Simon condemns rubber Lincolns

If I called the Lincoln Museum plans "Disneyesque" you might think this was overreaching - except that the museum consulted with Disney and adopted the mouse's recommendations.

The editor of Grant's papers, John Y. Simon, has placed his displeasure on the record and I was lucky enough to find a copy of his editorial in its entirety right here.

It is more than a little outrageous that Library and Museum chief Richard Norton Smith, a celebrity pop historian, could publicly laugh at another town's plans to build a giant Lincoln statue and theme park while he presides over the installation of animatronic figures that will preclude (for space reasons) the exhibition of important Lincoln papers and artifacts. In Simon's words,

Here a truly great library crouches like an afterthought, and a massive collection of some 46,000 Lincoln manuscripts, paintings, photographs, rare books, and artifacts lacks exhibit space. These treasures include the Gettysburg Address in Lincoln's hand, paintings of Lincoln from life, and even the doorplate from his house on Eighth Street: "A. Lincoln." Yet most will remain unseen.

The development of this center has been a politically controlled operation from the start; Smith is the front man for a patronage sink; and since politicians can only relate to history in terms of votes, grants, or tourism spending, this Lincoln Library and Museum represents the future of public history under government management.

Read Simon. Donate to private heritage groups. End this nonsense.