Monday, June 18, 2007

Taper Collection Goes to Museum

Louise Taper and her major collection of "Lincolniana" feature prominently in Andrew Ferguson's Land of Lincoln, which I recently reviewed. Today, the AP reports that Taper's collection will soon go on display at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, which recently acquired the treasure trove of some 1,500 Lincoln items.

"The collection contains hundreds of letters and documents, but its strength is the array of personal, everyday items related to the 16th president, his wife, and his assassin, John Wilkes Booth. Parts of the collection will go on public display next month," the AP notes. Among the effects in Taper's collection are a well-worn stovepipe hat, and gloves stained with blood from the night of the assassination.

Taper is donating portions of the collection, and the museum's foundation purchased the rest for an undisclosed sum; "[e]ventually, the foundation will give the collection to the museum so that the state owns it outright."

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