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Today marked the public opening of Torn in Two: the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War, a new exhibit at the Grolier Club that presents a history of the U.S. Civil War through historical maps and other rare items.  The exhibition was organized by The Norman B. Leventhal Map Center of the Boston Public Library, and revolves around the monumental role geography played as a cause of the Civil War.  Grolier Club Director Eric Holzenberg observed that "Torn in Two is the first large-scale public show in the Grolier Club's 128-year history to tell a story exclusively in maps." This cartographic narrative is supplemented by other rare historical items, however, and photographs, prints, letters, political cartoons, and press clippings are on display as well.  Included in these additional items are photographic images of 19th-century slave life, the first American demographic map, and Ensign, Bridgman and Fanning's railroad map, which highlights the contrast between the industrialized North and the agrarian South. New Yorkers will have a special connection to the exhibit, as Curator Ronald Grim notes that newspapers were the main source of information at the time and that "these newspapers had some of the first maps in them, and most of them were published here in New York City.  The New York Times, the New York Tribune, the New York Herald…and Harpers Weekly, all had maps and illustrations that told the story of the war". Torn in Two will be on display, free and open to the public for viewing Monday-Saturday 10am-5pm, until April 28, 2012.  For additional information, please visit the Grolier Club website.  

The Grolier Club Civil War Maps Not Just Legend At UES Exhibit