NEH and Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission Launch Partnership

WASHINGTON, (June 13, 2005)

Agreement includes extension of Lincoln exhibition to 100 libraries, invitation for applicants to submit media projects on life of former president

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the U.S. Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission (ALBC) today announced a new partnership to strengthen research, education, and public understanding relating to the life and career of Abraham Lincoln and his significance in American history.

The partnership includes the extension of the traveling panel exhibition, Forever Free: Abraham Lincoln's Journey to Emancipation, to one hundred libraries throughout the country. The extension was made possible through a $311,000 grant by the NEH and the ALBC to the Huntington Library of California, the exhibition's host institution. The exhibition incorporates the latest scholarship on Lincoln's role in the emancipation of slaves during the Civil War.

"This is an impressive exhibition that gives new insights into Abraham Lincoln's heroic struggle to right the great wrong of slavery," said NEH Chairman Bruce Cole. "NEH is honored to join with the ALBC, and I commend the Huntington Library for their extraordinary effort to increase American's understanding and appreciation of President Lincoln."

"President Lincoln's goal was not only to save the Union, but to 'make and keep it forever worthy of the saving,'"said ALBC Executive Director Michael Bishop. "Emancipation made it worthy, and the Commission is pleased to work with NEH to educate Americans about Lincoln's central role in the story of American freedom."

In 2002, NEH awarded $260,000 to the Huntington Library of California to develop the exhibit in cooperation with the Gilder Lehrman Institute. The Huntington Library subcontracted with the American Library Association (ALA) to solicit applications from libraries, assist NEH in selecting libraries to participate, organize the tour schedule, train host librarians to run effective programs around the exhibition, and manage transportation of the exhibition from one library to the next. NEH awarded each of the forty libraries on the tour $1,000 to support programming at each site. The new funds will enable 100 libraries to host the exhibition.

NEH and the ALBC also agreed that the Endowment would encourage scholars and filmmakers to submit proposals on Abraham Lincoln, particularly documentary films and radio programs, in preparation for the 2009 national celebration of Lincoln's birthday.

The U.S. Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission was established in 2000. Members of the Commission were appointed by the President, the Senate, and the House of Representatives "based on their knowledge and study of President Lincoln and their dedication to educating others about Lincoln and that time in our history." For more information about the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission, you may wish to visit its website at

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