Chronicling Illinois provides digital access to collections of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum (ALPLM). These holdings include more than 6,000 individual manuscript collections, hundreds of newspapers, and tens of thousands of photographic and audiovisual materials pertaining to significant aspects of Illinois history. The ALPLM is also the home of the State of Illinois’s Lincoln Collection, which contains thousands of primary documents, books, pamphlets, photographs, broadsides, ephemera, and artifacts related to the life and times of Abraham Lincoln. Chronicling Illinois will showcase digitized collections and exhibits from the ALPLM’s diverse holdings for the use of the general public, students, and scholars.
Sponsors and Collections
The National Historical Publications and Records Commission and the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation provided generous funding for the digitization of collections on Chronicling Illinois.
Chronicling Illinois currently displays items from four collections of the ALPLM: Manuscript Finding Aids, the Louise and Barry Taper Collection, the Civil War papers of Illinois Governor Richard Yates, and the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library’s Audio-Visual Collection:
Manuscript Finding Aids
The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library (ALPL) is the home of more than 6,000 individual manuscript collections--nearly 12 million items--including the letters and diaries of Civil War soldiers, personal papers of governors and legislators, and records of Illinois businesses from across the state. Among the variety of subjects represented related to Illinois and Illinoians are Native American affairs, slavery, the Civil War, westward expansion, women's rights, labor history, prohibition, education, and World War I. This collection consists of finding aids for manuscript collections in the ALPL. Each finding aid provides a collection description, information on the size and extent of the collection, a listing of containers or volumes, and user restrictions.
Governor Richard Yates Papers
In November 2012, the National Historical Publications and Records Commission awarded the ALPLM funding for the digitization of approximately 30,000 pages of documents, mostly correspondence, from the single gubernatorial term (1861-1865) of Richard Yates Sr. The ALPL holds the entire collection of Yates Papers, including the Yates Family Papers (1789-1936) and the Yates papers formerly held by Wabash College in Crawfordville, Indiana. Materials from both the Yates Family Papers and Wabash College make up the papers of Governor Richard Yates Sr.
The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation also funded the digitization and online publication of 4,000 images from the collections of the ALPL’s audiovisual department. The audiovisual department houses approximately 400,000 images reflecting the breadth and diversity of Illinois history. The digitization of selected images from this vast repository will provide Illinois citizens and people from around the world access to these photographic treasures for years to come, increasing awareness of Illinois history, preserving rare images, and increasing public access to the collections of the ALPLM.
Lincoln Sheet Music
Sheet music from the Lincoln Collection of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library. A wide-ranging collection of Civil War and post Civil War era songs celebrating and commemorating Abraham Lincoln. The collection also includes a number of songs covering other Civil War subjects as well as several minstrel songs.
Visitors should be warned that some song sheets contain racially offensive language and imagery. These items are examples of the stereotypical nineteeth-century depictions of African Americans and other minorities.