Today is the 150th anniversary of the address and now a digitized version of the Cornell U. Library (aka Bancroft copy) of the manuscript is available from the Google Cultural Institute.
About the Manuscript
There are five copies of the Gettysburg Address in Lincoln’s handwriting. Each of these manuscripts is named for the person who received it from Lincoln and each is slightly different in its wording and punctuation.
A Bit More From Cornell:
Lincoln wrote out Cornell’s copy of the address at the request of George Bancroft, the most famous historian of his day, who wanted to auction it at a fundraiser for soldiers in Baltimore. But when Bancroft saw Lincoln had copied the text on both sides of the paper, he realized it wouldn’t be suitable and asked the president to redo it.
The new, two-page copy eventually made its way to the Cuban ambassador and now resides in the Lincoln Room in the White House. Bancroft kept his original version, though, and Nicholas H. and Marguerite Lilly Noyes gave the manuscript now known as the “Bancroft copy” to Cornell University Library in 1949.
All five copies of the Address in Lincoln’s handwriting are featured as part of the Google Cultural Institute, which is bringing Cornell’s copy of the Address to the millions of people who visit the site every month. A link to the exhibits also appears on the Google homepage, just below the search box.