Illinois faces challenges in preserving Abraham Lincoln’s legacy

From the Chicago Tribune:

Douglas Wilson, co-director of the renowned Lincoln Studies Center at Knox College in Galesburg, said the museum “isn’t for scholars.” But he accepts its shortcomings because it comes with an astonishing research library that is “a fantastic resource for studying Lincoln.”

“As long as they built a new, big, state-of-the-art library for us to work with,” Burlingame said, chuckling, “they can do anything they want to the museum.”

In December, Lincoln fans lamented the state’s closing of the Vandalia Statehouse and Lincoln Log Cabin near Charleston, two important sites. The same month, the presidential library and museum lost the chance to acquire a collection of Lincoln documents and artifacts valued at $20 million.

David Blanchette, spokesman for the $150 million presidential library and museum, acknowledged the loss to an Indianapolis consortium. But he noted that the library already has more than 12 million Lincoln items, and that almost 2 million people have visited the library and museum since their April 2005 opening.