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Indiana University Bloomington

Online Tour: Lincoln Room

Photograph of Lincoln Room
Foyer | Main Gallery | Lincoln Room | Ellison Room | Elisabeth Ball Room
Slocum Room | Reading Room | Portrait Gallery | Mendel Room | Wordsworth Room

The Lincoln Room was created in honor of Joseph Benjamin Oakleaf, a lawyer from Moline, Illinois, and a great collector of Lincolniana. The bronze bust at the west end of the room is of Mr. Oakleaf, whose collection of Lincoln materials forms the basis of the Lilly Library's Lincoln holdings.

The bronze head of Lincoln is the work of Gutzon Borglum, sculptor of the faces on Mount Rushmore. The portrait of Lincoln by Jesse Atwood shortly after the election of 1860 was the first painting to depict Lincoln with a beard. The Joseph Ames portrait, painted in 1865, was the last portrait of Lincoln done from life.

The books on the shelves are a part of the Indiana-Oakleaf Lincoln collection, which includes thousands of books, photographs, pamphlets, broadsides, and manuscripts. All of the items in the Lincoln Collection are available for use in the Reading Room.

The furniture is of the style of the Lincoln period and includes a desk used in Lincoln's Springfield, Illinois law office. The green damask wall covering is a copy of that used in the White House during Lincoln's presidency. The chandelier was made in Venice and contains more than 3,200 pieces.

On continuing exhibit in the Lincoln Room is the New Testament portion of the Gutenberg Bible (Mainz, 1455).