Thursday, February 28, 2013

UIS receives gift for Papers of Abraham Lincoln

A gift of $25,000 will aid the Papers of Abraham Lincoln in continuing its search for Lincoln documents at the National Archives. Since 2006, researchers for the Papers of Abraham Lincoln have been searching for documents written by or to Abraham Lincoln in the vast holdings of the National Archives, both at its familiar facility on Pennsylvania Avenue in downtown Washington, and at its newer facility in College Park, Maryland. Thus far, they have identified more than 56,000 documents within the project’s scope, including scores of new documents and hundreds of brief notes written by Lincoln.

This generous gift, made possible through the efforts of Benjamin Shapell and the Shapell Family Foundation, will aid the project in replacing funding that has supported the research at the National Archives since 2008. For the past five years, the Shelby Cullom Davis Charitable Fund has supported a team of professional researchers for the Papers of Abraham Lincoln at the National Archives. The Davis Charitable Fund completes its five-year commitment in the summer of 2013, and the Papers of Abraham Lincoln needs to attract approximately $325,000 per year to continue the search for documents.

Recent document discoveries at the National Archives include one of two missing pages of Lincoln’s second annual message to Congress, records of his receipt of pay and mileage for his service as a member of Congress in the 1840s, a letter written by President Lincoln praising the “Ladies’ National Army Relief Association,” and a report of the first surgeon to reach Lincoln after he was shot in April 1865, written just hours after Lincoln’s death.

“Benjamin Shapell and the Shapell Family Foundation have long been friends of this project,” said Director Daniel W. Stowell. “Mr. Shapell gave the first private donation to the Papers of Abraham Lincoln when it expanded from the Lincoln Legal Papers in 2001. He continues to encourage and support our work with this latest generous gift.”

The Papers of Abraham Lincoln is a long-term documentary editing project dedicated to identifying, imaging, transcribing, annotating, and publishing all documents written by or to Abraham Lincoln during his lifetime (1809-1865). The project is administered through the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, and is cosponsored by the Center for State Policy and Leadership at the University of Illinois Springfield and by the Abraham Lincoln Association.

To inquire about supporting the efforts of the Papers of Abraham Lincoln, please contact Daniel W. Stowell at 217/785-9130.

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