“This is a collection that was donated to us some time ago and will add to the scholarship of those who study the life and times of Abraham Lincoln,” said Dr. Charlotte Warren, president of LLCC, at a brief ceremony at the LLCC Library. “I commend our Library dean and her staff, who have determined that this collection is best suited to a research institution. And what better one than our own Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, right here in Springfield.”
Tammy Kuhn-Schnell, dean of the LLCC Library, explained why the books are a perfect fit for a research library such as the ALPLM.
“Their value is in the scholarship that they bring to Dr. Thomas’s body of work,” said Kuhn-Schnell. “We feel the collection will be more widely used by patrons and researchers at the ALPLM, expanding access to those who seek it.”
Ian Hunt, acquisitions chief of the ALPLM, gratefully accepted the gift on behalf of the presidential library.
“In the world of Lincoln scholarship, Benjamin P. Thomas remains a significant figure,” Hunt noted. “These books from the personal library of Dr. Thomas include numerous handwritten notes and observances that could be invaluable to current scholars seeking to understand his vision of President Lincoln. This gift will complement the Thomas family manuscript collections already on hand at the presidential library, and Lincoln Land Community College should be applauded for its outstanding generosity and commitment to scholarship.”
Kuhn-Schnell said the donation is indicative of the cooperative nature of the library community. “LLCC is pleased to contribute this collection to a renowned research institution, in addition to enhancing access to Thomas’s scholarship and materials.”
She said that Thomas lived in Springfield from 1932 until his death in 1956. During that time, he presided over the Abraham Lincoln Association’s research program and was a businessman and farmer. His wife, Salome, a Springfield native known for her generosity, donated his personal book collection to the LLCC Library prior to her death in 1999.
Dr. Thomas’s most known works include “Abraham Lincoln: A Biography,” first published in 1952; “Lincoln’s New Salem,” first published in 1934; and “Lincoln, 1847-1853, Being the Day-by-Day Activities of Abraham Lincoln,” first published in 1936.