Broadcast Event Archive

Library Receives $1 Million To Put Abraham Lincoln Collections On-Line
Gift from Jones Family Foundation to Create "Mr. Lincoln's Virtual Library"

Reception and display of selected items from the Library's Lincoln collection, which will go on-line as part of the American Memory collections of the National Digital Library Program (

James H. Billington, Librarian of Congress
Donald G. Jones, President, Spirit Enterprise
Abraham Lincoln impersonator Michael Krebs
Jeff Bridgers, demonstrating the National Digital Library Program

Library of Congress, Jefferson Building,
Members Room, Washington, DC
February 3, 1998
6:00 - 8:00 p.m.

This major gift to the National Digital Library Program of the Library of Congress will make possible the digitization of two of the Library's most important collections relating to Abraham Lincoln. It will also help the Library forge partnerships with other major Lincoln repositories, creating a "virtual library" of Lincoln materials, linked via the Internet.

The Library's richest manuscript collection of Lincoln materials is housed in the Robert Todd Lincoln Collection, deposited in the Library in 1919 by President Lincoln's only surviving son. This unparalleled collection, first made available to the public in 1947, contains approximately 20,000 items, including Lincoln's draft of the Emancipation Proclamation, his March 4, 1865, draft of his second Inaugural Address, and his August 23, 1864, memorandum expressing his expectation of being defeated for re-election in the upcoming presidential contest.

Additional treasures of Lincolniana came to the Library in 1950 through the generosity of Alfred Whital Stern of Chicago. Highlights of the more than 11,000 items in this collection include copies of three speeches delivered by Lincoln during his term as a U.S. representative from Illinois, Lincoln's scrapbook documenting his debates with Stephen A. Douglas during the Illinois senatorial campaign of 1858, and materials relating to the 1860 presidential election, his assassination and funeral.

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