News | November 15, 2018

Manuscript of Gettysburg Address on Display at Library of Congress for 155th Anniversary

On Nov. 19, 1863, Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The Library of Congress will recognize the 155th anniversary of this historic speech with a one-day celebration, including work stations for a hands-on experience transcribing Lincoln documents using the Library’s new crowdsourcing tool.

Visitors will have the opportunity to view the earliest known draft of the Gettysburg Address and participate in a live interactive crowdsourcing challenge of Lincoln’s manuscripts Monday, Nov. 19, beginning at 10 a.m. in the Library’s Thomas Jefferson Building Great Hall, 10 First Street, Washington, D.C. The event will begin with an introduction by Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden. She will be followed by historian and manuscript specialist Michelle Krowl, who will talk about Lincoln and the Gettysburg Address. A portion of this program will be livestreamed at Lincoln county schools across the country and the general public are invited to virtually participate via the livestream and our new crowdsourcing website at

The Gettysburg Address is considered one of Lincoln’s most prominent speeches. Lincoln had been invited to give a "few appropriate remarks" during a ceremony to dedicate a cemetery for Union soldiers killed at the Battle of Gettysburg. The Library holds two original drafts of the Gettysburg Address that reveal the ways in which Abraham Lincoln prepared his now-famous comments.

These drafts are part of the Abraham Lincoln Collection. The papers of the lawyer, representative from Illinois and 16th president of the United States, contain approximately 40,550 documents dating from 1774 to 1948. Roughly half of the collection, more than 20,000 documents, comprising 62,000 images, as well as transcriptions of approximately 10,000 documents, is available online. Between 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. visitors will engage with the primary sources of this collection and decipher Lincoln’s handwriting using the website.

The excitement can be followed and shared on Twitter @LibraryCongress and #LetterstoLincoln. is a crowdsourcing program that invites virtual volunteers to transcribe text in digitized images from the Library’s historic collections. This program enables anyone with access to a computer to experience first-handaccounts in history while contributing to the Library’s ability to make these treasures more searchable and readable. The program launched in October with the Letters to Lincoln Challenge, inviting the public to transcribe 10,000 items from the Abraham Lincoln papers by the end of 2018. and this event reflects advancement toward a goal in the Library’s new user-centered strategic plan: to expand access by making unique collections, experts and services available when, where and how users need them. Learn more about the Library’s five-year plan at and the digital strategy at

The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States— and extensive materials from around the world— both on-site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office. Explore collections, reference services and other programs and plan a visit at; access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at; and register creative works of authorship at