“Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War” Traveling Exhibit to Open at Providence Public Library Sunday, December 1

Programs Kick Off Monday, December 2 with Keynote Address by Chief Justice Frank Williams and Continue through January

“Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War,” a national traveling exhibition which focuses on Abraham Lincoln’s struggle to meet the constitutional challenges of the Civil War, opens at Providence Public Library (150 Empire Street, Providence – 1st Floor) on Sunday, December 1.  The exhibit will be open during normal library hours through Tuesday, January 21.  All are invited to take a guided walk through the Lincoln Exhibit on Saturday, December 7 at 10:30 am.  Classroom teachers and other community groups are welcome to arrange a guided walk-though; please call Louise Moulton at 401-455-8134 or email lmoulton@provlib.org to reserve a time.

Visit the Library’s accompanying exhibit with related items from Providence Public Library’s Special Collections -- Providence Journal Rhode Island Room, First Floor.

OPENING RECEPTION     Monday, December 2 - 6:30 pm

KENOTE ADDRESS: Abraham Lincoln at Midpoint: Emancipation and Gettysburg, presented by Frank J. Williams, Chief Justice (Retired) 

Commemorating the 150th anniversary of the battle at Gettysburg and President Lincoln’s address, Rhode Island’s preeminent Lincoln scholar Chief Justice Frank J. Williams (Retired) will deliver the keynote lecture. Frank J. Williams was appointed Chief Justice of the R.I. Supreme Court by Governor Lincoln Almond and confirmed in January 2001. He served as Chief through December 2008, when he took “senior” status as a jurist without administrative duties.

Abraham Lincoln was elected the sixteenth President of the United States in 1860, at a time when the nation was falling apart. By the time he took the oath of office, seven states had already seceded from the Union. The exhibition vividly evokes Lincoln’s struggle to resolve the basic questions that divided Americans at the most perilous moment in the nation’s history: Was the United States truly one nation, or was it a confederacy of sovereign and separate states? How could a country founded on the belief that “all men are created equal” tolerate slavery? In a national crisis, would civil liberties be secure?

The National Constitution Center and the American Library Association Public Programs Office organized the exhibit with the help of a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH): great ideas brought to life. The traveling exhibition is based on an exhibition of the same name developed by the National Constitution Center.

Providence Public Library is offering free public programs/lectures and other events in connection with the exhibit, including a museum field trip and a film series. For complete program details, call 401-455-8000, or visit www.provlib.org/lincoln-constitution-and-civil-war-exhibit-programs.


Sunday, December 8 - 2:00 pm

Book Sale & Signing to follow

"The Greatest Question Ever Presented to Practical Statesmanship:" Abraham Lincoln and the Problem of Reconstruction, with John C. Rodrigue

Thursday, December 12 - 7:00 pm

Book Sale & Signing to follow

Gettysburg's Unknown Soldier, with Mark H. Dunkelman 

Thursday, December 19 - 7:00 pm

Book Sale & Signing to follow

Home of the Brave: Immigrant Medal of Honor Recipients of the Civil War, with Les Rolston

Sunday, January 12 - 2:00 pm

Book Sale & Signing to follow

Quilts and Textiles -- Legacies of the American Civil War, with Madelyn Shaw

Sunday, January 19 - 2:00 pm

Book Sale & Signing to follow

Hidden History of Rhode Island and the Civil War, with Frank L. Grzyb

FIELD TRIP -- Governor Henry Lippitt House

Join us for a tour of this historic mansion on Providence’s East Side built during the Civil War and completed in 1865.

Day:   Saturday, January 18, 2014

Time: 1:30 pm – meet at Lippitt House, 199 Hope Street, Providence

Cost:   $8/adult (discounted group rate)

Slots are limited to 15 attendees – please register early!  REGISTRATION FORM


The Library will also run a Civil War FRIDAY FILM SERIES December 6 through January 24 from 1:00 - 4:30 pm – PPL Auditorium (3rd Floor), as follows:

December 6:  Gone with the Wind (1939) Directed by George Cukor 

December 13: Friendly Persuasion (1949) Directed by William Wyler

December 20:  The Red Badge of Courage (1951) Directed by John Huston

December 27:  Shenandoah (1965) Directed by Andrew V. McLaglen

January 3:  Glory (1989) Directed by Edward Zwick

January 10Gettysburg (1993) Directed by Ronald Maxwell

January 17:  Cold Mountain (2003) Directed by Anthony Minghella

January 24:  Lincoln (2012) Directed by Steven Spielberg