In two volumes -- probably to be followed later by another two volumes- this long awaited public release of the famous Lincoln papers, held in the Library of Congress for 21 years after the death of Lincoln's son, to whom they were assigned. The story of the collection is an interesting one, fraught with more mystery than perhaps the actual material warranted. Hay and Nicolay had had access to the papers for their classic biography; otherwise, there was speculation as to how much newsworthy source material would be forthcoming. The ultimate value is incalculable. There are clues that will lead down many channels; there's a new insight into Lincoln, the man; there's light thrown on an epoch. The selections chosen for these two volumes include letters to Lincoln, and some copies of his replies, drafts of speeches, official memoranda and orders, memoranda, covering the years of his public life up to July 1861, and the acknowledgment of the existence of a state of war. Selection has been made from some 38,000 entries, chosen as most lively, moving, generally interesting to the public....The accepted universality of interest in Lincolniana, and the cumulative curiosity about these famous papers will enhance its marketability, but, in the main, the value lies in it as source material for students of the man and the period, rather than for the general reader.