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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.
Learn more about Journey 2
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
Learn more about Illinois Gallery
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?”.
Learn more about Ghosts of the Library
Mrs. Lincoln’s Attic
Mrs. Lincoln's Attic is temporarily closed for renovations as our team evaluates new opportunities for the space. We are sorry for any inconvenience!
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The Mr. Lincoln Theater
Discover special short-form video features which change periodically in the Mr. Lincoln Theater. These features often compliment the current exhibit in the Illinois Gallery or highlight stories coinciding with cultural heritage month acknowledgements. The theater also hosts special talks by historians and educators, check the calendar of events for details.
Learn more about The Mr. Lincoln Theater
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.
Learn more about Lincoln’s Life in Letters
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
On the day Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, he reportedly told abolitionist Senator Charles Sumner that it was “the great event of the nineteenth century” and “that the name which is connected with this matter will never be forgotten.” Lincoln was correct that the Emancipation Proclamation would become the focal point of his life and legacy, and it continues to be one of the seminal texts of American History.
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The Questioneers book series, written by Andrea Beaty and illustrated by David Roberts, celebrates Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math, perseverance, and passion. Like the characters, Iggy Peck, Rosie Revere, Ada Twist, Sofia Valdez, and Aaron Slater, every budding architect, engineer, scientist, mathematician, leader, and artist will find inspiration to solve everyday mysteries and to think more critically about their world. Most importantly, they will learn that despite inevitable challenges, they should always continue to “Read. Question. Think.” — and never give up on their dreams.
Exhibit Dates: February 15, 2024 - May 5, 2024
Learn more about The Questioneers
Solidarity Now! 1968 Poor Peoples Campaign
Solidarity Now! 1968 Poor People's Campaign explores one of the most important grassroots movements of the civil rights era: the Poor People’s Campaign of 1968. The exhibition investigates the factors that made this movement a success: the ideas, the emotions, the people, and the place—Resurrection City. Through a moving combination of photographs, objects, video, and oral histories, it explores the significance and impact of this campaign that drew thousands of people to develop a protest community on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., to call the nation's attention to the crippling effects of poverty for millions of Americans.
Exhibit Dates: May 18, 2024 – August 18, 2024
On loan from:
Learn more about Solidarity Now! 1968 Poor Peoples Campaign