Richard Norton Smith, director of the museum, said Friday that it will house the state's collection of 47,000 Lincoln items, including an original copy of the Gettysburg Address and a signed copy of the Emancipation Proclamation. Lincoln moved to Springfield in 1837 when it became the state capital. He served in the state legislature, and is buried in the city's Oak Ridge Cemetery.
The city has planned a downtown street party, music concerts, historical re-enactments, and a scholarly conference to celebrate the event, starting Tuesday.
The museum is part of a $150 million complex covering four city blocks that include the Lincoln Presidential Library, opened last year, and a restored 1890 railroad depot that will serve as a visitor center. The museum building, designed by Gyo Obata, has 40,000 square feet of exhibition space, including a special gallery for collection treasures, and two large theaters. An innovative feature will be a Holavision show that mixes imagery with a live actor in a presentation titled "Ghosts of the Library."