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Project Details

The Civil War Governors of Kentucky Digital Documentary Edition (CWGK) animates the lives of Kentuckians between Lincoln's election in November of 1860 to the destruction of slavery in December 1865. Using the office of Kentucky's five wartime governors--three Unionists and two Confederates--as a lens, CWGK captures the intersection of social, political, and military concerns as ordinary people experienced the conflict. To date, CWGK has digitized and transcribed over 10,000 documents that touch on nearly every facet of mid-nineteenth century life. Additionally, project staff annotate every person, place, and organization that appears within in-scope documents, building social networks and restoring personhood to historical actors ranging from elite politicians to enslaved Kentuckians.

Subjects or Themes

Civil War History; Kentucky History; African American History; Military history; Political History; Social history

Project Language(s)


Time Period

Geographic Location

Project Categories

Content Type

Transcribed Documents, Social Networks, Teacher Resources

Target Audience(s)


CWGK is a project of the Kentucky Historical Society, built with the support and cooperation of state, federal, and private partners. It is currently directed by Dr. Charles Welsko of the Kentucky Historical Society.


2010 to present

Host Institution / Affiliation / Project Location

Kentucky Historical Society

Software Employed

  • Omeka
  • MashBill; Filemaker; FromThePage

Labor and Support

CWGK has relied on a diversity of support to build its project. The Kentucky Historical Society has contributed staff resources to building and sustaining the project. With the support of the NHPRC, CWGK has hired full-time staff members and grad students to complete research. NEH-funding has also supported full-time editorial staff. Volunteers, interns, external scholars, technical experts, and other supporters have also generously dedicated their time to ensuring that the project is a success. For a full list of supporters visit and The work of CWGK is ongoing and continues to provide new ways to understand and interpret Kentucky's Civil War.

Project Cost

Partnerships, funding sources, or grant-funding acknowledgement

CWGK has been made possible through the support and cooperation of the National Endowment of the Humanities, the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (at the National Archives), the Kentucky Department for Library and Archives, the Mary Todd Lincoln House, and the Filson Historical Society.