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National Traveling Exhibition at Hudson Valley Community College Offers Fresh Perspective on Lincoln Presidency

CONTACT: Deborah Renfrew (518) 629-7180,
FOR RELEASE: Immediate, Monday, Jan. 7, 2013

President Abraham Lincoln’s wartime struggles are explored in “Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War," a traveling national exhibition on display at Hudson Valley Community College’s Marvin Library Learning Commons from Jan. 18 through Feb. 28.

Hudson Valley’s is one of only 50 libraries in the nation chosen by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Library Association as a site for the exhibition. Support for the exhibition and related programming is from the college’s first grant funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

This exhibition is especially timely as Jan. 1, 2013 marks the 150th anniversary of the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. The anniversary coupled with the November 2012 release of the movie Lincoln, one of the top-grossing films of the year, has created renewed public interest in Lincoln’s presidency.

The public is invited to view the exhibition free of charge during regular library hours. School groups are encouraged to visit and are asked to make reservations with the library by e-mail at or by phone at (518) 629-7333.

Divided into six distinct sections, the exhibition features photographic reproductions of original documents that include a draft of Lincoln’s first inaugural speech, the Emancipation Proclamation and the Thirteenth Amendment. Dramatic photographs show some major battles and altercations from the war. A striking image of Lincoln’s signature stovepipe hat serves to show visitors that he wore it not only to accentuate his height, but also to store his notes.

Internationally recognized American legal history expert Dr. Paul Finkelman, serving as the keynote speaker, officially opens the exhibition with a presentation titled “How a Railroad Lawyer Became the Great Emancipator” on Tuesday, Jan. 29 from 11 to 11:50 a.m. in the college’s Bulmer Telecommunications Center. This and other related programs to be scheduled during the six weeks of the exhibition also are open to the public at no charge.

A narrated video walk-through of the exhibition can be seen at For updated information, go to

“Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War,” a traveling exhibition for libraries, was organized by the National Constitution Center and the American Library Association Public Programs Office. The traveling exhibition is based on an exhibition of the same name developed by the National Constitution Center and currently touring the United States. “Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War” has been made possible by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Founded in 1953, Hudson Valley Community College offers more than 70 degree and certificate programs in four schools: Business; Engineering and Industrial Technologies; Health Sciences; and Liberal Arts and Sciences; and an Educational Opportunity Center for academic and career training. One of 30 community colleges in the State University of New York system, it has an enrollment of more than 13,500 students, and is known as a leader in distance learning initiatives and workforce training. Hudson Valley has more than 70,000 alumni.