A World of Partings recounts daily life in Oshkosh during late-1850s and 1860s

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Local author interprets the experiences and lifestyle from the diary of Nancy Chandler Derby

The superb collections of the Oshkosh Public Museum are a rich, diverse community resource. The Nancy Derby diary is a remarkable recount of daily life in Oshkosh during the late 1850s and 1860s. Ginny Gross, local author and research assistant at the Museum, has edited and interpreted the experiences and lifestyle that Nancy Derby relates in her diary, and thereby helps us understand a world now long gone.

The most unusual feature of the diary is Nancy’s account of a fascinating journey to Alabama where she lived for two years on the eve of the Civil War. Her record of life in Oshkosh throughout that war enables readers to become part of the Derby household during that disturbing time in our history.

A World of Partings, Excerpts from the Diary of Nancy Chandler Derby (1857-1869) is now available at the Museum Store for $19.95. Located in Oshkosh at 1331 Algoma Boulevard, the Museum’s regular hours are Tuesday–Saturday from 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m.–4:30 p.m. Publication of this book has been made possible in part by generous memorials given by the friends of Oshkosh historian and author Clarence (Inky) Jungwirth (1920-2018).

The Oshkosh Public Museum was created in 1924. Its mission is to not only preserve the heritage of Oshkosh and surrounding region, but more importantly, to use those collections to tell stories. Citizens can be inspired by the experiences and people who helped create the life we all enjoy today.

As a non-profit regional history museum, the Oshkosh Public Museum is entrusted with the care of more than 300,000 collections and historical documents representing the history, culture and heritage of the region. An amazing resource for research and discovery, the Museum is nationally accredited by the American Alliance of Museums and is listed on the State and National Register of Historic Places. Housed in the historic Sawyer home since 1924, the Museum brings history to life through quality exhibitions and special programs, engaging guests in ways that inspire discovery. For more information about the Museum’s exciting events and exhibits, visit oshkoshmuseum.org, call 920.236.5799 or email museum@ci.oshkosh.wi.us.

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Tammy Malewski

The Oshkosh Public Museum is a non-profit regional history museum entrusted with the care of more than 300,000 historical photographs, documents, and artifacts that represent the history, culture and heritage of the region. Housed in the historic Sawyer home since 1924, the Oshkosh Public Museum is an amazing resource for research and discovery of Oshkosh and the Lake Winnebago region. Situated just off the Fox River near historic downtown Oshkosh, the Museum’s mission is to preserve the area’s colorful legacy, and to bring history to life through innovative exhibitions and educational programs that will both inspire and entertain guests of all ages and interests.

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