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Abraham Lincoln library suspends National Archives search

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Officials of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum say the state is suspending a project searching the National Archives for papers written by Abraham Lincoln.

Library spokesman Chris Wills said in a statement that the search is on hold while the library focuses on handling 100,000 collected documents and deciding what additional material to gather.

The National Archives in Washington has provided the bulk of Lincoln documents added in recent years to the Papers of Abraham Lincoln Project, The State Journal-Register (http://bit.ly/2rX6h4Z ) reported.

“The current priority for the Papers of Abraham Lincoln is to improve its policies and procedures so that our staff’s hard work and the taxpayers’ money is not wasted,” Wills said in the statement.

Wills couldn’t say how long the search will be suspended.

Contracts for two researchers based in Washington, D.C., and three other workers in Springfield will expire June 30, said Derek Schnapp, a spokesman for the University of Illinois Springfield.

The researchers based in Washington are employed under contract to the University of Illinois Springfield. The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum Foundation provides money for the workers.

Most of the money to pay the researchers came from federal grants, Wills said.

Wills said about 70,000 of the documents collected so far are available online, but there isn’t a way to search for them by subject. There also isn’t annotation to put the documents into context or explain why they’re important to the former president’s story.

He said work will focus on making sure the current collection of papers is available to the public in a useful form.

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Information from: The State Journal-Register, http://www.sj-r.com

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