Professor Silber specializes in the history of the United States between the mid-19th century and the early 20th century, including the period of the Civil War and Reconstruction. Her scholarship focuses mainly on cultural and women's history, but the courses she teaches--on the Civil War era, the Gilded Age, and the American South--also examine society and politics in these periods.
She is the author of numerous publications, including The Romance of Reunion: Northerners and the South, 1865-1900 (1993), which is an examination of Northerners' changing cultural attitudes towards the South after the Civil War, and Daughters of the Union: Northern Women Fight the Civil War (2005). She also co-edited Divided Houses: Gender and the Civil War (1992), Yankee Correspondence: Civil War Letters Between New England Soldiers and the Homefront (1996), and Battle Scars: Gender and Sexuality in the US Civil War (2006).
She has also consulted on a number of Civil War and women's history video projects and museum exhibits as well as served as Director of Women's Studies at Boston University.