Staff at one of genealogys best-known libraries are digitizing some extra-special records.
Last December, the Indiana State Museum and the Allen County (Ind.) Public Librarywhose Genealogy Center is the largest public library genealogy collection in the United Statesgot word theyd receive the 230,000-piece collection of Fort Waynes Lincoln Museum. That museum closed in June, 2008.
Abraham Lincoln lived with his family in Perry (now Spencer) County, Ind., from 1816 to 1830. (The home site is a national memorial.)
The Indiana organizations were selected to receive the collection over a formidable-sounding coalition consisting of the Library of Congress, National Museum of American History, Fords Theatre and President Lincolns Cottage.
The Allen County library’s on-site digital capability helped keep the collection in Fort Wayne, according to a News Sentinel article.
The library will house manuscripts, books, photographs, maps, pamphlets and periodicals from the collection, including genealogical materials on the Lincoln and Hanks (Abraham Lincoln’s maternal line) families and Mary Todd Lincoln’s insanity file (in 1875, she was briefly committed to an asylum). More than 20,000 items will be digitized.
You can view 75 images from the collection on the Allen County library’s web site. Library staff also also will dig up historical research so online searchers can get the story behind each item.
Artifacts, such as Lincolns wallet and the chair in which he posed for many photos, are at the Indiana State Museum. You’ll see some displayed in two Lincoln exhibits to open next year on Feb. 12 (Lincolns birthday).
Think you’re related to Lincoln or another US first family? Check out our list of books on presidential genealogy.