"Abraham Lincoln: A Man of His Time, a Man for All Times," a national traveling exhibition that examines Abraham Lincoln's life, accomplishments, and legacy opens at the Scotch Plains Public Library on Saturday, May 2 for three weeks, ending on May 20. The Scotch Plains Public Library is the only location in New Jersey to have been awarded this exhibition and one of only forty sites nationwide.
Organized by the Gilder Lehrman Institute to mark the 2009 bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln's birth, this free exhibition traces Lincoln's path from a self-educated, rough-hewn lawyer with virtually no administrative experience, to the president who guided a divided nation through the crises of slavery, secession and Civil War. The exhibition shows how Lincoln transcended his age and left a constitutional legacy for all Americans.
"We are pleased to have been selected as a site for this exhibition, "said Meg Kolaya, Library Director. "Lincoln's achievements as president are well-known, but knowledge about our most famous president is dominated by a set of iconic images. Through reproductions of documents, photographs, and posters, the exhibition invited visitors to learn about the challenges Lincoln faced and his accomplishments."
The library is offering a full calendar of free programs and events for the public in connection with the exhibition. Distinguished speakers, including Clement Price and Harold Holzer will speak on aspects of Lincoln's life and legacy. Families and community members of all ages are invited to participate in activities ranging from visits from Civil War re-enactors to story times in the library's very own Lincoln cabin! The library is distributing Lincoln passports to each attendee. Bring your passport to each event for special stamps and signatures. The library will accompany the major exhibition with smaller displays of local interest and hands-on activities.
An integral part of the library celebrations will be visits by local third grade, fifth grade and seventh grade students through the various exhibits. These tours will be led by Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School student docents who have worked for the last year preparing for the program. "The cooperation of the school administration, faculty and students has given such special and unique character to our presentation, "said Kolaya. " The level of interest and enthusiasm that has marked our collaboration is so positive. The younger students who tour the library will be able to relate well with these energetic and inspiring older students. We are also very grateful for the suggestions and assistance given by the faculty in helping to make the exhibition meaningful and locally relevant."
The exhibition has been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Additional funding has been received from the New Hersey Historical Commission, a division of the Department of State, through a grant administered by the Union County Office of Cultural and Heritage Affairs, a grant from the Investors Savings Bank Charitable Foundation, and support from the Friends of the Scotch Plains Public Library.
Visit the library website for a full calendar of events and daily blog postings: www.scotlib.org or call the library at (908) 322-5007 for more information.