Lincoln 108 by artist Wendy Allen


Musselman Library
Gettysburg College
Gettysburg, PA 17325
(717) 337-6600


Lincoln Exhibit Comes to Musselman Library
January 3 – February 18, 2005

Musselman Library, the African American Studies program, and the Civil War Institute are hosting the national traveling exhibit, Forever Free: Abraham Lincoln's Journey to Emancipation. Based on original documents about Abraham Lincoln, the Civil War, abolition, and the Emancipation Proclamation, Forever Free examines Abraham Lincoln's quest to restore a Union divided by Civil War and shows how his beliefs about freeing the slaves were transformed by war-time developments.

...all persons held as slaves within any State...shall be then, thenceforward, and forever

From the beginning of the Civil War until his death, Abraham Lincoln evolved from a cautious moderate who was willing to see slavery continue for several decades in order to preserve the Union, to the "Great Emancipator," who emphatically put an end to slavery in the United States. Forever Free: Abraham Lincoln's Journey to Emancipation explores the reasons for this change.

Lincoln Portrait by Wendy Allen

Images of the original documents (which come from the collections of the Huntington Library and the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History) are reproduced on large panels and follow the flow of Lincoln's life:

  • Young Lincoln's America
  • The House Dividing
  • War for the Union
  • War for the Union and Freedom
  • Legacies

Special Displays and Programs

In addition to the main exhibit, you can see Lincoln items held in the Library's Special Collections.

Renderings of Lincoln by noted artists Wendy Allen and Sam Fink, reproductions of Civil War era clothing, and information about Gettysburg's Lincoln Cemetery (the burial site of U.S. Colored Troops, American Civil War Veterans) are also on display. Details can be found on our Additional Exhibits page.

Special programming includes lectures, music, dance, film and more. See the Schedule of Events for more details.

Art by Sam Fink
Musselman Library Special Collections

About Musselman Library

Musselman Library is one of only 39 libraries selected to host this national exhibit. Gettysburg College offers a perfect venue for Forever Free as it sits near the site of the Civil War's most devastating battle and Lincoln's legendary address.

Gettysburg College
Pennsylvania Hall
ca. 1845

About African American Studies

Lincoln 104 by Wendy Allen

The African American Studies program provides all students with an extensive insight into the world in which we live by studying the experiences and contributions of peoples of African descent.

The Forever Free exhibit examines a critical period in the lives of African Americans – the fight for emancipation.

Studying the Civil War at Gettysburg College

Gettysburg College has long been a mecca for Civil War and Lincoln scholars and is known for the Civil War Institute, the Civil War Era Studies program, and the Gettysburg Semester. Philanthropists Richard Gilder and Lewis Lehrman, along with Professor Gabor Boritt, Director of Gettysburg College's Civil War Institute, also founded the Lincoln Prize in 1990.

The exhibit is free and open to the public. Explore this web site to learn more about: the Schedule of Events; Additional Exhibits mounted to compliment Forever Free; Musselman Library and Adams County Library Collections relevant to the exhibit; Lincoln in Gettysburg; Online Resources (related web sites); and curriculum information For Teachers.

For more information please call 717-337-6600 or email Kerri Odess-Harnish at

"Forever Free: Abraham Lincoln's Journey to Emancipation" has been organized by the Huntington Library, San Marino, California, and the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, New York City, New York, in cooperation with the American Library Association Public Programs Office. This exhibition has been made possible by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, promoting excellence in the humanities.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this exhibition and related programs do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

This program is supported in part by the Adams County Arts Council's STAR Grant Program, which is funded by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency, the Adams County Commissioners, and the Borough of Gettysburg.