The Primary Source Librarian

Dedicated to Excellence in Teaching with Primary Sources

In Lincoln’s Hand

Just in case you have not read this elsewhere, there’s a new book out about Abraham Lincoln, and I think I’m going to have to buy it. The Library of Congress has just published the book–In Lincoln’s Hand–as a companion piece to their upcoming exhibition of Lincoln artifacts.

“On the occasion of the 200th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s birth and in conjunction with the Library of Congress 2009 Bicentennial exhibition, In Lincoln’s Hand offers an unprecedented look at one of our greatest presidents through vivid images of his handwritten letters, speeches, and even childhood notebooks–many never before made available to the public–each further illuminated with thoughtful commentary by luminaries from the arts and public life.”

To order the book, just go to the Library of Congress Store and look for “Shop by Theme” then “Exhibits at the Library of Congress.” The book is the last one listed (although it did not display correctly on my computer screen). It costs $35 and will ship at the end of January.

In Lincoln's Hand   In Lincoln’s Hand: His Original Manuscripts
For a description of what is planned for the new Lincoln exhibit, which opens February 12, you can read the October 28 (revised December 30) Library of Congress announcement. According to the press release,

“With Malice Toward None: The Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Exhibition” will chart Lincoln’s growth from prairie lawyer to preeminent statesman and address the monumental issues he faced, including slavery and race, the dissolution of the Union, and the Civil War….

The exhibition will draw on the vast and varied collections of Lincoln material in the Library and will include letters, photographs, political cartoons, period engravings, speeches, and artifacts. The actual grammar book studied by Lincoln in his effort to master English, the notes he prepared in advance of his debates with Senator Stephen Douglas, and the personal scrapbook he assembled of newspaper clippings of the debates bring this iconic figure to life.
Other items include campaign and election ephemera and such treasures as an autobiography which Lincoln supplied to admiring biographers, his penciled “Farewell Address” as he boarded the train from Springfield, Ill., his first and second Inaugural Addresses, the Bible upon which he took the oath of office on March 4, 1861, his unforgettable Gettysburg Address, and his impassioned letter to Albert Hodges in defense of the Emancipation Proclamation….

And for educators like us, “the Library of Congress also will hold teacher institutes Feb. 27 and 28, March 3–5, March 27 and 28, and April 6–8 to equip educators from across the country to teach about Abraham Lincoln through the use of primary and Web-based materials. Participants will develop strategies and curriculum materials they can use in their school districts, schools and classrooms.” I’m going to try to find out more about these opportunities, and I will pass on what I learn soon.

Meanwhile, I discovered a great Lincoln resource page in the Community Center of the American Memory Learning Page to get you started. It includes online resources for both teachers and students, two complete lesson plans, lots of collection connections, and useful search terms.


2 Responses to “In Lincoln’s Hand”

  1. teacherninja says:

    Sounds lovely! Thanks. I love that this is the 200th anniversary of Lincoln AND Darwin’s birth and that there is so much cool stuff like this coming out.

  2. Mary says:


    Glad you are finding the links useful. I am hoping that teachers at all levels and in all curricular areas will find a way to focus on the Lincoln bicentennial. Here in Colorado, we’re also celebrating the 150th anniversary of the founding of Denver and the 100th anniversary of the construction of the governor’s mansion. What a convergence!

    I’m going to dig a little into Darwin materials for teaching with primary sources. Thanks for the heads up.

    -Mary, The Primary Source Librarian

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