When the manuscripts in the Lincoln collection find their new home in the Allen County Public Library next month, they will be joined by two museum staff members.
The museum workers will join the librarys staff, but money raised by the Friends of the Lincoln Museum – not general property taxes – will be used to pay the museum workers salaries, library Director Jeff Krull said.
Money is already available to make that transition, Krull said.
The library has reduced staff over the past year to meet a smaller budget next year when new tax caps will further reduce the taxes property owners pay. The museum staffers will work in the genealogy department and will help prioritize which documents should be digitized first, said Curt Witcher, genealogy manager.
Digitizing will begin when money is available – also through the efforts of the Friends of the Lincoln Museum, Krull said.
Both museum and library staff will help move the books, documents and clippings contained in the collection in May. The move will take four or five days because the fragile manuscripts must be handled carefully, Krull said.
After the collection arrives at the library, it will be available for inspection by appointment only. Krull said the library will follow like procedures the Lincoln Museum used in allowing researchers and those with a specific need to view the collection.
Creating digital copies of the works will allow the general public to browse through or use the collection, Krull said.
The Lincoln Museums $20 million collection – the largest privately held Lincoln collection in the world – will be spilt between the library and the Indiana State Museum in Indianapolis, which will accept Lincoln artifacts.
The library and state museum formed a coalition last year after the Lincoln Financial Foundation, the charitable arm of Lincoln Financial Group, announced it would seek a new home for the collection. The coalition also included the Indiana Historical Society, Indiana State Library and Friends of the Lincoln Museum.