Remembering Lincoln Digital Collection

Ford’s Theatre Society
Washington, D.C.

The Remembering Lincoln Digital Collection is an IMLS-funded project of Ford’s Theatre Society (FTS) that serves to connect four audiences—teachers, students, enthusiasts and scholars—with primary sources detailing responses to the Lincoln assassination. The goal of Remembering Lincoln is to localize and personalize this well-known and oft-recounted event.

Remembering Lincoln brings together letters, diaries, newspapers, mourning ribbons, lithographs and photographs contributed by libraries, archives and museums from across the United States (more than forty repositories). It encourages users to weigh evidence from primary materials to draw conclusions about how the assassination affected individuals and institutions in their own communities, as well as to compare reactions across communities.

Through the website development process, FTS worked with an audience evaluator and a digital strategist to determine strategies for reaching the defined audiences. FTS conducted extensive audience research and planning, including creation of logic models for each audience group, focus groups with teachers and enthusiasts, and surveys of teachers, enthusiasts and scholars.. Ford’s launched the site on March 18, 2015, for the 150th anniversary of the assassination.

The project also creates a means for visitors to explore the early formation of Lincoln’s legacy by understanding how people responded to his death in its immediate aftermath. As a website, Remembering Lincoln removes geographic barriers for users to connect with the events of Lincoln’s assassination and their legacy. It enhances the ability of FTS to reach a broad audience via their online presence, and it allows them to tell mission-related stories that they do not have space to share in our relatively small exhibition galleries. Remembering Lincoln extends the mission of Ford’s Theatre by bringing the events of the assassination to life and helps today’s public see Abraham Lincoln through the eyes of those for whom he was Commander-in-Chief and Chief Executive.