ALA traveling exhibit explores Lincoln and the Constitution

Contact: Angela Thullen

Program Officer, Communications



For Immediate Release

November 11, 2008

Apply by Jan. 30 to host “Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War”

CHICAGO – The American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office will join the National Constitution Center (NCC) in Philadelphia in presenting a new traveling exhibit, “Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War.” One copy of the exhibition will travel to public, academic and special libraries from mid-2009 through 2011. The traveling exhibition and tour are funded by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to the National Constitution Center.

“Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War” offers a fresh and innovative perspective on Abraham Lincoln that focuses on his struggle to meet the political and constitutional challenges of the Civil War. The exhibition explores how Lincoln used the Constitution to confront three intertwined crises of the war—the secession of Southern states, slavery and wartime civil liberties. Visitors will leave the exhibition with a more complete understanding of Lincoln as president and the Civil War as the nation’s gravest constitutional crisis.

Librarians applying to host “Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War” in their public, academic or special library must register their institution at
Prospective applicants are advised to register with as soon as possible, as the process can take up to two weeks to complete. The application and guidelines for “Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War” and complete instructions for registering and applying through may be found at Online applications must be completed through by Jan. 30, 2009. Applications may not be submitted through ALA.

Successful applicants will host the 1,000 square foot exhibit for six weeks and receive a $2,500 grant from NEH for attendance at an exhibit planning workshop and other exhibit-related expenses. Participating libraries are expected to present at least two free public programs featuring a lecture or discussion by a qualified scholar on exhibition themes. All showings of the exhibition must be free and open to the public.

Established in 1992, the ALA Public Programs Office has a strong track record of developing library programming initiatives, including the acclaimed reading and discussion series "Let's Talk About It!," film discussion programs on humanities themes, traveling exhibitions, LIVE! @ your library®, and other programs. Recently, it has established the Cultural Communities Fund, an endowment fund created to help all types of libraries across the country bring communities together through cultural programming (

The National Constitution Center is one of the nation’s most exciting new museums and a leading provider of constitutionally-themed education programs. Created through the Constitution Heritage Act of 1988, the NCC addresses the need to better educate Americans about their Constitution and citizenship rights and responsibilities. Its mission is to increase public understanding of, and appreciation for, the Constitution, its history, and it contemporary relevance through an interactive museum facility and national outreach programs.

For more information about “Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War,” visit