What is the mission of Civil War Photo Sleuth?
Our mission is to rediscover the lost names and stories of every photo of American Civil War soldiers and sailors. Millions of portraits were created during the war, so we have our work cut out for us. But with your help, we can do it!
How much does it cost to use Civil War Photo Sleuth?
CWPS is completely free to use. We hope to keep the core features of CWPS free for all users for the long term. This creates as few obstacles as possible for people to contribute photos and information to the site, which is our main goal.
How is CWPS funded?
Because we hope to keep CWPS's core features free for all users, we are currently funded by a combination of public grants and private individual donations. Our primary financial support comes from the National Science Foundation and Virginia Tech. We do not sell user data or display advertisements. This is similar to the financial model used by Wikipedia.
If you would like to support CWPS financially, please see donation instructions on our Help page.
Who is the CWPS team?
The CWPS team is led by Prof. Kurt Luther, director of the Crowd Intelligence Lab at Virginia Tech. His partners include Mr. Ron Coddington, editor and publisher of Military Images Magazine, and Prof. Paul Quigley, director of the Virginia Center for Civil War Studies. A talented group of students led by PhD student Vikram Mohanty, including David Thames, Natalie Robinson, and Ryan Russell, contribute to the project. We are also guided by a wonderful advisory board.
Why are you doing this?
Many reasons. We are passionate about US history and believe it is important to remember the causes, events, and consequences of the Civil War. We find photos to be especially compelling evidence of the war's participants and their roles. We share the goal of our partners at Military Images to "showcase, interpret and preserve these rare images."
CWPS is also a research project led by Prof. Kurt Luther at Virginia Tech. We are seeking to invent new ways to use crowdsourcing and computation to promote historical education, preservation, and research, as well as exploring broader uses of this technology for purposes such as investigative journalism and national security.
Where can I learn more about CWPS?
This article in Military Images provides more background information.