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Cornell Displays Emancipation Proclamation

“Reading the Emancipation Proclamation,” engraving by J. W. Watte after drawing by H. W. Herrick (1864)

To celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, Cornell University Library is publicly displaying its original copy, which holds some little-known history. President Abraham Lincoln signed the library’s copy of the historic document, which was set to be entered into the official record—but the President noticed a mistake made by the clerk transcribing the document. A new copy was prepared and signed later in the day, but the original version with the clerical error had already been leaked and circulated in several newspapers.

The original document will be part of the library’s “Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation at 150” exhibition, and it will be on display from Feb. 11 to Feb. 18 in the library’s Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections (RMC), Kroch Library, level 2B.
On Tuesday, Feb. 12 (Lincoln’s birthday) and Monday, Feb. 18 (President’s Day), RMC will host guided tours of the Emancipation Proclamation exhibition between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

For more details, see the Cornell University Library news release.