“New” Photos Discovered of Lincoln’s Inauguration
One of the previously misidentified photographs
Background post: New photo of Lincoln at Gettysburg Address
Museums and archives around the country contains millions of documents, photographs, recordings, files, and other historic material. Some of these are in modern, environmentally-controlled atmospheres such as the $7.5 million dollar storage area Pennsylvania is constructing at the State Library. Others are kept in poorly controlled office, library or warehouse space, where humidity and temperature swings are deteriorating the collections.
At times, these historic collections are so large that no one is really sure what they contain, especially if they are misidentified with the wrong captions. Such was the recent case of some Lincoln-related photos at the Library of Congress. A sharp-eyed researcher found “new” photos of Lincoln’s Second Inauguration (March 4, 1865).
A researcher at the Library of Congress made an interesting discovery this week. Glass negatives of President Lincoln’s second inauguration were labeled incorrectly as being from the Grand Review of the Armies following the war. A patron had suggested to the library’s curator of photography, Carol Johnson, that the on-line catalog captions appeared to be wrong, but had not connected the dots to place these photos in their actual context.
Johnson found a clue to the misidentification as she examined old logbooks. The notation “Lincoln?” was written in the margin. She made the connection by comparing the three miscaptioned images with the two known images of Lincoln’s inauguration. The negatives “add to our knowledge of this special event,” she said.
Read the article and view the photographs.