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Save the date to join us in-person or online Monday, November 19! The Library of Congress will mark the 155th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's delivery of the Gettysburg Address with a one-day celebration, featuring a pop-up exhibit of the earliest known draft of the speech, and a Letters to Lincoln transcribe-a-thon for volunteers on and offsite.


In the Washington-area on November 19th?

You're invited to the Great Hall of the Jefferson Building (Library of Congress) for the rare opportunity to see the Nicolay copy of the speech person starting at 10:30 a.m. Librarian of Congress Dr. Carla Hayden will kick off the celebration at 10 a.m., followed by a special talk about Lincoln and the Gettysburg Address by Lincoln historian and curator Michelle Krowl. After the speakers, we’ll fill the Great Hall with transcribing stations for a hands-on experience exploring and transcribing Lincoln documents on


Off site but online?

We’ll livestream the Librarian and curator’s talks, and the reading of the Gettysburg address from 10:00-10:30. After that, people at the Library and online can participate in the #LettersToLincoln Challenge on! Choose an item to transcribe or review, and join in the discussion here and on Twitter!


Opportunities for students

At 10:30 a.m. students onsite and in their own classrooms are invited to transcribe, tag, and review documents received by Abraham Lincoln throughout his career. To confirm participation for your class or students, please e-mail the Community Managers at for further instructions.


Full event details here


Transcribe-a-thon guide and discussion thread

Help us transcribe 30,000+ pages of the Abraham Lincoln Papers by the end of 2018!

Around half of the digitized Abraham Lincoln Papers, primarily materials written by Lincoln, have been transcribed by other volunteers at Knox College and elsewhere, and are already keyword searchable at The remaining 10,000+ items including letters and other materials sent to him have not yet been transcribed. These include materials by writers ranging from friends and associates from Lincoln’s Springfield days, well-known political figures and reformers, and constituents writing to their president. There's even the occasional document in Lincoln's own hand! Completing the Letters to Lincoln Challenge will make all of the digital Lincoln Papers word-searchable and accessible to future readers. Just imagine the new research that will be possible once we've achieved this goal.

Your Community Managers, reference librarians and curatorial staff here at the Library of Congress will be cheering you on with bonus historical context and resources all along the way, as well as some special rewards for goals met!

Our first challenge milestone is completion of all the material in the first two Campaign projects: "1830-1839, first forays in politics and law" and "1840-1849, marriage, election to Congress" by November 1. Can you transcribe even just one letter and share the challenge with one friend to help push toward our goal?  When the project completes we’ll move onto the next exciting decade of Lincoln's life, the 1850s when he returned to politics.

As you dig in to the Letters to Lincoln Campaign, we hope you'll take time to share news of your experiences here on History Hub. What exciting things are your finding? Is this having an impact on your research or the books you're reading for pleasure? What requests did the general public have for Lincoln and how did they make their arguments about the causes that mattered to them?  How did his friends address him once he became President?  What personal connections can you make to the writers and their subjects?  We can’t wait to hear what you learn!