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New Library Exhibit on the American Civil War Now Showing


Life and Limb: The Toll of the American Civil War

A new and exciting exhibit opens today at Galter Health Sciences Library and will be displayed in the library’s first floor atrium on the Chicago campus through June 17, 2017. Life and Limb: The Toll of the American Civil War explores the experiences of amputee veterans, who served as a symbol of the fractured nation and a stark reminder of the costs of the conflict. Over three million soldiers fought in the war from 1861-1865. More than half a million died, and almost as many were wounded but survived. Hundreds of thousands were permanently disabled by battlefield injuries or surgery, which saved lives by sacrificing limbs.

In conjunction with the exhibit, the Galter Library has also put together a companion display, Skin, Bones, and Tissue: Amputations during the Civil War. The display highlights a selection of books, journals, and artifacts from Special Collections, which demonstrate the state of surgical amputation and artificial limbs during the War Between the States.

Download the exhibit brochure.

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Life and Limb: The Toll of the American Civil War was developed and produced by the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health and was curated by Manon Parry, Ph.D. More information about the exhibit can be found at For questions about the exhibit at Galter, please contact Special Collections:


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Updated: March 5, 2020