We’re looking for an archivist and librarian to join our team at one of the nation’s best repositories of Lincoln and Civil War material. If you’ve got a master’s degree in library science; a background in archival work with manuscripts, photos, prints, and rare books and pamphlets; and an interest in nineteenth-century American history, then click here for more information. I’d especially encourage those of you with knowledge of PastPerfect software and experience in digitization to apply.
And if you’re in the public history or archival field, please feel free to share this opening as widely as possible.
February is usually a big month at the Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum. Here are a few events we’ve got planned for the next few weeks, and admission is free to every single one.
- Thursday, Feb. 1 is the fifth installment of our free lecture and discussion series Of the People, By the People, For the People, which uses Lincoln’s writings as a springboard for thinking about citizenship and the Constitution.
- Ever wanted to see some of the stuff we don’t keep on display? Feb. 3 is a rare chance to get a glimpse inside the vault, with special presentations every half hour starting at 1:00 p.m. Our archivist will be showing off a few of the many items that aren’t on permanent exhibit, and we’ll give you a peek behind the scenes to see how we preserve our manuscript collections and get a close-up look at some of our most precious and delicate artifacts.
- To celebrate Black History Month, we’re hosting a weekly film series devoted to dramatizations of African American history. We’ll be kicking things off with The Help on Tuesday, Feb. 6, followed on successive Tuesday nights by Lincoln, Loving, and To Kill a Mockingbird. The screenings are free, and we’ll be serving up popcorn.
- Interested in learning more about online history resources? On Thursday, Feb. 8 we’ll help you find your way around UNC’s Documenting the American South database at our monthly Community Digital History Workshop. DocSouth is a gold mine; I’ve made extensive use of it over the years. If you’re a teacher, researcher, or genealogist who’s just getting started in historical databases, this session will come in quite handy.
- The Feb. 13 installment of our monthly Tad’s Tots program for kids ages 0-5 will spotlight the Underground Railroad.
- President’s Day weekend is, as you might imagine, a pretty big deal for us. On Friday, Feb. 16 at 6:00 p.m., Dr. Jason Silverman will lecture on Lincoln and nineteenth-century immigration, the subject of his 2015 book. We’ll have copies available for signing.
- On Saturday, Feb. 17 you can join us as we belatedly celebrate Lincoln’s birthday with cake, kids’ activities, and a look back at LMU’s connection to the film Abe Lincoln in Illinois.
- Even if you can’t make one of our events, February is still a great time to visit, because we offer free weekend admission all month.
If you’d like more info about any of these events, give us a call at (423) 869-6235, contact our Program Director by phone at (423) 869-6607, or shoot her an email at natalie.sweet@LMUnet.edu.
I’m pleased to announce that I’m starting a new gig at an old place—old to me, anyway, since it’s where my career in history started.
I’m once again hanging my hat at Lincoln Memorial University as the director of the Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum and instructor of history. My dream job has always been to work at a small or medium-sized institution where I could combine teaching with some type of museum or public history work. I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to do so in the region where I grew up, and at the institution where I first fell in love with history as a discipline.
I haven’t abandoned my dissertation, though. I’ll be writing it while working, with an eye toward moving up from instructor to assistant professor once it’s finished. So in addition to spending time with my Revolutionary frontiersmen, I’ll be getting re-acquainted with an old friend…
If you’re in driving distance of Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, TN, you’ve got two opportunities to hear Dr. Paul Harvey give the 2017 Dr. Robert L. Kincaid Lecture, “African American Politics and the Judeo-Christian Tradition.” He’ll give a 45-minute talk to the LMU community at 11:00 on Sept. 21, and then a full lecture with Q&A and a reception at 7:00 that same evening. Both presentations are at the Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum.
Harvey is a professor of history and Presidential Teaching Scholar at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs. His books include The Color of Christ: The Son of God and the Saga of Race in America (co-authored with Edward J. Blum); Through the Storm, Through the Night: A History of African American Christianity; and Bounds of Their Habitation: Race and Religion in American History.
Here’s an event for all you East Tennessee devotees of Lincoln, the Civil War, and legal and constitutional history. Dr. Daniel Farber will deliver the annual R. Gerald McMurtry Lecture at Lincoln Memorial University’s Duncan School of Law at noon on Thursday, Oct. 27. The title of his talk is “Lincoln and the Transformation of American Constitutional Law.” LMU’s Abraham Lincoln Institute for the Study of Leadership and Public Policy is sponsoring the presentation.
Farber is Sho Sato Professor of Law at UC-Berkely. He is a prolific scholar whose books include Lincoln’s Constitution, A History of the American Constitution, and Retained by the People: The “Silent” Ninth Amendment and the Constitutional Rights Americans Don’t Know They Have.
The lecture itself is at the LMU-DSOL building at 601 W Summit Hill Drive in Knoxville, but you can also watch via simulcast at the Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum on the Harrogate campus.
…things are still turning up and going kablooie, even in the Pacific Northwest:
On April 22, members of the U.S. Army’s 707th Explosive Ordinance Disposal Company left their base on a mission to detonate a very unusual object.
Construction crews had discovered an Absterdam Type 2/3 Projectile in Ilwaco, Washington. This type of explosive artillery shell dates to around the time of the American Civil War.
The round sat undisturbed until being discovered more than a century-and-half later. It may sound strange, but this happens more often than you might think.
Capt. Shawn McMickle, the soldiers’ company commander, said that he’s responded to three Civil War-era explosives since he’s served with the Army in the Pacific Northwest.
The same thing happened at LMU when I was an undergrad. Some guys were digging a water line and unearthed something like fifteen Civil War-era shells near an old dorm building. To make a long story short, an EOD team came down from Ft. Campbell, dug up the whole cache, took them behind the basketball arena, and a massive BANG! ensued.
Oddly enough, the shells turned up right across from the museum. The campus is practically within sight of Cumberland Gap, which changed hands four times during the war, so I suppose we shouldn’t have been too surprised. But it was still a shock to find live shells buried just a stone’s throw from our galleries, with their Civil War weapons sitting dormant and harmless in glass cases. One look at the EOD guys’ gear reminded you what we too often forget: those objects were meant to wreak havoc on human bodies.
Speaking of buried Civil War artifacts, two guys just got a hefty fine and two years of supervised release for pilfering a Hotchkiss shell in southeastern Tennessee. Let this be a reminder to all you knuckleheads to let sleeping ordnance lie.
Cross-posted to the blog of the Abraham Lincoln Institute for the Study of Leadership and Public Policy
To mark the 150th anniversary of Lincoln’s assassination, here’s Steven Wilson of the Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum with one of the most special artifacts in the LMU collection.