Latest news

Lincoln research project receives major grant

Papers of Abraham Lincoln will use NEH grant to put Lincoln congressional documents online

August 17, 2015NEH Logo

SPRINGFIELD – The Papers of Abraham Lincoln project has received a $400,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities that will allow more documents about Lincoln’s congressional career to be placed online.

The new three-year grant is the largest the Papers of Abraham Lincoln has received from the NEH. It comes in the form of $100,000 in outright funds and $300,000 in matching funds.

“NEH is proud to support programs that illuminate the great ideas and events of our past, broaden access to our nation’s many cultural resources, and open up for us new ways of understanding the world in which we live,” said William Adams, chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The grant covers the period from July 1, 2016, to June 30, 2019. It will support the salaries of editors who are working through the documentation of Abraham Lincoln’s early life and career. These staff members, along with other editors, will focus on the markup, annotation and review of Lincoln's legislation, correspondence and speeches during his single term in Congress (1847-1849). 

Because most of this offer comes in the form of a matching grant, the Papers of Abraham Lincoln must raise at least $100,000 a year from private sources to match the amount offered by the NEH. Thus, the NEH award effectively doubles each private donation from friends and supporters of the Papers of Abraham Lincoln. 


“This grant represents an affirmation of the importance of our project,” said Director and Editor Daniel W. Stowell. “NEH support validates the progress we have made thus far and encourages private support of the exciting work remaining before us.”

Stowell noted that congressional support makes it possible for the National Endowment for the Humanities to assist research like the Papers of Abraham Lincoln. He thanked members of Congress from Illinois.

Sen. Dick Durbin praised the work of the Papers of Abraham Lincoln.

“Just as Illinois left its mark on the character of Abraham Lincoln, Lincoln left his lasting impressions on our state’s artifacts, landscapes, buildings and folklore,” Durbin said. “The Papers of Abraham Lincoln has played an integral role in providing Illinois visitors and residents alike the opportunity to experience the magic of Lincoln’s legacy. This funding will allow the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum to continue their valuable work expanding our knowledge and understanding of this incredible historical figure.”

Congressman Rodney Davis added: “Although it has been more than 150 years since President Lincoln’s passing, we continue to learn from his legacy through the phenomenal work and research of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. It is great to see the NEH continuing to support the Papers of Abraham Lincoln project as there is still much to learn about the legislative career of one of our country’s greatest and most inspirational leaders.”

The Papers of Abraham Lincoln is a long-term project dedicated to finding, imaging, transcribing, annotating and publishing all documents written by or to Lincoln during his lifetime (1809-1865). The project is administered by the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum (www.illinois.gov/alplm) and is cosponsored by the Center for State Policy and Leadership at the University of Illinois and the Abraham Lincoln Association.

Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at: www.neh.gov.