TOCWOC – A Civil War Blog

21st Century Abe: A New Web Site for the Lincoln Bicentennial

Alexis Lerro, the Project Manager and Research Coordinator at 21st Century Abe, a new Lincoln web site created for the Lincoln Bicentennial, recently contacted TOCWOC with some information about the site:

PHILADELPHIA — The Rosenbach Museum & Library commemorates Abraham Lincoln’s 200th birthday with the launch of The interactive website is now live and invites site visitors to celebrate Lincoln’s life, work and words through creative interpretations of 30 documents from the Rosenbach’s collection of rare and significant Lincoln materials, such as speeches, letters and notes. The innovative website encourages visitors to participate in the conversation about the 16th President of the United States, view the handwritten Lincoln documents (along with transcripts) digitally and contribute responses in words, songs, videos, photos, drawings, web links and other media.

21st-Century Abe sheds light on Lincoln’s views on race, his patterns of thought and rhetoric, and his role as a celebrity, both in his own day and ours.

The 30 featured documents, many rarely seen by the public, range from the Baltimore Address to Lincoln’s attempt to explain his family history.

The site features creative interpretations of the Lincoln materials by scholar Douglas Wilson, artist/illustrator Maira Kalman, musician Bryce Dessner of the band The National, Philadelphia comedy theater company 1812 Productions and multimedia artists Archive (Anne Walsh and Chris Kubick).


Site visitors can interact with the diverse content in a variety of ways including:

• Read and listen to short essays about each of the documents in 21st-Century Abe by Douglas Wilson, Ph.D., one of the country’s most renowned Abraham Lincoln scholars.

• View the illustrated “Finding Lincoln” by Maira Kalman, a 44-panel story which weaves the life of Abraham Lincoln with Kalman’s own personal story about her journey to find Abe.

• Download an original Lincoln playlist. Created by Bryce Dessner, “The Lincoln Shuffle” is a series of non-linear compositions (based on the work of George Ives, a contemporary of Lincoln) featuring a variety of acoustic instruments.

• Explore “One Lincoln after Another”, a series of videos, photographs, and commentary created by multimedia artists Archive (Chris Kubick and Anne Walsh). The project features photographs of the Lincoln documents, a trip to several Lincoln monuments – including one in Tijuana – and more.

• In the spring, 1812 Productions will explore Lincoln’s humor through a series of audio pieces.

• Ongoing contests encourage visitors to find Lincoln in their world and interact with the site content in a variety of creative ways, including contests for best poster design, best punditry, and best original media submission.

Prizes include a limited edition 21st-Century Abe hat, winning work displayed online and at the Rosenbach, and a grand prize trip for two to Philadelphia with a private tour of the museum and its Lincoln exhibition.

Endorsed by the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission

Endorsed by the Pennsylvania Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission

I encourage TOCWOC”s readers to go check it out!  I’ve added a link to 21st Century Abe’s blog in TOCWOC’s Civil War blog roll.

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