State Library Welcomes Forever Free Exhibit

The Library will be hosting Forever Free: Abraham Lincoln's Journey to Emancipation from September 3 - October 14, 2010. The exhibit re-examines President Lincoln's thoughts about slavery and includes rare documents and the latest research on how the Emancipation Proclamation came to be. The exhibit will be located on the 7th floor of the New York State Library and will be available for viewing during the Library's regular hours.

To complement the exhibit the Library has planned a complete schedule of programs including scholarly presentations, films, and musical events. For a complete listing of programs see the schedule of programs.

The Library has also revised its online exhibit that showcases Lincoln's orginal draft of the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, which has been cared for by the Library since 1864. An essay by Harold Holzer about the night Lincoln signed the document and a paper detailing how the Legislature purchased this document for the Library are recent additions to the online exhibit.

Special Collections Finding Aids

Have you ever been told that you should look at a particular collection at the State Library, but didn’t have time to come to the Cultural Education Center or are you curious about the types of materials that are available? If so, you might want to take a look at the Manuscripts and Special Collections finding aids on our website:

Among the over 150 guides available online are:

Selected Civil War Collections:

Hardware Trade Catalog Collection 1909-1964:

Lyall D. Squair Teddy Roosevelt Postcard Collection:

If you find something you would like to look at or have any questions about the materials in the State Library’s Manuscripts and Special Collections please call the Manuscripts and Special Collections Reference Desk at (518) 474-6282 or send an e-mail to

Last Updated: August 16, 2017