The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum opened their doors to visitors again this past Wednesday, with a new feature celebrating the facility’s anniversary.
Communications Director for the library and museum, Chris Willis says that both the anniversary and the reopening to the public are a big deal to the staff.
“We think just reopening is pretty special in and off itself. So we are thrilled to have people coming back. Everyone here is very proud of Mr. Lincoln and very proud of this institution, and it’s been frustrating not to be able to share that with our normal visitors, and so we are just really thrilled to be able to open our doors and let people back again.”
Wills says in celebration of the museum’s 15th anniversary, a freshly overhauled exhibit called, “The Mr. Lincoln Theater,” will show videos that highlight the institution’s development, growth and contributions to Illinois.
“We are debuting a modified exhibit to celebrate our 15th anniversary. We’ve had a feature called ‘Ask Mr. Lincoln’ ever since we opened, that played audio of historians discussing President Lincoln, and an actor answering questions in Lincoln’s voice. And that has gotten a little old and outdated, so we created a new ‘Mr. Lincoln Theater’ that will feature new content about President Lincoln.
But since this is our 15th year, right now it’s showing videos about the creation of the museum and library, it’s accomplishment’s, it’s impact, how we try to tell the Lincoln story. So if anyone is curious about how this place came to be, we are telling that story in the new ‘Mr. Lincoln Theater’.”
Wills says he remembers how excited Illinoisans were when the museum and library first opened, and he believes people will have a renewed sense of pride when they see the exhibit detailing how the structures, and displays came together.
Wills says special precautions are in place to ease people’s fears of attending the exhibits during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are doing a lot to make sure everyone is healthy and safe. We are doing it on our side and we are also asking our visitors to do some things to keep everybody safe. First and foremost visitors will have to wear masks while they are here. We are also taking everybody’s temperature when they arrive and asking them a few screening questions. Anybody who has a temperature or says they feel ill will not be admitted to the museum and library.
Then inside we are asking everyone to please remember to keep some distance from other folks. Be polite and be considerate of their space. It’s easy to remember, we are asking everyone to stay one Lincoln away from other folks. That is six feet four inches away from the other visitors.”
Wills says they are doing everything they can to clean and disinfect every inch of the building as often as possible to mitigate the spread of the virus. He says the theaters in the museum will be cleaned between each viewing, and each morning a team armed with sprayers will disinfect all areas of the facility before opening to the public.
Tickets are not being sold at the door at this time. Wills says in an effort to control the number of people in the museum, tickets need to be ordered in advance.
The museum will be open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days a week, and visitors can buy tickets up to two weeks in advance at www.PresidentLincoln.Illinois.gov or by calling 217-558-8844
The library will be open 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on weekdays, but admission will be by appointment only. Researchers who want to schedule a visit should email ALPLM.firstname.lastname@example.org or call the reference desk at 217-524-6358.