Benedictine University's Thomas Dyba Collection of numerous items
relating to Lincoln and the Civil War
A unique collection of
photographs, documents, printed materials, postal volumes, sculpture
and scale models relating to Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War has
been donated to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum
by Benedictine University of Lisle, Illinois.
The Thomas Dyba Collection is
named after Benedictine's former dean of academic affairs and past
executive vice president, a Lincoln author and enthusiast, who died
in 1989. In his honor, the Thomas Dyba Lecture Series of the Lincoln
Group of Illinois was presented at the university annually for a
number of years into the late 1990s. Dyba wrote "Seventeen Years at
Eighth and Jackson: The Lincoln Family in Their Springfield Home."
The collection features exact
scale models built by former Benedictine professor Wayne Wesolowski
of the Lincoln funeral train, car and funeral hearse. The models are
based on period photographs, illustrations and eyewitness accounts,
and graphically demonstrate the lavish, cross-country funeral for
America's first martyred president.
The Dyba Collection also
includes approximately 4,500 Lincoln publications, including
extremely rare items, such as campaign pamphlets, biographies and
funeral eulogies. Approximately 300 Lincoln-related prints and
broadsides and a life-size Lincoln bust by an unknown sculptor are
part of the collection as well.
Dyba was a member of the
Lincoln Society of Philately, and his collection of approximately
10,000 Lincoln-related stamps and postal covers is included in the
Benedictine University donation. The donation also includes several
Civil War are letters and documents.
Finally, the Dyba Collection
features a large cache of photographs, documents and scale models
relating to the restoration of the Lincoln Home National Historic
Site in Springfield, including the rededication of the Lincoln Home
on June 16, 1988.
The funeral train and hearse
replicas in the Benedictine University donation will be part of
"President Lincoln Comes Home," an exhibit at the Old State Capitol
State Historic Site in Springfield. The exhibit will be open from
April 21 to May 4, which coincides with the martyred president's
funeral train ride from Washington, D.C., to Springfield. Also
included in the exhibit will be original furniture from Lincoln's
funeral train, several original funeral artifacts and a replica of
The Bachelder and Benedictine
University collections are now part of the Henry Horner Lincoln
Collection at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library. The library
contains more than 160,000 books, 65,000 reels of Illinois
newspapers on microfilm, 6,000 maps and broadsides, 200,000 prints
and photographs, and 10 million manuscripts.
Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum is a $115 million
complex now under construction at the corner of Sixth and Jefferson
streets in downtown Springfield. The library building will open in
summer 2004, with the museum building slated to open in early 2005.
The complex will showcase the state's Abraham Lincoln Collection,
the world's largest, and will serve as a gateway to other Lincoln
and Lincoln-era sites across the country. It is administered by the
Illinois Historic Preservation Agency.
Historic Preservation Agency