All aboard, Mr. Lincoln

While the kitsch award in our new collection of digitized Lincolniana probably goes to a photograph of a horse with markings resembling the president’s profile, the 1959 promotional comic book “All aboard, Mr. Lincoln!” published by the Association of American Railroads comes in a close second. Stilted dialogue aside, the comic’s premise is valid — railroad expansion to the Western U.S. remains one of Lincoln’s most important legacies. This connection is explored in our Abraham Lincoln umbrella site, providing integrated access to artifacts from three digital collections about the president and his era: the James W. Bollinger collection of Lincoln memorabilia; Civil War Diaries and Letters, featuring first-hand, contemporary accounts written by Iowans; and the Levi O. Leonard Railroadiana collection, documenting railroad history in the U.S.

The Libraries staff has been all aboard this project to an unprecedented degree. In order to participate in the celebration of Lincoln’s Bicentennial, DLS has been working on the digital collection for the past year, coordinating with staff from Special Collections, Preservation, and Central Technical Services to select, reformat and provide access to the 1000-plus items in the collection. Not least of all, the Web Services team created the beautifully designed collection home page that will be used as a template to bring a more consistent look to the Iowa Digital Library.

Read more about the Abraham Lincoln Digital Collection in our press release.

–Jen Wolfe
Metadata Librarian, Digital Library Services