Display tells the story of Lincoln’s struggle to meet the constitutional challenges of the Civil War
“Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War,” a traveling exhibition premieres at the Christopher Center for Library and Information Resources at Valparaiso University with an opening reception on Thursday, Nov. 13. The collection examines how President Lincoln used the Constitution to confront three intertwined crises of the Civil War — the secession of Southern states, slavery and wartime civil liberties.
“We are delighted to have been selected as a site for this exhibition,” said Rachael Muszkiewicz, assistant professor of library services. “As a new president, Abraham Lincoln was faced with enormous challenges. This exhibition shows how Lincoln grappled with difficult issues and helps visitors understand why Lincoln’s struggle with the Constitution still matters today.”
The traveling exhibition is composed of informative panels featuring photographic reproductions of original documents, including a draft of Lincoln’s first inaugural speech, the Emancipation Proclamation and the Thirteenth Amendment.
Events held in conjunction with the exhibition include:
- Opening Reception and “An Evening with Abe Lincoln,” Thursday, Nov. 13, 6 p.m., performance begins at 7 p.m. Dean Dorrell will present a one-act play based on historical documents.
- Lincoln: A Musical Portrait, Saturday, Nov. 15, 6 – 7 p.m. Angela Young Smucker, adjunct instructor in music, will give a vocal music performance with piano accompaniment.
- Civil War Indoor Encampment, Saturday, Nov. 15, 8 a.m. – 3 p.m., and Sunday, Nov. 16, 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. Living history presenters from Company B — 20th Regiment Indiana Volunteer Infantry will present on life in a Civil War camp, equipment common to the soldier, bullet manufacturing and the woman’s role during the Civil War era.
- “On Lincoln and Libraries” by Eileen Mackevich, Thursday, Nov. 20, 4:30 p.m. Mackevich is director of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.
All events take place in the Christopher Center Community Room and are free and open to the public.
The National Constitution Center and the American Library Association Public Programs Office organized the traveling exhibition, which was made possible by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: great ideas brought to life. The traveling exhibition is based on an exhibition of the same name developed by the National Constitution Center.