Thursday, March 6, 2008

The Closing OF The Lincoln Museum In Fort Wayne, Indiana

This is a follow-up to the announcement this week that the Lincoln Museum in Fort Wayne, Indiana is closing after being open to the public for 77 years.

Today's Fort Wayne Journal Gazette contains a somewhat moving editorial about the closure, lamenting what it means to Fort Wayne, to small cities around the country, and especially to Lincoln scholars. I never realized the sheer amount of documentation, books, brochures and other items the collection contains, numbering something like 230,000 in all!

I mentioned in my previous post that Lincoln Financial Group is going to try to digitize the documents and share or donate the other items in the collection. Still, it's a major loss to the Lincoln enthusiast community.

One can't help but wonder what the real reasons are for the closure, but I suspect it's due to declining profits or a desire to boost the bottom line at Lincoln Financial. One would have thought instead of just closing the museum, period, that Lincoln Financial could have sought public or private money in an attempt to keep the collection available to everyone. Instead, it has chosen to impact Fort Wayne, its citizens, and the Lincoln community of researchers adversely. That's a shame. By taking this action, Lincoln Financial has no doubt hurt its own corporate goodwill.

1 comment:

Bob said...

The closing of the Lincoln Museum is a shame indeed. I think you are probably correct in your assumption that Lincoln Financial may simply be trying to cut expenses. I know that many financial services companies have been cutting expenses these days. The softening economy, mortgage crises, and volatile stock market, and caused financial services companies to seek new ways to remain profitable and competitive.

I also think you are correct in your assertion that this action will likely hurt the company's good will. It is too bad that they could not, at least, have found an organization to take it over, or a buyer to sell it to.

 
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