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president Barack Obama top top Jan. 20, 2009, take it the oath the office ~ above a bible from the Library’s collections that is steeped in background — the same scriptures upon which Abraham Lincoln swore march 4, 1861, to uphold the Constitution.

The very first Lincoln Inaugural is rife with historic significance, comes at a time as soon as the survive of the United says was never much more endangered, according to Clark W. Evans, an professional on Lincoln that heads the reference Services section of the rare Book and also Special Collections department at the Library the Congress.

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adhering to the lead of seven says in the lower South, Evans noted, the slave says of the upper southern were threatening to secede native the Union. Between fears that assassination, the president-elect had secretly arrived in Washington ~ above Feb. 23, 1861.

To check out the Lincoln Inaugural scriptures today is come conjure increase the remarkable scene, which unravelled on the eastern Front of the Capitol almost 148 year ago. Chef Justice i get it Brooke Taney, then 84 year old, administered the oath of office. Together the writer of the infamous "Dred Scott" decision of 1857, which hosted in part that conference did not have actually the power to abolish slavery in the territories, Taney was clearly no friend to Lincoln or the reason of emancipation. In the Inaugural attend to that followed, president Lincoln appealed come his countrymen to monitor "the better angels of our nature."

The bible was originally purchased by William cutting board Carroll, salesperson of the supreme Court. The Lincolns’ family Bible, which is also in the Library’s collections, had been pack with various other belongings the were travel from Springfield.

The inaugural scriptures itself is tied in burgundy velvet v a gold-washed white metal rim roughly the three outside edges that both covers. All its edge are heavily gilt. In the center of the height cover is a shield of gold wash over white steel with the native "Holy Bible" chased right into it. The book is 15 centimeter long, 10 centimeter wide, and also 4.5 centimeter deep when closed. The 1,280-page holy bible was released in 1853 by the Oxford college Press.

In the back of the volume, in addition to the seal that the can be fried Court, that is annotated: "I, William cutting board Carroll, salesman of the stated court carry out hereby certify the the coming before copy that the Holy holy bible is that upon i m sorry the Honble. R. B. Taney, chief Justice of the stated Court, administered come His Excellency, Abraham Lincoln, the oath that office together President of the United claims ... "

The Lincoln Inaugural scriptures will go on screen at the Library of conference Feb. 12 to might 9, 2009, as component of one exhibition title "With Malice towards None: The Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Exhibition." The exhibit will certainly then travel to five other American cities.


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The Library has actually periodically provided historic bibles and other works from its collection for use in ceremonial occasions. When Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) take it his individual ceremonial oath the office top top Jan. 4, 2007, the was with one hand upon cutting board Jefferson"s copy the Koran. Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress, requested to take it the oath top top Jefferson"s personal copy that George Sale’s 1734 translate in of the Koran, generally called the Alcoran that Mohammed (London: Hawes, Clarke, Collins and Wilcox, 1764). The two-volume work, which resides in the Library’s rarely Book and Special collection Division, is one of nearly 6,500 titles marketed to congress by Jefferson in 1815 to replace the conference Library that had actually been ruined when the British melted the Capitol throughout the war of 1812. Sale’s English translate in is attributed with presenting the West come the Koran. The is the an initial to have been translated directly from the Arabic to English. Jefferson’s copy to be rebound by the Library in 1918.

The Library hold 1,500 execution of the scriptures in more than 150 languages. This substantial collection supplies an unparalleled chance to angry the Bible’s change over 800 years. Sixteen of these volumes, in addition to the Giant bible of Mainz and Gutenberg Bible, space on display.

The Library’s exhibition “I execute Solemnly Swear” supplies a glimpse into the history of American presidential inaugurations. Eighteen presidents are featured in the display, native George Washington to john F. Kennedy.


A. The front side of the Lincoln Bible. 2008. Michaela McNichol. Rare Book and Special collections Division. Reproduction Information: Reproduction details not available.

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B. Inauguration the James Buchanan in ~ the east Front that the U.S. Capitol, the first known picture an inauguration. 1857. Manuscript Division. Reproduction Information: Reproduction details not available.