The Rolland Center

The Rolland Center for Lincoln Research: Now Open at the Allen County Public Library

The Lincoln Financial Foundation Collection and the Friends of the Lincoln Collection are thrilled to announce that the Rolland Center for Lincoln Research is officially open. The Center provides a space to explore the Lincoln Collection through a variety of physical displays, digital kiosks, and even a projection room that shows collection items in 180 degrees.

The current hours for the Rolland Center are:

Sunday: 12 to 5

Monday: 9 to 5

Tuesday: 9 to 9

Wednesday: 9 to 5

Thursday: 9 to 9

Friday: 9 to 6

Saturday: 9 to 6

If you’d like to arrange for a personal tour or have any questions, please email [email protected]

The Rolland Center: A Legacy of Scholarship

The Rolland Center for Lincoln Research is a program of the Friends of the Lincoln Collection in Indiana, Inc. in collaboration with the Allen County Public Library and the Indiana State Museum & Historic Sites. This program focuses on renewing and enhancing knowledge of the life and times of Abraham Lincoln through a timely suite of educational and professional activities.

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The Rolland Center for Lincoln Research

The Center opened in January of 2022 at the Allen County Public Library in downtown Fort Wayne. The Center highlights the thousands of amazing items in the Lincoln Collection that are currently housed and curated by ACPL.  These include original photographs of Abraham Lincoln, his family, Cabinet members, and generals; letters and documents to and from Lincoln; diaries of Civil War soldiers; and so much more.  The Collection was previously located in the lower levels of the Main Library, where the collection was not regularly available to the public.

The Center also incorporates an expert-in-residence program.  That expert may be a scholar, artist, or someone else who works with the materials in the Collection to further an understanding of Lincoln.

There are four points that serve as the North Star for the Rolland Center, guiding the project team members as they worked through the planning and construction process.

  1. Connect people to the life and times of Abraham Lincoln.
  2. Display and bring to life this incomparable collection of Lincoln materials.
  3. Deliver a 21st century engaging experience.
  4. Make the Center a destination for people inside and outside of our community.

ACPL has two Lincoln Librarians on staff, who expertly developed and organized the physical and digital displays. The displays presently focus on the following themes:

  • Lincoln overview
  • Lincoln family album
  • Commander-in-Chief
  • Civil War and Slavery

This is not a typical museum experience.  Instead, we use technology in such a way that individuals of varying abilities, ages, and knowledge levels are able to fully engage with the Collection. There’s truly something here for everyone.

The project is entirely funded by the Friends of the Lincoln Collection. Construction began in January 2021. The pandemic impacted the supply chains and construction.

We will continue to share updates about the Rolland Center as we move forward.  We hope you share our excitement for this project and the new opportunity it provides to enrich our community through lifelong learning and discovery.

For more information about the Rolland Center and the Lincoln Collection, contact us at [email protected]