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McKee Library


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Sun   Noon – midnight
Mon – Thu   7:45a – midnight
Fri   7:45a – 2p 
Sat   Closed

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Sun   2p – 9p
Mon – Thu   8:30a – 9p
Fri   8:30a – 12p


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Phone 423.236.2788

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Thomas Memorial Collection

The Thomas Memorial Collection contains material related to Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War and is available to anyone interested in studying the holdings and to those who are simply interested in viewing the displays. Although materials may not be checked out, they can be viewed and studied on the premises.

A Brief History

Dr. Vernon L. Thomas, along with Dr. Russell C. Slater and John W. Fling, Jr., contributed books, photos, periodicals, and other memorabilia concerning Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War. The collection was opened to the public on July 4, 1976.

Open Hours

To visit the collection, please call ahead at 423.236.2788. Appointments are available for Monday through Thursday.



"I know there is a God, and he hates injustice and slavery. I see the storm coming. . . ."

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What's in the Collection:

  • More than 3,600 volumes concerning Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War
  • Authentic photos and newspapers of Lincoln and the Civil War
  • Two original copies of the only biography ever read and approved by Lincoln
  • A $10 check signed by Lincoln (located in the vault), which has been included in The Papers of Abraham Lincoln project
  • Oak from the floor of Lincoln's Springfield law office
  • A section of Lincoln's original marble sarcophagus
  • A gavel made from a tree planted by Lincoln
  • Several oil portraits of Lincoln