The Papers of Abraham Lincoln Project
The Papers of Abraham Lincoln Digital Library is a beta version of the first digital product from the Papers of Abraham Lincoln Project.
The Papers of Abraham Lincoln is a documentary editing project dedicated to identifying, imaging, transcribing, annotating, and publishing online all documents written by or to Abraham Lincoln during his lifetime (1809-1865). The project has received generous support from the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation, the Abraham Lincoln Association, the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Foundation, Iron Mountain, the Shelby Cullom Davis Charitable Fund, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.
The primary scope of the Papers of Abraham Lincoln is all documents written by, written to, signed by, and addressed by Abraham Lincoln during his lifetime. The secondary scope is documents deemed complementary or supplemental to Abraham Lincoln’s life and public career.
The Papers of Abraham Lincoln has arranged its documents in five chronological segments: (1) Legislative, encompassing Lincoln’s early life in Illinois to the end of his tenure in the Illinois House of Representatives (1819-March 1, 1841); (2) Congressional, from the end of Lincoln’s tenure in the Illinois House of Representatives to the end of his term in the U.S. House of Representatives (March 1, 1841-March 4, 1849); (3) Campaign, from the end of Lincoln’s tenure in the U.S. House of Representatives to his election as president (March 4, 1849-November 6, 1860); (4) Interregnum, from Lincoln’s election to his first inauguration (November 7, 1860-March 3, 1861); and Presidential, from Lincoln’s first inauguration to his death (March 4, 1861-April 15, 1865).
The staff further sub-divided each chronological segment into a digital edition and a digital archive (i.e., Legislative Digital Edition/Archive, Congressional Digital Edition/Archives):
Digital Edition: Digital edition documents are those identified by project staff as essential to Lincoln’s public and private life. Included are all letters to and from Lincoln in manuscript and printed formats; verbatim reports of Lincoln speeches and debates; and checks, surveys, election returns, petitions, legislative bills, reports, resolutions, and various legal documents written or signed by Lincoln. All documents in Roy P. Basler’s The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln will be included.
Digital Archive: Digital archive documents are those deemed complementary, supplemental, or related to digital edition documents. Included are election returns, muster rolls, petitions, surveys, legal documents, military commissions, summaries of speeches, legislative bills and acts, and other documents on which Lincoln’s name or signature appears but which were not penned by him. The editors determine on a case-by-case basis what new documents will be categorized as digital archive documents.