ALA announces new 60-library tour of Abraham Lincoln traveling exhibition; applications now open

The American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office announces a new tour of
Forever Free: Abraham Lincoln's Journey to Emancipation, a traveling exhibition about how Lincoln arrived at his decision to give slaves their freedom and the effects of that decision on the United States. The exhibit is currently on a 40-library tour which continues through November 2006 (

Thanks to funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission, two additional copies of the exhibit will travel to a total of 60 libraries from September 2006 through May 2010.
Forever Free is organized by The Huntington Library, San Marino, Calif., and the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, New York, in cooperation with the ALA Public Programs Office. Libraries of all types interested in hosting
Forever Free can download the application and guidelines at or request a copy by sending an e-mail message to
Applications must be received by October 3, 2005.

The exhibition contains reproductions of rare historical documents, period photographs, and illustrative material, such as engravings, lithographs, cartoons, and political ephemera. The six 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 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.

The National Endowment for the Humanities is an independent federal agency that supports learning in history, literature, philosophy and other areas of the humanities. NEH grants support research, education, preservation, radio and TV, new technologies, and public programs in the humanities in museums, libraries and other public places.

The Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission is focused on informing the public about the impact Abraham Lincoln had on the development of our nation and finding the best possible ways to honor his accomplishments. Established in 2000, it consists of 15 members appointed by the President, the Senate and the House of Representatives based on their knowledge and study of President Lincoln.

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.

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

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.

For more information about the new
Forever Free tour, please visit the ALA Public Programs Office web site at