About the Museum
Abraham Lincoln is perhaps one of the most universally renowned and admired individuals in all of world history. His name is familiar in all corners of the globe. Visitors from all over the world come to the United States to learn more about who Abraham Lincoln was, as in many ways Lincoln is who America is. Our Lincoln Heritage Museum has been such a destination, as we witness visitors from nearly every state and many countries annually.
The Lincoln Heritage Museum allows visitors to appreciate the incredible life and legacy of Abraham Lincoln. As Lincoln famously said in his Gettysburg Address, “It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced.” So it is for us to carry the lessons of Abraham Lincoln and his times to new generations. With that in mind, our mission is to interpret for the public the life and legacy of Abraham Lincoln and the world in which he lived—particularly as it pertained to Illinois—and to be an academic resource for students from elementary school through adulthood. We invite all to learn from Lincoln, and live like Lincoln.
Lincoln College, chartered Lincoln University, began in 1865. Ground for the first building on campus, University Hall, was broken on Abraham Lincoln’s last living birthday. The Lincoln Heritage Museum began in 1942 when an 1887 Lincoln University alumnus Judge Lawrence Stringer willed his vast Lincoln and Logan County history collection to the college with the stipulation that a museum be established. Initially, the collection was placed in “The Lincoln Room”, dedicated on February 11, 1944. The entire collection moved to the McKinstry Memorial Building in 1971 when the collections became part of what was then called the Lincoln College Museum. The collection continued to grow with donations from Robert Todd Lincoln Beckwith, the last surviving direct descendant of Abraham Lincoln, James Hickey, Ralph Newman, and John Gehlbach, among others.
The Lincoln Heritage Museum will be relocating from its current location in the McKinstry Memorial Building to the new Lincoln Center, located on the north side of the Lincoln College campus. That will allow us more space and opportunities to tell the Lincoln story in a more engaging manner. We are scheduled to open the new museum in August 2013. For more information on the progress of the museum, see News and Events.
What Others are Saying
“One of the 10 best Lincoln-related sites in Illinois” – Illinois NOW magazine
“A must-see attraction for the President’s admirers.” – American Heritage Museum
“A treasure trove of information for history buffs” – Ideals Guide to Presidential Homes & Libraries
What Visitors are Saying
“100% Great” – James, Minnesota
“Awesome!” – Celina, Ohio
“Great Artifacts” – Connie, Colorado
“Very Informative” – Elaine, Nebraska
“Without a doubt, the best Abe Lincoln museum” – Don, Florida
“Wow! A Hidden Treasure” – Kathryn, Illinois
The Lincoln Heritage Museum is under the auspices of Lincoln College, a 501(c)(3) educational institution.
Ron J. Keller
Lincoln Heritage Museum Director and Curator
Anne E. Moseley
Lincoln Heritage Museum Assistant Director and Curator
Lincoln Heritage Museum
300 Keokuk Street
Lincoln, IL 62656
(217) 732-3155 ext. 295