Bring Honest Abe to your library: Applications for the new Forever Free traveling exhibit available

Contact: Laura Hayes


For Immediate Release

October 2002

Bring Honest Abe to your library: Applications for the new Forever Free traveling exhibit available

The American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office is now accepting grant applications from libraries wishing to host
Forever Free: Abraham Lincoln's Journey to Emancipation. This new traveling panel exhibit organized by The Huntington Library, San Marino, Calif., and the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, N.Y., in cooperation with the ALA, reexamines President Lincoln's efforts toward the abolition of slavery during the Civil War. Organized by The Huntington's John Rhodehamel, Norris Foundation Curator of American Historical Manuscripts, the exhibit will consist of reproductions of rare historical documents from The Huntington's collections and those of the Lehrman Institute, and will draw on the latest scholarship in the field.

Two copies of the exhibit will travel to 40 libraries around the country between September 2003 and February 2006. Each copy consists of two six-section, 75-foot-long panels that contain reproductions of rare historical documents, period photographs, and illustrative material, such as engravings, lithographs, cartoons and political ephemera. The sections of the exhibition focus on young Lincoln's America, the House dividing, war for the Union, the Emancipation Proclamation, the role of black soldiers in the Civil War, and the final months of the Civil War and Lincoln's life.

Libraries of all types interested in hosting the exhibition can download the application and guidelines at or request a copy by sending an e-mail message to
Applications must be received by November 15, 2002.

Libraries selected for the tour will host the exhibition for a six-week period. Participating libraries are expected to present at least one program for library patrons and community members that features a lecture/discussion by a scholar on exhibition themes. All showings of the exhibition will be free and open to the public. Additionally, one staff member from each library hosting the tour will attend an orientation seminar at the Huntington Library in San Marino, Calif., June 6 and 7, 2003.

The National Endowment for the Humanities provided major funding for the traveling exhibition.

The ALA Public Programs Office fosters cultural programming by libraries of all types. Established in 1990, the office helps thousands of libraries nationwide develop and host programs that encourage dialogue among community members and works to establish libraries as cultural centers in their communities.

Established in 1994, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History promotes the study and love of American history. The Institute organizes seminars and enrichment programs for teachers; supports and produces publications and exhibitions; sponsors lectures by eminent historians; develops electronic resources; creates history high schools and extracurricular history programs; and sponsors the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition at Yale University.

Founded in 1919 by Henry E. Huntington, railroad magnate, real estate developer, and literature, arts and botanical collector, the Huntington Library is one of the nation's preeminent collections-based research and educational institutions, with particular emphasis on advanced studies in the humanities.

For more information about
Forever Free, please visit