Lincoln, Robert Todd. Correspondence on Diverse Topics, 1863-1918 | Illinois History and Lincoln Collections
In 1978, the Illinois State Historical Library (now the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library) acquired from Robert Todd Lincoln Beckwith the letter books of his grandfather, Robert Todd Lincoln (RTL). James T. Hickey, curator of the Historical Library's Lincoln Collection, was instrumental in this major acquisition--some 46 volumes of RTL's outgoing correspondence, arranged in chronological order, 1865-1926. The collection was then microfilmed on 80 reels and made available on interlibrary loan.
From the microfilm, Hickey made prints of letters on many topics, some of which he used for articles in the Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society, articles reprinted in The Collected Writings of James T. Hickey (1990).
The microfilm of RTL's letter books also engaged the attention of Ralph G. Newman of the Abraham Lincoln Book Shop in Chicago. Newman's collection of microfilm prints, some arranged topically in folders either labeled by Hickey or by Newman, was formed for a book of RTL's letters that never materialized. Chuck Hand, a Lincoln dealer in Paris, Ill., acquired Newman's collection and in 1998 gave it to the University of Illinois Library.
Commingled in that stack of microfilm prints was a number of letters and notes, some written or annotated by RTL and others addressed to him. A descriptive list of these items is attached.