Nation Divides, 1861; The Union is Dissolved; This Cruel War; Turning Points; and The Price of Victory (1864-1865). Drawing from the Gilder Lehrman Collection, each section traces major events during the Civil War.

The exhibit allows visitors to experience the battle through the eyes of major political figures, soldiers, families, and freedmen. Letters, personal accounts and images tell the stories of how people grappled with the end of slavery, the nature of democracy and citizenship, the human toll of civil war and the role of a president in wartime.

The Coker Library, along with Hartsville Memorial Library, is sponsoring free programs and other events for the public in connection with the exhibition. Contact the Coker Library at 843-383-8125, email Alexa Bartel ( or visit for more information.

Developed by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History in partnership with The Library of America, this exhibition was made possible through a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The exhibition is part ofCivil War 150: Exploring the War and Its Meaning through the Words of Those Who Lived It, a major three-year project funded by the National Endowment for Humanities. The project is centered on the four-volume Library of America series, Civil War 150: Exploring the War and Its Meaning through the Words of Those Who Lived It.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Winner of the 2014 Library Prize for Undergraduate Research

Congratulations are in order for Holly Evans, a senior English major from Andrews, SC. Holly was awarded the Coker College Library Prize for Undergraduate Research for her Senior Seminar paper titled “Iola Leroy, or, Shadows Uplifted: The Politics of African American Literary Criticism during the Last Century” at the Honors Convocation March 25, 2014. The 20 page paper reflects on the history of reader response to the text of Iola Leroy, or, Shadows Uplifted.

Evans began her research journey after choosing a research topic and realizing she needed to clarify her research question and topic. “Essentially, it was research that led me in the direction I went and helped me to refine my paper,” said Evans. In the process of writing her senior seminar paper Evans realized research took an inventive mind. ” In order to get the information needed, I had to get creative and resourceful with the research methods. I had to utilize the aid of professors...also, I spent a lot of time working with the research librarians.”

Her hard work showed says professor of English Jasna Shannon, “Holly chose her topic carefully and purposefully…[her] writing and research skills developed and progressed as she moved from draft to draft and final revision of her thesis. Her thesis was certainly original and demonstrated strong writing skills, correct use of citations and skillful integration of sources that reflect multiple perspectives.”

Evans is an active student and volunteer. She is President of Excursions Literary Magazine and Sigma Tau Delta, the English Honor Society, a Senior Sparrow Scholar and a tutor in the Writer’s Studio. She is also a resident assistant and does regular community service at Rosenwald Elementary/Middle School. After graduation this May she plans to take some time off and then continue her education in graduate school.

With support from the Charles W. and Joan S. Coker Library and the Coker College Undergraduate Research Program, the Library Prize was established in 2013 to encourage the use of library research techniques and to honor the best research project produced each year by Coker College undergraduate students.

Entries for the prize are judged on originality, depth, breadth and the demonstration of a sophisticated use of library collections, the ability to select, evaluate, synthesize and use library resources in the creation of a project as well as evidence of personal growth through the acquisition of new-found knowledge.
                                                                                                                                        --Emily Mann