Cycloramas were the zenith of art and entertainment in their heyday — 50 feet high and surrounding you from all sides.

These traveling exhibits required specially constructed buildings and were as immersive as modern virtual reality.

Some of the most famous cycloramas depicted Civil War batteries like Gettysburg and Atlanta. In fact, you can still see a Gettysburg Cyclorama at the National Historic Site.

An expert from James A. Garfield National Historic Site discusses the role of Civil War cycloramas as art, journalism, entertainment and memorial.

Our Civil War series continues at noon on Wednesday, Dec. 12, at our Main Branch. Learn how you can research your family’s Civil War genealogy using online database.

By the way, if you’re interested in Civil War history, several talks in our Civil War series can be viewed online in their entirety, including: