I don’t do commercial endorsements, generally, but do think you should know about a new online service from Jim Studnicki called Civil War Microfilm. Not only will it be valuable to those researching the Civil War, it’s an excellent example of well-executed grass-roots digital history.

Sample CSR jacket at CWM

Jim is also the creator of the Civil War Florida website, a vast collection of information about Floridians who fought in the American Civil War. Since inception in 2001, CWF has grown into quite a community of researchers. Jim and that site have been of great help to me in filling in the blanks for Florida units and leaders at Sharpsburg on AotW.

His new Civil War Microfilm site offers access to digitized images of Florida Civil War service records from the National Archives collection, which

are accessed via our Reel Viewer, which closely emulates the look and feel of a “traditional” microfilm reader while allowing for advanced features such as Soldier Search and image tagging. Additionally, our Image Viewer allows image enhancement, zooming, rotation, and many other types of image manipulation — right from your web browser!
(from the site)

This service is available by paid subscription, but there’s a free test drive, too. Jim asked me to help him Beta test back in September, and I found it a beautifully designed presentation; easy to use and easy to read. I don’t know how successful the subscription business model will be, but I hope enough to make this worth Jim’s while for years to come.

Jim is planning to expand the reach of the collection to the records of other states’ soldiers soon, and I wish him well with that – he’s put a massive effort into digitizing microfilm already, and there’s an almost limitless supply awaiting him at the Archives …

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