Lincoln portrait

If you’re thinkin’ Lincoln during February around the time of Abraham Lincoln’s birthday (Feb. 12, 2010), there will be a new permanent exhibit at the Indiana State Museum in Indianapolis.

Lincoln artifacts on display in Indianapolis

It should be quite a sight to see. Not only will the museum have one of the world's largest private collections of memorabilia worth more than $20 million on display; but, there will be a Library of Congress collection there at the same time.


Here’s a look at some of the specifics:

Feb. 12 – April 11, 2010 - With Malice Toward None: The Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Exhibition will be open February 12 through April 11, 2010. This Library of Congress exhibit is traveling to just five U.S. cities. The exhibit features the Bible upon which Lincoln and, most recently, President Obama took the oath of office; the contents of Lincoln’s pockets the night he was assassinated; as well as letters, photographs, maps, sketches, political cartoons, period engravings, speeches and artifacts from Lincoln's political career and presidency. This exhibit is made possible through the generous support of Union Pacific Corporation. When it leaves Indy, it will go to Atlanta, Georgia and then Omaha, Nebraska.

With Charity for All: The Lincoln Financial Foundation Collection is the other major exhibit. It will be open February 12 through July 25, 2010. Valued at more than $20 million, this is one of the world's largest private collections of memorabilia that comes from Abraham Lincoln's personal and presidential life. It explains the private and public side of who Abraham Lincoln really was. Since his birth on a farm in the Kentucky wilderness some 200 years ago, Lincoln lore has transformed him into an almost mythological figure. This collection highlights artifacts that paint a picture of an ordinary man who rose to become, perhaps, the greatest leader in American history. It is supported by Duke Energy.

During the month of February signed copies of both the Emancipation Proclamation and the Thirteenth Amendment will be on exhibit. After February, they will rotate and only one will be displayed at a time.  Other artifacts include Lincoln's signed portfolio and a chair he sat in for some of his most famous photographs; artwork; thousands of documents, photographs; prints and rare books. 

Tad Lincoln toy

A  favorite is sure to be Lincoln’s son Tad’s toy that looks like an early version of a handheld video game – it’s great with a scroll that turns a picture through battle.

The museum will stay open for extended hours February through April because of this exhibit.

Entrance is included with museum admission, but requires a timed ticket.  Tickets can be ordered at 317.232.1637. Keep in mind that the Indiana State Museum is closed on Mondays.