About the databases

Since the fall of 2009, the team behind the Lincoln Collection, which includes staff at both the Indiana State Museum in Indianapolis and the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana, has been digitizing the Collection objects into four separate databases. The digitization process includes photographing or scanning the objects and then creating an object record that holds all the available information surrounding an object such as origin year, creator or author, keywords, provenance and other important data.

There are many objects that have been digitized at this point, and the process is ongoing so the number grows larger every day. While some records are more complete than others, it should be noted that the pertinent information these institutions and the Collection curators have for an object has been included in its record.

The Lincoln Collection website must pull together the data records from all four databases into one place and present those records to you, the website visitor, in as consistent a manner as possible. The fact that the data is being imported from differing databases in multiple locations helps to explain why there are some variations among object records. For example, an object record for a book will hold information that is unique to a book object, and it will differ from a record for a piece of fine art.

Despite best efforts, the data may be imperfect. However, it is the website's goal to identify places where the data can be improved to better serve its presentation, and to be optimized for online searchability and usability. Over time, the hope is to create an online destination suitable for both Abraham Lincoln researchers and those who are simply curious.

Publishing the Collection records online makes the Collection accessible to everyone. Having the objects on display in a museum or exhibition setting is important (and that still happens), but making the entire Collection available on the Internet opens access to exponentially more people. The goal is to create an online destination that will draw in people of all ages and levels of interest - from grade school children to seasoned Lincoln scholars.

If you wish to cite any of the records in this database, please use the following format:

Lincoln Financial Foundation Collection. "Name of item." Web. Day, Month, Year, <URL>.