New Website: Civil War on the Western Border

The Kansas City area has a rich Civil War history. And now there’s a new way to discover and research the legacy of the Kansas-Missouri Border War. The website Civil War on the Western Border: The Missouri-Kansas Conflict 1854-1865 is now available to anyone with access to a computer or mobile device, offering Civil War buffs, scholars, students, and area residents opportunities to research and discuss the conflict that shook this region for more than a decade. The Kansas City Public Library was one of the major players in the effort to create the innovative new website, which can be viewed at Created through a collaborative effort of libraries, museums, and historical societies across the Kansas City region, the project provides free access to selected primary source materials.

Among the site’s many features:

  • A research library of more than 6,000 pages of digitized primary source documents from 25 Missouri and Kansas archives, fully cataloged and searchable.
  • Eight original contextual thematic essays, authored by top scholars in the field.
  • A growing list of encyclopedia entries with descriptions and analyses of significant people, places, and events.
  • A cutting-edge relationship viewer that allows site visitors to browse connections among people, places, and events referenced by documents in the collection.
  • A comprehensive, interactive timeline on the border war, with associated event descriptions and links.
  • A dynamic, high-resolution image viewer with mobile-compatible zoom and pan features for all items in the digital collection.

Civil War on the Western Border is funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act as administered by the Missouri State Library, a division of the Office of the Secretary of State, and by the William T. Kemper Foundation-Commerce Bank, Trustee. Nearly two dozen additional colleges and universities, historical societies, and museums are partners in this enterprise. For a complete list visit

About the Author

Robert W. Butler is a lifelong Kansas City area resident, a graduate of Shawnee Mission East High School and the William Allen White School of Journalism at the University of Kansas. For several decades he was the movie editor of the Kansas City Star; he now writes a movie-themed blog at He joined the Library's Public Affairs team in 2012.

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