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Abraham Lincoln


Abraham Lincoln


Administrative Documents



Finding Aid

Other Special Collections Exhibits

F. Ray Risdon Collection of Lincolniana and American Political Life


To say that Abraham Lincoln is one of the most revered political figures in the United States is to state a mere truism.  Few citizens, however, translate that respect into a lifetime of collecting and organizing thousands of materials that relate to the 16th President.  F. Ray Risdon (1888-1958), a Los Angeles attorney, took that dramatic and important step.  By the time he transferred his collection to Occidental College in 1957, the weight of more than 3000 books, 1500 pamphlets, 300 letters, and innumerable other items had broken the floor joists of the room in which they were kept.

Risdon’s enthusiasm was not limited to Lincoln.  He was an active participant in local and national politics, a progressive Republican whose principles led him, at times, to break from the party line.  Bipartisanship and an undying curiosity about the history of his country contributed to the wide variety of topics covered in the collection.  While its focus is on the American Civil War and the debates that surrounded it, the dates of materials range from the late 18th century to the middle of the 20th.

For a list of primary source materials in the collection, go to the finding aid, a research guide.

To search for books and other published works, go to the catalog.


About this Project / Acknowledgements

This exhibit was developed by Jonathan Sudholt as part of an internship arranged through
Simmons Graduate School of Library and Information Science.

The project is developed in collaboration with the Special Collections Department:
Dale Ann Stieber, Special Collections Librarian.



Page created by Jonathan Sudholt. Page last edited on 03/06/2013.
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