Enhance Your Experience
Enhance your experience during your visit to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. Whether you’re seeking a hands on experience for your students during a scheduled visit to the museum or looking for new ways your students can interact with our collections and experts in the classroom, ALPLM offers an enhancement program for you.
Check out our program logistics and schedule your enhancement program today!
Engage the Historians
ALPLM’s historians specialize in the life and times of Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War Era, as well as the history of Illinois and the Midwest. After touring the museum, students are invited to participate in a 30-minute "Q&A" session with one of our historians. During this experience, students will have the opportunity to ask questions about their museum experience, dive deeper into the Civil War Era and the Lincoln legacy, and learn more about how the historians do their important work at the presidential library and museum.
The Education Department offers a variety of standards-aligned programs for students beyond their museum visit. Inspired by the concept of a “History Lab,” these programs focus on interactive, inquiry-based, hands-on presentations of content relating to President Lincoln, the Civil War, primary source analysis, and the process of thinking like a historian.
Civil War Tech
ALPLM’s Civil War Tech programs allow students to explore the process and effects of evolving technologies in America during the Civil War. These programs meld science, technology, engineering, and mathematics with historical events and encourage students to get hands-on to understand the impact of technological advancements during the war. Technology topics include:
- Naval Warfare
Thinking Like a Historian
In ALPLM’s Thinking Like a Historian programs, students learn how historians document the past by examining the existing historical record, asking new questions, completing research and analyzing original records, and publishing their own research. After this brief introduction, students participate in a “History Lab” where we provide finding aids, a curated collection of original source replicas, and resources to help them collect evidence to answer questions. The program concludes with students making and sharing inferences based on the evidence they collect. Topics for the Thinking Like a Historian program include:
- Beyond the Battle: The Civil War Soldier Experience
- March for Equality: The 1963 March on Washington
Reading Program: Little Lincoln's Fireside Tales
The ALPLM’s exciting, interactive story time, Little Lincoln’s Fireside Tales (LLFT), celebrates Abraham Lincoln’s lifelong love of reading through arts and crafts, hands-on activities, and thoughtfully selected picture books. This program aims to connect students with books that open their world and grow and foster a relationship with learning.
LLFT can be adapted to suit both beginning and developing readers, and features diverse stories, authors, and experiences. Choose from a selection of themes that pair well with your curricula and the ALPLM Education Team can bring the fun to you in the classroom or host you in the ALPLM Library.
Research in the Library
As a dynamic institution with ever-expanding collections essential to understanding the history of Illinois and its most famous citizen, Abraham Lincoln, ALPLM not only allows your students to complete research in the Library, we encourage it! Research visits are overseen by our reference librarians, must use records in our collection, and occur during our regular hours of operation. The best research visits focus on a specific topic and identify, in advance, the types of materials with which you would like students to work. These may include books, maps, newspapers, and visual materials.
To ensure the optimal experience and that all records you need are accessible when you arrive, you will be required to complete the following pre-visit paperwork and submit it seven (7) days prior to the date of your confirmed visit. If your complete paperwork is not submitted by that time, your visit will be canceled.
To learn more about the records held by ALPLM that are not in the library catalog, please read Resources at ALPLM. If you are interested in completing research with these formats, a Reference Librarian will work with you to ensure you know how to complete the requesting spreadsheet.
Our enhancement programs are offered free of charge and available on a first come, first served basis. All programs can be scheduled as an independent visit or to supplement a confirmed museum visit. Most programs work best with an individual class (approximately 25-30 students), however, if space is available and your timing is flexible, we are often able to work with you to create a tailored experience to meet your needs. To ensure we can meet all programming needs, a minimum of three weeks advance notice is required to schedule a research visit; all others enhancement programs require two weeks.
If you are coming to ALPLM solely to participate in an enhancement program, please contact us as soon as possible to ensure optimal availability.
If you are booking a program to supplement your museum visit, contact us when your field trip date and time have been scheduled and confirmed. Please remember that enhancements are not included in the 2-hour museum visit window booked with SCVB, so you will need to add, at minimum, one hour to your visit time. Also, while our enhancement programs are always free of charge, booking a program never waives any required museum entrance fees.