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155th Anniversary of the Gettysburg Address

November 19, 2018 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

Library of Congress

Join us at the Library for the 155th Anniversary of the Gettysburg Address

On November 19, 1863, Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The Library of Congress will mark the 155th anniversary of this historic speech with a one-day celebration, featuring an exhibition of the earliest known draft of the speech, and a Letters to Lincoln transcribe-a-thon for volunteers on and off site!


  • 8:30am Library doors open!
  • 10:00am Talk by Dr Carla Hayden, 14th Librarian of Congress
  • 10:05am: Gettysburg Address delivered by student orator
  • 10:10-10:30am: Talk by historian and curator Michelle Krowl
  • 10:30am-1:30pm: Transcribe-a-thon for onsite and remote participants
  • Gettysburg Address wil be on display from 10:30am to 4:30pm

In the area on November 19th?

Join us in the Great Hall of the Jefferson Building (Library of Congress) to have the rare opportunity to see the Nicolay copy of the Gettysburg Address in person. Dr. Hayden will kick things off at 10am, followed by a reading of the Address by a student orator, and a special talk about Lincoln and the Gettysburg Address, by historian and curator Michelle Krowl. After the Gettysburg Address is revealed at 10:30 various hands on transcription and learning opportunities will be available.

Off site but online?

We’ll livestream the Librarian and curator’s talks, and the reading of the Gettysburg address from 10:00-10:30 via this link. After that people at the Library and online can participate in the #LettersToLincoln challenge right here on crowd.loc.gov! Choose an item from the Letters to Lincoln Campaign to transcribe, review, and/or tag. So far we’ve made material from the 1830s through 1850s available, but for our transcribathon we’ll release materials from 1860, 1861, and 1862, spanning part of the Civil War and important moments in Lincoln’s career and the history of the nation. Join in the discussion on History Hub and Twitter!

You can check in live with a Community Manager on History Hub throughout the transcribathon from 10:30am to 1:30pm EST.

Opportunities for students near and far

Tune in at 10:00am for the livestream or join us in person to see the Gettysburg address, hear talks, and do some hands on activities and online transcriptions. Students onsite or in their own classrooms will be invited to transcribe, tag, and review documents received by Abraham Lincoln throughout his career. You can transcribe as a group or challenge your students to transcribe on their own or in pairs. All transcriptions are reviewed by at least one other volunteer, so don’t be shy to try! If you or your students are finding it hard to read something, try finding something to review first. This is a great way to “get your eye in” and learn from others how to read these original documents.

To confirm participation for your class or students, please e-mail the Community Managers at crowd@loc.gov for further instructions. Visit History Hub for your transcribathon pack including details on how to take part.

Letters to Lincoln Challenge

Cover of yellow envelope with drawn portrait of Lincoln in the top left corner and a depiction of Lincoln chopping wood in the middle


November 19, 2018
8:00 am - 5:00 pm