Lincoln Room Records, 1952-2004 | Illinois History and Lincoln Collections
This collection consists of records from the Lincoln Room, a special collections unit of the University of Illinois Library in existence from 1951 to 2001. It includes administrative records, reports, correspondence, exhibit materials, and subject files.
The Lincoln Room was established in 1951 when alumni Harlan Hoyt Horner and Henrietta Calhoun Horner donated their collection of materials on Abraham Lincoln to the University of Illinois. The donation was made as a memorial to their graduating class, the class of 1901, upon its 50th anniversary. The original collection included approximately 4,000 books and periodicals, as well as pamphlets, scrapbooks, manuscripts, photographs, and memorabilia, gathered by the Horners over a period of 40 years. The Lincoln Room opened to researchers in 1953 with the purpose of serving students and scholars studying Lincoln. It was intended to be a working library where students could find answers to any question related to Lincoln and his contemporaries. The Horners also established an endowment for the ongoing maintenance and expansion of the Lincoln Room. In 2001 the Lincoln Room merged with the Illinois Historical Survey, and the resulting unit was named the Illinois History and Lincoln Collections in 2006.
This collection is organized into three series: Administrative Records, Exhibition Records, and Subject Files. The Administrative Records series consists of unit policies and procedures, annual reports, correspondence, inventories, and project notes from the Lincoln Room; Exhibition Records contains exhibit texts, labels, research notes, correspondence, and press releases from exhibits on different aspects of Lincoln's life that were curated by Lincoln Room staff; and the Subject Files series consists of compiled newspaper clippings, pamphlets, newsletters, magazines, event programs, and photocopied articles related to Abraham Lincoln, collected by Lincoln Room staff and organized according to subject.
The collection was accumulated through the operations of the Lincoln Room and the 2001 merger with the Illinois Historical Survey. Additional materials related to the creation of the Lincoln Room can be found in the Harlan Hoyt Horner and Henrietta Calhoun Horner Papers, 1865-2011 (MS 1200), including correspondence about the Horners' donation, press releases for the opening of the Lincoln Room, and inventories of the original collection.