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Lincolniana Collection to host Item of the Month event

January 26, 2024

Join Dr.  Susannah J. Ural this Saturday, January 27, and throughout the semester as she dives into an exploration of some of the more interesting items in the Frank and Virginia Williams Collection of Lincolniana. Marking the first of our new "Item of the Month" series, Saturday's event will be held from 11am to 12 noon, in the reading room of the Ulysses S. Grant Presidential Library (USGPL), located on the fourth floor of Mitchell Memorial Library.

Dr. Ural said this new event series lets the staff and patrons explore items in the collection that tell a fascinating story.

"Maybe it's a rare item authored by Abraham Lincoln himself or an item that is famous yet misunderstood. Regardless, these events are designed for members of the public to enjoy and learn about Abraham Lincoln and 19th-century America through the Williams Collection of Lincolniana," Ural said.

This Saturday, Ural will discuss the historical context around the famous (and infamous) "Mrs. Bixby Letter" from the film "Saving Private Ryan."

"This document was placed alongside the Gettysburg Address and the Second Inaugural Address as one of Lincoln's most powerful and beautiful pieces of writing," the Williams chair said. "We'll dig into who Mrs. Bixby was, what probably happened to the original letter, and who the likely author of this letter may have been — a member of Lincoln's inner circle from whom we have several rare pieces, which we'll also have available for viewing."

Space is limited, so register online to attend.

Ural will also host an "Item of the Month" event Saturday, Feb. 17 and Saturday, April 27. Both events will be from 11am to 12 noon in the USGPL reading room.