Monday, March 23, 2009

Lincoln Exhibit and Conference at The Huntington Library

The Huntington Library, a large research library in San Marino, California, is currently hosting a special exhibit celebrating the Lincoln bicentennial.  "The Last Full Measure of Devotion: Collecting Abraham Lincoln" runs from February 7 through April 27.  It draws on Hunington's well-regarded Lincoln collection, which was begin by the namesake Henry Hunington himself in the early 1900s.  (Huntington was one of the first deep-pocketed southern California Lincolniana collectors, the beginning of a line that continues with Louise Taper today.)

The heart of Huntington's holdings lies in several turn of the century Lincolniana collections that were acquired in the 1910s and 1920s, including the personal papers of Ward Hill Lamon.  These resources were most extensively consulted by Lincoln biographers before 1947, when the Abraham Lincoln Papers became publicly accessible at the Library of Congress.  (Lincoln's son Robert stipulated when he made his bequest that the papers would not become public until 21 years after his own death.)

In conjunction with this exhibit, Huntington is also holding a two-day conference, "A Lincoln for the Twenty-First Century" on April 3-4.  The conference boasts a well-known list of Lincoln scholars, including Harold Holzer (probably giving the same lecture he gave at the Library of Congress this month), Richard Carwardine, and James McPherson.  The topics look particularly interesting, ranging from Lincoln and the Mexican War (Daniel Walker Howe) to Lincoln and Ralph Waldo Emerson (Stephen Cushman) to Lincoln and the West (McPherson).  The full program is available here.

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