‘Picturing Lincoln’ will make images available worldwide

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SPRINGFIELD – The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum is launching an ambitious new project to digitize thousands of rare and delicate Lincoln images so they can be preserved forever and shared worldwide.

The “Picturing Lincoln” project has been awarded a $100,000 grant by the Illinois State Library, a division of the Illinois Secretary of State’s Office. The images will be made available to the public through the office’s Illinois Digital Archives.

“This is an exciting project that will put top-quality Lincoln images in the hands of researchers, students, and history fans,” said Christina Shutt, director of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. “We want to thank Secretary of State Jesse White and the staff at the Illinois State Library for their support.”

Picturing Lincoln will create digital versions of 7,896 individual items, from posters to photographs to stickers. The work will begin with hundreds of “broadsides,” or posters, such as the one announcing a $100,000 reward for President Lincoln’s killer.

Other items to be digitized include a Lincoln family photo album, a schedule for the train carrying his body to Springfield for burial, and the only surviving photograph of Lincoln’s body lying in state.

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“The depth and breadth of the collection is astounding and contains one-of-a-kind items not held in any other repository in the world,” project director Megan Klintworth, an ALPLM iconographer, wrote in the grant application. “By digitizing these materials, researchers and students from across the globe will be given unfettered access to the triumphs and tragedies that befell both the Lincoln family and the nation.”

The next step in the project is to select a vendor to make digital images of the material. The scanning process is expected to start early in 2022. The images will be available in resolutions up to 600 dpi.

The Picturing Lincoln project will complement the presidential library and museum’s Papers of Abraham Lincoln, which is annotating and publishing all documents written by Lincoln or to him.

The presidential library will also use the digitized images to create educational resources, such as lesson plans and teaching guides. These will be available for free.

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum uses a combination of rigorous scholarship and high-tech showmanship to immerse visitors in Lincoln’s life and times. The library holds an unparalleled collection of Lincoln books, documents, photographs, artifacts and art, as well as some 12 million items pertaining to all aspects of Illinois history.

For more information, visit www.PresidentLincoln.Illinois.gov or follow the ALPLM on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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