Monday, June 23, 2008

Lincoln Museum closing in Fort Wayne

Somewhat old news that I haven't commented on: The old Lincoln Museum in Fort Wayne will close and the Lincoln Financial Foundation will seek new quarters for the collection, which happens to be the largest privately-owned collection of Lincoln materials in the world. The folks in Fort Wayne are no happier than you might expect them to be and are trying to find a way to keep the collection in Indiana at least.

If you discount the importance of Hoosier prestige, though, it's hard to see why the Lincoln Museum needs to stay in Indiana. The ACPL is probably one of the few community libraries that could actually take on such a project, but I don't think they have facilities and personnel already in place for this type of thing. I'm sure the ACPL and Indiana State Museum can do the job, but when Springfield or the Smithsonian already have high-level Lincoln collections, it'll be hard to compete. It's also hard to see a winning argument in the claim that keeping Lincoln materials geographically scattered is some kind of aid to researchers (although it is a defense against floods, fires, and the like).

1 comment:

James Hanley said...

Maybe Springfield, Illinois makes sense, but the place is so over-Lincolned already that it's painful. They even have Lincoln Land Community College which, predictably, gets corrupted to Lincoln Log Community College (which may not be as bad as California's College of the Canyons, which becomes College of the Crayons).

But surely there's an argument for sharing the wealth, rather than hoarding it in one place.