Current and Coming features detailed information about current and forthcoming programs, events, exhibits and activities of historical and cultural institutions in Pennsylvania. Originated as “Currents.” Retitled “Current and Coming,” Winter 2003, and then retitled “Out and About,” Fall 2005. Revived as “Current and Coming,” Winter 2013. Ran regularly, Spring 1984 to Spring 2008, and then occasionally, Winter 2013 to Spring 2015.

Recently opened by the Senator John Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh is a major exhibit providing visitors with an in-depth look at Pennsylvania’s significant contributions to the Union during the American Civil War. In addition to highlighting these efforts and important conflicts such as the Battle of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania’s Civil War showcases Pittsburgh’s role as the “Arsenal of the Union” and addresses the impact of western Pennsylvanians on both the battlefield and the home front.

Featuring more than sixty artifacts, rare archival images, six life-like museum figures, immersive settings, and military encampments, Pennsylvania’s Civil War brings to life the personal stories of individuals affected by the war. Many artifacts in the exhibit were drawn from the center’s collections, as well as from private collectors, including Kenneth C. Turner, a researcher and writer who has amassed one of the largest private Pennsylvania-related Civil War collections of memorabilia, objects, and images. (Turner is coauthor, with Michael G. Kraus and David M. Neville, of The Civil War in Pennsylvania: A Photographic History, published for Pennsylvania Civil War 150 by the history center.)

A full-size, twenty-foot long replica of a Rodman cannon cast at the Fort Pitt Foundry offers an example of Pittsburgh’s military production and prowess. The foundry manufactured 60 percent of the cannons used by the North during the war. Designed by Thomas Jackson Rodman (1816–1871), a career army officer who served as a general during the war, the twenty-inch smooth bore cannon was among the largest manufactured and heralded as “the strongest cast iron cannon ever made.” The foundry closed after the war ended.

Highlights of Pennsylvania’s Civil War include a bullet-shot forage cap worn by a soldier of the Pennsylvania Reserves at the Battle of Antietam (fought near Sharpsville, Maryland), the bloodiest single-day battle in American history; nearly twenty-three thousand soldiers from both sides were killed, wounded, or missing. Others are an “Old Iron City” camp fiddle retrieved by the 193rd Pennsylvania Regiment and inscribed with the names of the unit’s soldiers; personal mementoes and gifts given to soldiers as they headed off to war, such as a sewing kit, a needle case, and a Bible; and original recruiting posters from communities throughout Pennsylvania, including Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Blairsville, Lock Haven, and Meadville. On loan from the Smithsonian Institute — of which the history center is an affiliate — are a tintype camera and a portable printing press.

Pennsylvania’s Civil War is a key component in a series of the history center’s programs, events, and publications developed in partnership with Pennsylvania Civil War 150, the statewide initiative to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. The exhibit will close on Sunday, January 5, 2014.

Plan a visit by writing: Senator John Heinz History Center, 1212 Smallman St., Pittsburgh PA 15222; telephoning (412) 454-6000.