The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum celebrates one of Illinois’ most treasured citizens. Located in Springfield, the site of the Illinois state capitol and the state museum, the museum is open daily from 9 am-5 pm, except for holiday. The Abraham Lincoln Library also features an in-house cafe. Many researchers take advantage of this rich resource, where manuscripts and audiovisual offerings can be studied. Appointments are necessary for research with the manuscripts, and interested researchers can call ahead to make a reservation.
Admission to the Lincoln Presidential Library is free, but the museum charges $10 for adults and discounted rates for seniors, military, and students. The admission fee grants visitors access to both the exhibitions and theater presentations. The museum seeks to communicate both the life of Abraham Lincoln and the times in which he lived. The story of Abraham Lincoln is told from the beginning of his life. A crude cabin represents his early years, and the historical setting is well-created. Some of the trees in this exhibition are more than 40 feet tall. In this exhibition, a child Abraham Lincoln can be seen taking a break from work to read a book.
Through the cabin doors in the Lincoln Presidential Museum is the exhibit on his pre-presidential years. From Lincoln's humble beginnings as a ferryman on the Ohio River to earn his first wages, visitors follow the exhibition through to Lincoln’s first trip down the Mississippi where he sees slavery for the first time. Detailed scenes reveal Lincoln’s personal life, years as a lawyer, and the beginning of his political career. Before Journey Two, The White House Years, a theater presentation brings together state of-the-art technology with factual information. During a battle scene, the floor actually shakes from re-created artillery fire. More in-depth information about these topics and more can be found in the Lincoln Presidential Library.
The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum has a strong focus on his years in the White House. Full-scale images make visitors feel a part of this time in Lincoln’s life. From the Lincoln family posing in front of the White House to murals depicting the beginning of the Civil War, art is used effectively to bring history to life. The emancipation controversy is made real to visitors, as they walk down a corridor with voices shouting at them, describing what President Lincoln should do to solve the crisis. The polarizing topic and dramatically different opinions are revealed in this section of the exhibition illuminates the difficulty of Lincoln's decision to give the Emancipation Proclamation.
For those interested in learning more in depth information on the sixteenth president, the Lincoln Presidential Library is a rich resource for research. A public, non-circulating research library, it is home to material on Lincoln and other aspects of the history of Illinois. With rare manuscripts and newspapers preserved, the Abraham Lincoln Library is a unique research center. The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum also has an education division. With the goal of providing educational opportunities to learners of all ages, the education division creates opportunities for students to expand their knowledge on US History and the legacy of Abraham Lincoln. With a central location in downtown Springfield, the Abraham Lincoln Library is a popular destination for school trips and for travelers on Illinois tours.