Yale’s Beinecke Library Buys Vast Collection of Lincoln Photos

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tags: Yale, photography, Lincoln, Beinecke Library



Abraham Lincoln last visited New Haven in March 1860, when, as a likely presidential candidate, he gave a speech on slavery. He is now set for a triumphal return.

The Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Yale University will announce Monday that it has purchased one of the largest private collections of 19th-century American photography, devoted primarily to Lincoln and the Civil War, from the Meserve-Kunhardt Foundation, run by the family that has collected and preserved the material for five generations.

The Meserve-Kunhardt Collection, with more than 73,000 items, includes 57,000 prints, as well as thousands of books, pamphlets, maps and theater broadsides. “It is of enormous value,” said James M. Cornelius, the curator of the Lincoln Collection at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, Ill. “Without question, it has the largest holdings of images of Lincoln and his circle that we know of.”




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