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The plaza, shown above, is where your visit begins and concludes –it is the hub of the Museum. The Plaza allows our visitors to explore and return to reflect. Lifelike figures of the Lincoln family greet visitors in the Plaza with the White House as a backdrop for a great photo op before taking your own journey through the life and times of Abraham Lincoln.
Explore Abraham Lincoln’s early life from his boyhood in a Kentucky cabin through his 1860 campaign for President of the United States.
Learn more about Journey 1
Abraham Lincoln achieved what many men only dreamed of when he won the presidency in 1860. But the country was in crisis—the Civil War would begin just weeks after his inauguration, and Lincoln would wrestle with the human toll of battle and of slavery. Family tragedy struck as well, with the death of son Willie in 1862. Cruel personal and political attacks that greeted the Lincolns when they arrived in Washington, D.C., gave way to an outpouring of grief following his assassination on April 14, 1865. Somber scenes of mourning give way to consideration of Lincoln’s powerful hold on Americans.
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The Illinois Gallery is home to our temporary exhibits, traditionally changed annually. Our next exhibition, "Here I have Lived: Home in Illinois," will open on March 23, 2023
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Union Theater is home to the ALPLM’s popular show Lincoln’s Eyes, which reflects upon President Lincoln’s life and legacy.
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Ghosts of the Library
Learn more about the roles and work of research libraries during this show in our Holavision® theater, which answers the question, “Why save all this old stuff?”.
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Mrs. Lincoln’s Attic
*UNDER RENOVATION* Children can learn more about life, work, and play in 19th century America in this interactive, hands-on exhibit.
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The Mr. Lincoln Theater
Celebrate our 15th Anniversary with a special mini-theater experience in The Mr. Lincoln Theater. Features from the creators and designers of the institution as well as construction time-lapse segments as well as highlights of our programs, shows, exhibits, and events will provide a unique context for this retrospective.
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While researchers could spend a lifetime working here to discover more about Lincoln’s life and legacy, many of our Museum guests find they spend only a small portion of their time in the Library. However, you will not want to miss these exhibits housed in the Library!
Lincoln’s Life in Letters
At its heart, the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum is a showcase for the millions of items housed in its collection devoted to Illinois history and Abraham Lincoln. On any given day, at least 100 of those items are on display. Included in the collection are more than 1,600 documents in Lincoln’s hand. We invite you to explore Lincoln’s life through some of the documents that shaped our museum exhibits and the stories they tell.
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The Stevenson Room
The Stevenson family have prominently served their state and country as Illinois representative, Illinois treasurer, Illinois secretary of state, congressman, governor, U.S. senator, vice president, and ambassador to the United Nations. Funded by a grant from the Illinois secretary of state, The Stevenson Room is an experience that illuminates the Stevenson family’s story using objects, like buttons and hats, from their many campaigns. This cutting-edge exhibit boasts interactive digital kiosks that allow you to explore the Stevenson family tree, listen to speeches, create political campaign buttons and more!
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Historic building across the street from the library.
Union Station was opened in 1898 by the Illinois Central Railroad and the last passenger train left Union Station on April 30, 1971. The station is designed in the Romanesque Revival style, which is evident in its decorative stone and brickwork, strong geometric form, and soaring clock tower. This building is not currently open to the public, but it provides a beautiful backdrop for pictures and a picnic lunch.
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This life-size reproduction of Lincoln was donated to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in honor of the Siciliano Construction Company workers who built the museum and library.
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The Gettysburg Address Up Close
Get a detailed look at the ALPLM’s copy of Lincoln’s most famous speech through this interactive exhibit. Pop-up boxes will explain key ideas, tell the document’s history, and link to other sources of information. The page also includes a photo gallery and educational resources for teachers and parents.
Learn more about The Gettysburg Address Up Close
Here I Have Lived: Home in Illinois
Representing diverse experiences across the prairie state, this exhibit will inspire visitors to connect through artifacts, videos, and interactive features with how people have imagined, created, and found home in Illinois.
This exhibit will run from March 23, 2023 through January 21, 2024.
Learn more about Here I Have Lived: Home in Illinois