After a series of changes to protect visitor health, the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum is finalizing plans to reopen to the public on Wednesday, July 1.

Visitors will find the facility has been meticulously cleaned and disinfected, and protective barriers have been installed in key places to ensure guest and employee safety. Museum-goers will be also be encouraged to stay one “Lincoln” apart – six feet, four inches – the equivalent of President Lincoln’s height. 

“We are thrilled to welcome everyone back to the museum and library,” said acting executive director Melissa Coultas. “In trying times, Abraham Lincoln’s example can be an inspiration and a comfort to all of us. People deserve to be able to come to this special place, learn about one of our greatest presidents and explore some new features we’re proud to offer.”  

New measures to maximize public safety include:

  • Requiring tickets be purchased in advance, either online or by telephone
  • A brief visitor screening, including a temperature check before admission
  • Requiring face masks at all times 
  • Installing signs with outlines of Lincoln’s feet to help visitors maintain proper physical distance 
  • Reducing the number of theater performances and maintaining safe guest distancing throughout the shows (theaters will be cleaned and disinfected after each performance)
  • The temporary closure of the “Mrs. Lincoln’s Attic” play area and Union Station, home to an exhibit on railroad history 
  • Limiting library access to reservation-only research patrons
  • Establishing a strict cleaning and sanitation regimen for the museum and library. 

The museum will maintain its usual schedule of being open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days a week. Visitors can buy tickets up to two weeks in advance at www.PresidentLincoln.Illinois.gov

The library will be open 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, but admission will be by appointment only. Researchers who want to schedule a visit should email ALPLM.reference@illinois.gov or call the reference desk at 217-524-6358.

When it reopens, the museum will feature a new exhibit called "Spies, Traitors, Saboteurs: Fear and Freedom in America." Created by the International Spy Museum, it examines nine major events in history when Americans were threatened by enemies within the United States borders. This temporary exhibit has traveled throughout the nation over the past few years.

The exhibit does include powerful imagery that may be unsettling to some patrons. Artifacts include fragments of the planes that hit the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001 and powerful imagery from domestic hate groups, including the Ku Klux Klan. The ALPLM respects the decisions of parents and guardians but recommends children under 12 may want to avoid the exhibit. Children 12 and over should visit this exhibit with an adult.

It won’t be long before the museum welcomes its five millionth visitor. That special guest will receive an array of gifts and special access to celebrate this milestone in the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum’s 15-year history.

For more information, visit www.PresidentLincoln.illinois.gov. You can follow the ALPLM on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.