The Press has Found Lincoln!

Dale Ogden, Indiana State Museum Chief Curator for Cultural History had a busy day with television reporters yesterday. First, Tim “Tree Boy” Bush of WTHR-Ch.13 spent the morning pretty much in awe of the various Lincoln artifacts. Turns out he is quite a Lincoln-phile and has even questioned his own lineage, as there are “Bush” members in the Lincoln family tree. His story is scheduled to air on Tuesday, Aug. 11 at 6:15 and 6:45 a.m. and again during the noon news that day, and he promised to come back to follow the story; truth is, he wants to be as close as possible to those bits of Lincoln lore.

Eric Halvorson of WISH-tv8 was also here and spent the afternoon with Dale, posting this story.

Probably one of the more exciting things about having media here is seeing them express the same excitement that we’ve been feeling these past few months;  the fact that we are housing true national treasures here stirs many emotions in staffers, from a huge sense of responsibility, to passion about our history;  a sense of determination to”get the stories right” and even a humbleness founded in the fact that we were chosen to curate this important collection (along with the Allen County Public Library). We can’t wait to show it off next February!

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Lincoln in the House

Museum curators have been incredibly busy lately, now that Lincoln is “in the house.” Hundreds of artifacts that make up “our” portion of the Lincoln Financial Foundation Collection* are being unpacked, cataloged, inspected, researched and generally readied for exhibition. The excitement is building, as media are becoming aware of the collection’s treasures.

Here’s one piece that I was able to see; this flag is unique for a couple of reasons. It was at Ford’s Theatre the night of Lincoln’s assassination, for one. It is also unique in that it has just 13 stars, most likely representing the original 13 states.

Dale Ogden, Indiana State Museum Chief Curator, with Ford's Theatre flag

Dale Ogden, Indiana State Museum Chief Curator, with Ford's Theatre flag

*(The LFFC was donated to the State of Indiana in partnership with the ACPL by Lincoln Financial Foundation in December of 2008. The Indiana State Museum will be home to all 3-D items while most archival objects will reside at the ACPL.)

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Celebrate Abe Camp Diary

Celebrate Abe Summer Camp took place at the Vincennes State Historic Site July 13 through 17.

Making butter.

Making butter.

Day One: The first day of camp is always an exciting day. The campers arrive full of wonder and, of course, energy. We have planned the week’s activities and they are anticipating them. Some of the campers know each other, some do not. This year we have two campers who are staying with grandparents in order to attend our camp. We are proud to see that a new generation is engaged in the quest for knowledge of our nation’s history. It is easy to pick out who will be the future historians, archaeologists, preservers of our story. It is also fun to watch as they gain a real understanding of what our forefathers endured and overcame. Today, the campers learned how to start a fire, grind corn and make cornbread. They also made butter. One of the campers commented that they would have starved if they had to go through all of this to get supper. I can’t wait to see what tommorrow brings! Continue reading

Preparations for Celebrate Abe

vincennes_log_cabinGearing up for summer camp is always an exciting time for me. We “test” all of the activities and crafts we have planned to see how difficult they are and how much time it really takes to complete crafts. Last week, we made a log cabin using pretzels and icing. It was a fun and tasty day. Richard’s log cabin included waffle pretzel windows!

We have a lot of activities planned and there really will be something interesting and fun for all the campers! Just like the kids, each of us has a different day we look forward to.  I am really looking forward to taking the kids’ pictures in Civil War era clothing, and I was happy to see how well the daguerreotype case they will make turned out. I think it will be a great keepsake for them or — let’s face it — for their proud parents to have a memento of their child’s adventures!

Next week … we are practicing candle making! I can’t wait!

Celebrate Abe Summer Camp starts July 13. Space is still available, so sign up now!

Angela Lucas is the program developer at Vincennes State Historic Sites.

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Lincoln on the Move

lincoln_acpl_moveOn May 19, Allen County Public Library employees arrived at the Lincoln Museum in Fort Wayne, armed with 63 book carts and hundreds of empty boxes, signifying the transfer of a portion of the Lincoln Financial Foundation Collection (LFFC) to its new repository. I stayed in Ft. Wayne for four days to assist with the move. It was a very daunting task that I thought could never possibly get done in just a few days!

However, within those four days, the Library staff loaded their carts with thousands of books; hundreds of personal photographs from the Lincoln family album; documents related to and signed by Lincoln; and thousands more archival artifacts and transported them four blocks to their new home. It was a lot of packing and then unpacking the same artifacts and materials from the Lincoln Museum to ACPL. By the end of each day, we were all tired and ready for some rest.

The library employees never slowed down and completed the move in the four days. Over the next six months, library employees will continue to unpack and organize the collection into their climate controlled storage areas. I will continue to blog about the entire process that leads up to the opening of the Lincoln exhibits here at the Indiana State Museum in February 2010.

The LFFC was donated to the State of Indiana in partnership with the ACPL by Lincoln Financial Foundation in December of 2008. The Indiana State Museum will be home to all 3-D items while most archival objects will reside at the ACPL.

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