Helena Public Library to debut Lincoln exhibit

Helena’s Jane B. Holmes Public Library will take a historical turn starting Oct. 6, when the library will begin showing an exhibit of 10 iconic Abraham Lincoln portraits.

The free exhibit, which came courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery and the Smithsonian Institution, is intended to mark the 200th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s birth in 1809.

Library director Daniel Dearing said the Jane B. Holmes Library is one of only 10 in the state to receive these exhibits.

“It’s for people to be able to learn more about history and government, and to get a glimpse of the importance of photography in our country and our culture,” Dearing said.

The photographs, which are organized chronologically, show images from 1857, when Lincoln was a new congressman, to 1865, the year he was assassinated in his second term as president.

Dearing said with so many young families in Helena, the library serves as a center of information for growing minds.

“We want to make sure that people get the chance to see something that would be representative of what the Smithsonian Institution actually has,” he said.

The collection will be housed in the library’s reference room, which also houses the Alabama Collection.

“We’re hoping that’ll kind of raise awareness and get people in there to find out a little more about our collection,” Dearing said. “It looks really neat, so we’re hoping when we get it put up, everybody’s going to like it.”

He said the library would likely send the Lincoln collection on to another library or organization after the exhibition ends.

The exhibit will open at 3:30 p.m. Oct. 6 and will stay up through Oct. 30.