We are excited to announce a transition in our Lincoln studies publishing program. After nearly ten years of publishing original and new editions of important source material in Lincoln studies, the Knox College Lincoln Studies Center Series will be retiring. The Knox College series, overseen by Rodney O. Davis and Douglas L. Wilson, saw great success in publishing documentary editions of the Lincoln-Douglas debates, William H. Herndon’s biography of Lincoln, Herndon’s vast trove of reminiscences of Lincoln, Wayne C. Temple’s biography of Noah Brooks, and Black Americans’ views on Lincoln from the nineteenth through the twenty-first century.
Yet scholarship on our sixteenth president has not waned, as the final book in the Knox College series illustrates. Indeed, there remains strong interest in Abraham Lincoln, his associates, and his time and place in American history. To help support publishing for this important work, we have partnered with the University of Illinois Springfield Center for Lincoln Studies and Dr. Michael Burlingame, who will edit a new series by that name. In many ways, this series will take up the work of the Knox College series, as it remains interested in publishing documentary editions of work about Lincoln. At the same time, the series is also interested in monographs that expand our perspective of the president. We welcome projects that are grounded in history, but cross disciplinary boundaries throughout the humanities and social sciences.
Please find a Q&A with incoming series editor Michael Burlingame, the Naomi B. Lynn Distinguished Chair in Lincoln Studies at the University of Illinois Springfield, and author and editor of several books, including “Lincoln’s Humor” and Other Essays.
What excites you about the UIS Center for Lincoln Studies series?
Not only will it continue the outstanding series of scholarly editions of Lincoln primary sources that UIP has published in conjunction with the Lincoln Studies Center at Knox College, but it will include original monographs about the sixteenth president.
How do you envision the center and the series working together on this effort?
The Lincoln specialists at UIS will contribute to the series (both of them had their first books published by UIP) and encourage their own students and scholars elsewhere (many of them personal friends) to do so as well, and to encourage their students to follow suit. In addition, the UIS Center for Lincoln Studies would underwrite the expense of publishing works that might require subventions. The only serious scholarly journal focused on Lincoln, which is currently produced by the Springfield-based Abraham Lincoln Association and published by the UIP, could be housed and edited at the Center for Lincoln Studies.
Pie in the sky — what kind of projects are you hoping to publish in the series?
Documentary editions of important materials like “Lincoln on slavery and race,” reflecting the latest scholarship on the subject, and monographs examining the political and social contexts in which Lincoln lived and worked. Thanks to the recent extraordinary advances in electronic search capabilities, especially newspaper databases and digitized manuscript collections, almost all traditional Lincoln scholarship needs to be updated.
What innovations, if any, are you looking forward to seeing in Lincoln studies?
To produce scholarly works in letterpress versions supplemented by fuller digital editions that contain a much more elaborate scholarly apparatus, including links to documents and other sources. Thus books could become more like databases, with a top layer of printed pages, a supporting layer of printed annotations and references, and a richer, comprehensive electronic base layer of documentation allowing readers to track down sources instantly with a mouse click. In addition, scholarly works could be issued simultaneously in relatively brief print editions and fuller, more detailed, and more thoroughly sourced electronic versions.
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While UIP will no longer publish books under the the Knox College Lincoln Studies Center Series, those titles will remain available. Please click on the covers below to learn more about each book.