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More people visit Lincoln museum in Springfield

Published: Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014 10:21 p.m. CDT

SPRINGFIELD – Officials at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield say attendance was up more than 7 percent in 2013, thanks in part to the popularity of Steven Spielberg’s film “Lincoln.”

The (Springfield) State Journal-Register reported that nearly 314,000 people visited the museum through November. That’s about 10,000 more visitors than in all of 2012. Attendance is on pace to be the highest since 2010.

Officials believe they got an attendance boost from the Oscar-winning film, which opened in late 2012. The facility also held several Gettysburg-related events and displayed an original copy of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.

“We have to be smart and find new ways to tell people about the museum and get them here,” said Chris Wills, a museum spokesman.

In 2009 – the 200th anniversary of Lincoln’s birth – more than 600,000 people visited the Springfield museum.

Through the first 11 months of the year, attendance figures show a 7.7 percent increase in guests.

The museum is preparing for a new exhibit that will feature costumes and props from the movie. It’s set to open Jan. 17.

“It’s important to keep doing outreach and remind them of the new things that are going on here,” Wills said. “Even though they may have been here before, they can come back and see something different.”

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Information from: The State Journal-Register, http://www.sj-r.com

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