Americas and Oceania Collections blog

01 January 2013

Celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation

At 14.00 EST today (19.00 GMT here in London) bells will ring out in churches, universities, and other organisations in Massachusetts to mark the moment when Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation on New Year's Day, 1863. Sadly we don't have any bells to ring but we're providing a link to the Library's copy of the Leland-Boker Authorized Edition of the Emancipation Proclamation (1864), recently released as part of our US Civil War digitisation project.  The signatures at the foot are in the hands of Abraham Lincoln, John Nicolay (Private Secretary to the President) and William Seward (Secretary of State).

There's more about the Proclamation on our Americas Collections Highlights pages, and it's available on Images Online.  The original proclamation is in the National Archives in Washington. The Smithsonian also provides an introduction.

And a very Happy New Year to everyone!


I'm in Massachussetts and I waited patiently at 2pm but no bells rang (besides the usual two dongs for the hour).

Oh no, that's disappointing! Apologies, we should have posted the link to the FB page listing who was taking part -

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