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Take a Virtual Tour

Before you visit, enjoy a preview of the various rooms in the Drum Barracks Civil War Museum.




The Drum Barracks Library is dedicated to the memory of Don McDowell, a long time member of the Museum support group and author of the authoritative book called Beat of the Drum: A History of the Drum Barracks.

The research library contains such basic volumes such as the 159 volumes of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies and Navies, and the additional 100 volume Supplement to the Official Records. The library is organized by Civil War subject matter with sections such as medicine, naval warfare, the War in the American Southwest, biographies and battles.

A substantial number of periodicals are in the collections, including volumes of major titles such as North and South, Blue and Gray, America’s Civil War, Civil War Illustrated, American Heritage, and Old West.

The library is also the meeting room for the Richard Rollins Memorial Book Club, held on the second Tuesday of each month. There is no charge and anyone is welcome to attend these meetings. Those interested may find the name of the current book being read by looking on this website under the Events section and selecting the book club. The library is also used for other group meetings and receptions.

Library Research

Use of the McDowell Library requires an appointment, so researchers may be assisted in utilizing the wide variety of resources that comprise the collections. Call Museum Director, Tara Fansler, at 310-548-7509 or email though this website to make an appointment to use the library.

Library Subjects

  • Army Weapons and Gear
  • Art and Photography
  • Battles - General
  • Battles - Specific Campaigns or Individual Battles
  • Biographies and Autobiographies
  • Children's Books on the Civil War
  • Civilians
  • Confederates
  • Essays and Commentaries, Political Histories and Economics
  • Lincoln
  • Medical
  • Miscellaneous
  • Naval Warfare
  • Reconstruction
  • Slavery and Black History
  • Union
  • Women and the War
  • War in the Far West
  • Western and California History

Donations Wanted! Civil War Artifacts and Books

Do you have Civil War related artifacts or books that you would like to donate to the Drum Barracks? Contact Museum Director, Tara Fansler, at 310-548-7509.