365 Things to Do in Boston - New Tips Daily

#495 Civil War Photos

Posted by Tara Peterson on Wed, Sep 07, 2011


Photo by Brady: the Civil War through the Lens of Mathew Brady

Get out of the rain today and go check out the Civil War Exhibt at the Boston Public Library.

Photography was still in its infancy and Mathew Brady was a young photographer when the Civil War broke out. The first battle of the war, the Battle of Bull Run, galvanized Brady to document the war through his camera lens. After receiving permission from President Abraham Lincoln, Brady hired 35 teams of photographers to follow the Union troops and document the battles and the bloody aftermaths. Brady and his colleagues took thousands of photographs chronicling these ferocious conflicts with sorrowful scenes of corpse-strewn battlefields. Much of what we know about the Civil War comes from the pictorial archive that resulted from these photographs, all stamped “Photo by Brady.” The exhibition draws from the collection of about 375 Civil War photographs taken by Mathew Brady, his colleague Alexander Gardner, and others from the Brady studio. These are part of the Twentieth Massachusetts Regiment Collection that is the core of a large and important collection on the Civil War housed in the Boston Public Library’s Rare Books Department.

The exhibition area is open Monday through Friday from 9am to 5pm and closed Saturday and Sunday.

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