MAY 4, 2016

WHEREAS, The Abraham Lincoln Association has as its principal purpose the collection and dissemination of information regarding all phases of the life of Abraham Lincoln; and

WHEREAS, the University of Illinois Springfield is presently considering a Proposal for a LINCOLN STUDIES CENTER AT UIS; and

WHEREAS, Abraham Lincoln is one of the most studied and revered persons in the world; and that reverence can be brought to life at the University of Illinois Springfield by the establishing a Lincoln Studies Center and

WHEREAS, the city of Springfield, Illinois has unmatched Lincoln collections, facilities dedicated to the study of Abraham Lincoln, historical sites related to the life of Abraham Lincoln and people with abiding interests and who work in these collections, facilities and sites, all of which would be proximate and available to a Lincoln Studies Center at UIS; and

Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library: repository of the world’s finest collection of original Lincoln documents, artifacts and books.

Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum: The world’s finest museum of Lincoln’s life

Lincoln Home National Historic Site

Lincoln’s Tomb State Historic Site

Lincoln Legals Project/Papers of Abraham Lincoln

Illinois State Archives

Illinois State Library

Illinois State Museum

Illinois Regional Archive Depository (IRAD): Repository at UIS which holds original documents pertaining to  Central Illinois during Lincoln’s time.

WHEREAS, each of the facilities mentioned above welcome visitors who have a deep and abiding interest in Lincoln and they and the  staff who work in these institutions would be natural teachers and students at a Lincoln Studies Center; and

WHEREAS, The University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana acted de facto as a Lincoln Studies center from 1920 to1950 when James G. Randall wrote extensively about Abraham Lincoln and trained many graduate students who became major figures in Lincoln scholarship.  Upon his death in 1953, the program he had conducted came to an end.  Most Lincoln scholars of recent years have taught at small liberal arts colleges rather than at research universities; and

WHEREAS, the current generation of Lincoln scholars has contributed greatly to our understanding of Abraham Lincoln, but many are reaching retirement age; and

WHEREAS, there are fewer graduate-level programs with focused tracks on Lincoln or the Civil War and this raises concerns about who will comprise the next generation of Lincoln scholars; and

WHEREAS, the opportunity to establish a Center for the Study of Abraham Lincoln at a university in a community with the resources available in Springfield, Illinois is unique and would serve well in achieving the following objectives:

1)                  making Lincoln-related primary source material available to a broad audience through both letterpress and online publication;

2)                  encouraging and helping prepare the next generation of Lincoln scholars;

3)                  promoting cooperation among Lincoln-focused organizations (e.g., the Lincoln Studies Center at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois; the Springfield-based Abraham Lincoln Association; the Washington-based Abraham Lincoln Institute; the Gilder-Lehrman Institute for the Study of American History and its affiliate, the Lincoln Institute; the Lincoln Forum; Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, Tennessee; and the many Lincoln Groups around the country).

 WHEREAS, the University of Illinois Springfield presently has established programs and professorships dedicated to  researching and teaching the life of Abraham Lincoln, which could easily become the base for the creation of a LINCOLN STUDIES CENTER AT THE UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS AT SPRINGFIELD (UIS); for example, the  Chancellor Naomi B. Lynn Distinguished Chair in Lincoln Studies and the sophisticated UIS IT staff ; and

WHEREAS, a Lincoln Studies Center (UIS)  could attract students from around the world who are interested in Lincoln, and give to UIS and Illinois a unique niche and preeminent image with regard to the study of Abraham Lincoln.

NOW THEREFORE, BE it resolved by the Board of Directors of The Abraham Lincoln Association as follows:

The Abraham Lincoln Association endorses the Proposal for a LINCOLN STUDIES CENTER AT UIS; and

The Abraham Lincoln Association strongly urges UIS to move forward with the adoption of the Proposal for a LINCOLN STUDIES CENTER AT UIS and the implementation of the same; and

The Abraham Lincoln Association pledges its support in making a LINCOLN STUDIES CENTER AT UIS a success in a way that will best serve Lincoln scholarship and the dissemination of information regarding all phases of the life of Abraham Lincoln.