Thomas F. Schwartz
Dr. Thomas F. Schwartz is the Executive Director of the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library, in West Branch, Iowa. From 1993 till June 2011 he was the Illinois State Historian, when he also served as the chief historian for exhibits and content in the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum and director of Research and the Lincoln Collection in the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library, in Springfield, Illinois. That division also includes the historical documentary editing project The Papers of Abraham Lincoln. In its first year of operation, the Museum exceeded 600,000 visitors and received the coveted THEA AWARD for best museum. The museum later received an EXPY Award for its innovation and creating a “visitor experience.” After six years of operation, museum visitation reached 2.7 million visitors, and the museum remains a model for innovation and creative exhibits.
He attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where he received the B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. in history and international relations. He became curator of the Henry Horner Lincoln Collection at the Illinois State Historical Library in 1985 and is an acknowledged authority on the Sixteenth President and his times. Among the many honors and awards Schwartz has received include the Logan Hay Medal (2000), the Studs Terkel Humanities Service Award (2006), the Order of Lincoln (2009), and the Civil War Preservation Trust Chairman’s Award for Excellence in Education (2009).
Schwartz is author of more than one hundred articles, reviews, chapters, and electronic reference entries, and author of Lincoln: An Illustrated Life (Fall River Press, 2009). He has been senior editor of the Journal of the Abraham Lincoln Association and historical advisor for the Journal of Illinois History. He has appeared on the Today Show, C-SPAN, the History Channel, the Voice of America, NPR, and the BBC. He also served on the advisory board for the state and federal Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial commissions. Among the other boards on which Schwartz has served are the Abraham Lincoln Association, Ford’s Theatre Advisory Board, and the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History President’s National Excellence Council.
James M. Cornelius
A native of Minneapolis, James M. Cornelius received his degrees at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisc., and at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He worked in the U. of I. Library’s fabulous Illinois Historical and Lincoln Collections for eight years before coming to Springfield in May 2007. He has worked as an editor in New York City at Doubleday, Random House, and Collier’s Encyclopedia. He has written a few books and dozens of articles and book reviews about architecture, baseball, literature, and most of all American and British history. As Curator of the Lincoln Collection in the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, he hears from scores of people every month who seek information about specific pieces of Lincolniana – most of it mundane, some of it wonderful; buys books, manuscripts, and relics for the collection; speaks to private and public gatherings; helps to organize and write museum exhibits; and arranges to lend artifacts to other museums. He feels that he may have the best job in the whole U.S.of A. He and his wife Anne have two teenaged daughters.
Richard Fox took all his academic degrees at Stanford University, where he received a PhD in History in 1975. After teaching at Yale University, Reed College, and Boston University, he joined the department of history at the University of Southern California in 2000. His scholarship has centered on the crossroads of American social, cultural, and intellectual history in the 19th and 20th centuries, with a special focus on how religion and secularity in the United States have evolved in relation to one another. Abraham Lincoln nicely illustrates this unique American blending of piety and worldliness, in his life and in his post-mortem cultural role as a peerless national hero. In his life he became an accomplished religious thinker, yet without professing an orthodox Christian belief or ever belonging to a church. In his post-mortem career as an icon he quickly became the central figure in a developing civil religion, part self-made man, part martyr and prophet.
Fox is the author of books on two well-known admirers of Abraham Lincoln: Henry Ward Beecher (Trials of Intimacy: Love and Loss in the Beecher-Tilton Scandal, University of Chicago Press, 1999, awarded a History prize by the American Association of Publishers) and Reinhold Niebuhr (Reinhold Niebuhr: A Biography, Pantheon Books, 1985, reprinted with a new afterword and bibliography by Cornell University Press, 1996). Most recently he published Jesus in America: Personal Savior, Cultural Hero, National Obsession (Harper, 2004). Now he is writing a book treating Lincoln’s death and its aftermath (Norton). Fox has also co-edited and contributed to four books: The Culture of Consumption: Critical Essays in American history, 1880-1980 (New York: Pantheon Books, 1983), The Power of Culture: Critical Essays in American History (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993), A Companion to American Thought (Cambridge MA: Blackwell Publishers, 1995), and In Face of the Facts: Moral Inquiry in American Scholarship (New York: Woodrow Wilson Center Press/Cambridge University Press, 1998).
Recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and other grants for his scholarship, Fox is an elected member of the American Antiquarian Society and has served on committees of the Organization of American Historians and the American Studies Association. He is a past editor of the Intellectual History Newsletter, and has contributed reviews and essays to many publications, including The New York Times and slate.