357 West Chicago Avenue - Chicago, IL 60654
p. 312.944.3085 f. 312.944.5549 e-mail:

Established in 1938, the Abraham Lincoln Book Shop serves the needs of collectors and scholars, professional historians and independent writers, dedicated first edition hunters and casual history enthusiasts.

Ralph Newman, a master promoter, raconteur, one time merchant marine, minor-league baseball player and hopeless bibliophile, founded the shop in part to serve the passionate collecting needs of a small circle of friends devoted to the study of the Civil War and the Great Emancipator. Among that small circle were poet Carl Sandburg, authors Bruce Catton, Otto Eisenschiml, E. B. ‘Pete’ Long, Stanley Horn, Lloyd Lewis, and T. Harry Williams, Illinois Governor Otto Kerner and William O. Douglas, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.

Also among Newman’s circle of friends were the fifteen men who became the charter members of The Civil War Round Table, the first chapter in a movement of Civil War Round Tables that meet monthly across the U.S. and around the World. Round Table members from around the globe still visit the Book Shop and sit at the original “round table” while reviewing Lincoln autographs, manuscripts, artwork, or rare books.

In 1971 Daniel Weinberg entered into a partnership with Ralph Newman, and in 1984 purchased Newman’s interest to become the sole proprietor.

As suggested by our name, the Book Shop specializes in Lincolniana, material related to the Civil War and material related to U.S. presidents. Rare books, autographs, manuscripts, works of art, statuary, and other treasures grace our shelves and our walls. In-print books, pamphlets, historic broadsides, cartes de visite, and magnificent reproductions of Lincoln and Civil War photographs are available to those who share our love of history. Among our staff we number experts in U.S. history, publishing and bookbinding, art history, photographic history, and handwriting.

While we take pride in our ability to obtain some of the rarest historic collectibles, our wide selection of in-print and out-of-print books provide a ready resource for the new student looking to start an American history library with reasonably priced first editions of standard works. We provide assistance to those developing new collections with our carefully assembled lists of recommended titles on Lincoln The Essential Lincoln Book Shelf, and on the Presidency, The Essential Presidential History.

In addition to our well-stocked shelves and collecting lists, we supply important services to the history collector. We offer expert appraisal services for those who wish to establish the monetary worth of family heirlooms for donation, insurance, or tax reasons. And our Americana House reprint publishing company makes available in reprint important works by George S. Bryan, John P. Frank, and Paul Angle and others.

Even though we have about the longest history of any commercial venture in our field, the Abraham Lincoln Book Shop continues to develop new and exciting items for the walls and book shelves of our friends and customers. In recent years we have brought to the market contact prints of President Lincoln from Alexander Gardner's original collodion wet-plate glass negatives, including the most vivid image yet of the famous “Gettysburg” Lincoln, and a magnificent Imperial Salt Print of the same view. We are also proud to celebrate the 2001 publication of Lincoln’s Assassins: Their Trial And Execution, by James Swanson (a long time customer) and Daniel Weinberg.

Those who wish to visit the shop will find themselves welcome at 357 W. Chicago Ave., in Chicago’s fashionable “River North” gallery district. We publishat least two printed catalogs per year and often many more special offerings to customers on our mailing list. We make a special effort to participate in the ongoing development of the Lincoln and Civil War collecting community by attending many of the more important book autograph and Civil War shows around the U.S., including those at Mansfield, Ohio, Boston, San Francisco, and Gettysburg. Welcome to AbrahamLincolnBookShop.com. We hope that you enjoy perusing our web site, and we look forward to seeing you in our shop sometime soon.

Many thanks to Bjorn Skaptson for his work on the above biography.


If you are visiting Chicago and would like to stop by the shop, please do. The shop is located at 357 West Chicago Ave. It is 9 1/2 blocks west of Michigan Avenue, between Orleans and Sedgwick Street, in the River North neighborhood. We are a quick taxi ride from most hotels, just north of downtown and just west of the Michigan Avenue/Gold Coast area.

The shop is conveniently served by the "L," close to the Chicago Avenue stop on the Brown, Red or Blue Line. If you are coming from O'Hare, take the Blue Line train to the Chicago Avenue stop, then take the #66 Chicago Avenue bus east to Orleans St. If you need directions, please call. For more public transportation details, visit www.transitchicago.com..


Our hours are: Monday - By Appointment, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday 9am to 5pm; on Thursday we are open 9am to 7pm and on Saturday, 10am to 4pm. We are closed on Sunday. If you are coming to view anything beside books, it is advisable to call ahead (312/944-3085) and make an appointment with Daniel Weinberg. If you need book advice, the best days to visit are Tuesday through Saturday.

CSPAN visits Abraham Lincoln Book Shop

Over the years, CSPAN has visited the shop many times. To learn more, visit their web site.


  ABAA - Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America

  PADA - Professional Autograph Dealers Association, Inc.

  ABA - American Booksellers Association

  MSS - Manuscript Society

In addition to these organizations, the Abraham Lincoln Book Shop is a member of numerous Lincoln organizations across the country.


We will be happy to authenticate and/or appraise your Lincoln, Civil War or Presidential pieces.The fee for these services is $300.00 per hour. Most single items will take about an hour. Off-site appraisals will include travel expenses. We will be happy to provide an estimate for more extensive appraisals. If your pieces is something that we are unsure about, we will be refer you to a more appropriate expert.

Before beginning, we will need to see a clear photograph of the piece. This will help determine if its in your best interest to proceed with the authentication or appraisal. In most cases, we have to see the piece itself. Please call before sending any items. We cannot be responsible for your items if we do not know they are coming, nor can we be responsible for them in transit.

We cannot comment on the authenticity, condition or value of any item, sight unseen or from digital images at other web sites. Nor do we comment on items offered by other sellers.

If you are seeking assistance or advice with a purchase, we will be happy to provide sales consultation/collection development services. Please inquire about our terms.

The Abraham Lincoln Book Shop, Inc. has acted as consultant in the assembling of some of the major collections in the United States, both public and private, representing them both privately and at auction. The firm has conducted appraisals for libraries, museums, banks, insurance companies, and private collectors, and has performed special research assignments for such institutions as The Lincoln Museum, the American Bar Foundation, Brandeis University, University of Virginia, WTTW Channel 11 in Chicago, the Chicago Historical Society, the Chicago Public Library, the Chicago Archdiocese and others.

Daniel Weinberg, the proprietor, has delivered numerous talks on the collecting and value of books and manuscripts as well as determining authenticity of historical documents. He is a member of numerous historical societies and associations, including The Lincoln Forum (a current Director), The Abraham Lincoln Association, Manuscript Society, Professional Autograph Dealer's Association, Universal Autograph Collector's Club (being a past regional director), Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America, American Booksellers Association, Illinois Lincoln Group (current Vice-president), and is an officer and past-President of The Civil War Round Table in Chicago.

A Word About Lincoln and Other Souvenir/Facsimile Reprint Documents

Because of Abraham Lincoln's place in American history, documents relating to him are very important and highly sought. This interest is not a recent development. Following Lincoln's rise to national prominence, he received many requests for copies of his speeches and even just his autograph. After President Lincoln's death, documents associated with him have become increasingly popular. One result of this popularity was the production of souvenir copies of a number of well-known Lincoln related documents. These include the November 19, 1863 Gettysburg Address; the November 21, 1864 letter from Lincoln to the widow Bixby; and, the April 15, 1865 edition of the New York Herald announcing Lincoln's assassination. The New York Herald is especially troublesome. It has been estimated that this broadsheet has been reproduced over 61,000 times since 1890.

Many such souvenir copies of these documents are "discovered" on a regular basis, with their finders often believing they have in fact found the original document. The information at the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency should provide some help in determining the true history of some of these documents. Lincoln-related or not, if your document is printed on parchment-like paper, you most likely have a souvenir copy. Also bear in mind that this parchment-like paper is highly acidic. The older it gets the more browned and fragile it becomes. Hence, the color ranges from light yellow to very dark brown.

Other documents produced for souvenirs include the Declaration of Independence, the US Constitution, Bill of Rights, recruiting posters from many wars, WANTED posters and various forms of currency. Many of these items have been available for well over 100 years and are widely available, today at National Park sites and other retail outlets. Should you be seeking these reprints, The gift shop at the Liberty Bell Museum is a good source.

Remember that even though something is old it is not necessarily valuable. Rarity and desirablity are both very much driving forces in value.