October 16, 2021

Abraham Lincoln Museum digitizing thousands of rare images

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum is digitizing nearly 8,000 rare images, including a Lincoln family photo album and a poster that offered a reward for the capture of the 16th president’s assassin.

The “Picturing Lincoln” project will allow people around the world to access material from the museum in Springfield, the State Journal-Register reported. It’s being funded with a $100,000 grant from the Illinois State Library.

“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 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.”

An ongoing project underway at the library and museum, “Papers of Abraham Lincoln,” is annotating and publishing all documents written by and written to Lincoln in his lifetime or signed by and address by him. The “Picturing Lincoln” project is focused on images considered “complementary or supplemental to Lincoln’s life and public career.”

They include the posters issued days after Lincoln’s fatal 1865 shooting seeking a reward for the apprehension of John Wilkes Booth. Other images are a schedule for the funeral train carrying Lincoln’s body back to Springfield for burial and the only surviving photograph of Lincoln’s body lying in state.