Selected Special Collections
Alfred Whital Stern Collection of Lincolniana
Publications, manuscripts, prints and other materials relating to Abraham Lincoln.
Whital Stern (1881-1960) of Chicago presented his outstanding collection of Lincolniana to the Library in 1953. Begun by Mr. Stern in the 1920s, the collection documents the life of Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) through writings by and about Lincoln, contemporary newspapers, sheet music, broadsides, prints, stamps, coins, autograph letters, and a large body of publications concerned with slavery, the Civil War, Reconstruction, and related topics. The collection includes copies of three speeches delivered by Lincoln during his term as congressman from Illinois (1947-49), Lincoln's own scrapbook of the 1858 political campaign against Stephen A. Douglas, a rare copy of the first edition of the Lincoln-Douglas debates that was printed from his scrapbook (Columbus, 1860), numerous campaign biographies prepared for the 1860 presidential election, printed materials relating to the assassination and funeral, and a Lincoln life mask in bronze by Leonard Volk. Probably the single most famous Lincoln manuscript in the collection is the letter to Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker dated January 26, 1863, placing him in command of the Army of the Potomac. Since Mr. Stern's death, the collection has continued to grow through the provisions of an endowment established by his family and it now numbers over 11,100 pieces.
Digitized Material Available from the Alfred Whital Stern Collection