By Stuart Schneider
I began collecting Lincoln items in law school (mid-1970s). I had collected Civil War items since I was 8 years old and had a few photos of Lincoln. In law school, I sold off my Civil War collection and began to look for original Lincoln photographs, taken and printed while he was living. I like the rare, beardless photos best and find one about every two or three years. Some of the other pieces were purchased for the collection to round it out a bit and because they were graphically interesting – like the Grand National Banner.
I once traveled up to Lockport, New York to buy a collection and found that the collector had purchased hundreds and hundreds of new pieces dealing with Lincoln. Few if any were more than 25 years old. I was disappointed, but it made me appreciate that Lincoln appealed to everyone that read about him, regardless of their collecting interests or styles. I have always liked to collect things that were hard to find. I never needed to collect everything ever made. My collections are on the small side, but the quality and appeal of the pieces is great. I enjoy sharing them on the Internet, because it is like a giant art gallery where you can see wonderful things. I frame all my pieces in period-appropriate frames. I am also the author of a book called Collecting Picture and Photo Frames.
All images (C) Stuart Schneider, 2008. For more of Schneider’s Lincoln collection, visit http://www.wordcraft.net/lincoln1.html.This is the online version of “My Abraham Lincoln,” the Lincoln bicentennial exhibit currently on display at the Robert H. Smith Visitor Education Center at President Lincoln’s Cottage. The online exhibition serves as a place for Lincoln collectors to share their treasures digitally, creating an online resource for Lincolniana. Lincolniana is broadly defined as all items (artifacts, ephemera, books, etc.) having to do with Abraham Lincoln. Share your Lincolniana by contacting Erin Carlson Mast, Curator at President Lincoln’s Cottage at EMast@savingplaces.org.