Celebrate Lincoln's Birthday at the Library or Online

The Library of Congress is doing a great deal to raise awareness for itself as an institution, and that includes an ongoing technology push that carries over into the online realm. The latest exhibition at the Library of Congress is called With Malice Toward None: The Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Exhibition, and it opens to the public on Feb. 12.

The purpose of this exhibition is to offer additional insight into the 16th president, culminating several events that are taking place this year, from Lincoln’s 200th birthday to the observation of President’s Day, to Obama’s presidency, which Obama himself has used on several instances to honor his fellow citizen of Illinois.

The Library of Congress actually combines many of its on-site exhibits with online features, and it’s no different with Lincoln’s exhibition. Several Lincoln-related artifacts will be available in the digital sense, at on-site kiosks as well as on the Library’s website, which will have Lincoln’s exhibit featured here. The Library also has a specific initiative for combining the on-site and online worlds with personalized “passports” that key in at various exhibits and are linked to your email address, so you can carry on your on-site experience at home when you sign back into the website. From there, you can further explore exhibits, see details you may have missed on-site, and even receive recommendations for other content you might find interesting.

All of this comes in addition to the other technology-driven initiatives coming from the Library of Congress, which includes a partnership with photo-sharing site Flickr, among other things. The Library of Congress relies a great deal on the private sector, from a partnership with Microsoft for providing the technology behind the software running interactive on-site exhibits to the company that provides hosting for the Library’s data storage.

What that translates into is far more accessibility on the Library’s part, as it becomes more and more able to turn to the web for marketing, support and media-sharing. This comes in the form of stand-alone applications as well as integrated media-sharing options, which is a dual-ended strategy that will hopefully pay off in the end. Especially as education becomes a priority for investment and development under President Obama’s new administration, having institutions such as the Library of Congress seek more integrated ways in which to reach out to children (of all ages) is a promising move for similar programs online.