The publication Museum Registration Methods (MRM) is considered the “Bible” for collections management in the museums. This five hundred page tome covers everything related to the documentation and care of artifacts as well as how museums develop their collections and make them available to the public.

Several sections of the book focus on a Collections Management Manual. Each museum has a series of policy and procedural documents that make up its unique manual, including a Scope of Collections. This particular document establishes a plan for what artifacts would best serve the museum’s mission, outlining specifically what the museum does and does not collect. Due to its’ specific historical focus and time period of significance, many visitors to the Harlan-Lincoln House don’t realize that our museum still actively collects artifacts.

The Friends of the Harlan-Lincoln House Executive Committee review potential artifacts monthly and decide on the appropriateness of said artifact donations for the museum’s collection. The Scope of Collections document helps with difficult decisions, ensuring that the museum’s mission is at the center of all discussions. It reads,

  1. The scope of the Harlan-Lincoln House collection shall consist of artifacts:
  2. Related to the lives of United States Senator James Harlan and his family; including his wife Ann Eliza Peck Harlan, children Mary Harlan Lincoln, Silas, William, and Julia, his grandchildren Mary (Mamie), Abraham Lincoln II (Jack), and Jessie, and his great grandchildren, Mary (Peggy) Lincoln Beckwith and Robert Todd Lincoln Beckwith. Additional consideration will be made for artifacts from the larger Peck family and Beckwith family as they relate to the museum’s mission.
  3. Related to Senator James Harlan’s political career, his activities in Iowa and in the local community, and his private life.
  4. Related to the lives of United States President Abraham Lincoln and his family, particularly his son Robert Todd Lincoln, who married Mary Harlan. The emphasis on Abraham Lincoln shall be his family life and his connection to James Harlan, rather than his political career.
    Related to the James Harlan and Robert Todd Lincoln families’ connection to Iowa Wesleyan University and the Mount Pleasant Community; with emphasis on the time period of 1853-1899 for the James Harlan family and 1868-1907 for the Robert Todd Lincoln family.
  5. Owned by the Harlan and/or Lincoln families.
  6. Furnishing or items of the general time period, 1840 to 1907, which enhance the interpretation of the structure; with emphasis on authentic items, not reproductions.

Historical artifacts are powerful, tangible connections to the past that help us interpret the stories of the Harlan-Lincoln House to the public. By only accessioning artifacts into the museum’s collection which fit within the aforementioned scope, we ensure that the Harlan-Lincoln House’s mission moves forward.

On behalf of the Friends of the Harlan-Lincoln House and Iowa Wesleyan University, thank you for your continued support. If you know of a potential artifact for the museum’s consideration based on our Scope of Collections, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Anna Villareal, Director of the Harlan-Lincoln House

Our Front Porch

The 2020 facilities plan for the Harlan-Lincoln House museum included maintenance work to stabilize porch posts, adding a non-slip sealant to the porch floorboards, and refreshing the entire structure’s iconic yellow paint. But, the events of July 19 expedited the necessity for the planned work. That morning, a storm blew through Mount Pleasant, bringing down one of the beautiful maple tree from the west lawn onto the museum, damaging the 1895 reproduction porch.

In order to respond quickly to the damage, the Friends of the Harlan-Lincoln House announced the “Our Front Porch” campaign. This campaign seeks to raise $30,000 to repair the storm damage, complete the 2020 facilities projects, replant trees on the museum’s west lawn, and develop new external educational signage. As of November 1, over 66% of the campaign’s goal had been met! Thank you to everyone who has supported this campaign so far.

2021 Brown Bag Lecture Series Sneak Peek

The Harlan-Lincoln House is excited to share a Sneak Peek of the 2021 Friends of the Harlan-Lincoln House Brown Bag Lecture Series. This year’s lectures include speakers postponed from the 2020 series as well as a new range of engaging Iowa historians. The full Schedule of Events for the March 2021 series will be announced in February. You won’t want to miss a single one! Mark your calendars for 12:00 pm each Tuesday in March.

2020 Friends of the Harlan-Lincoln House

Annual memberships in the Friends of the Harlan-Lincoln House organization advance the museum’s mission of preserving the house and its collection, interpreting the site to the public for its significance to the Harlan and Lincoln families, reinforcing the relationship to Iowa Wesleyan University, and fulfilling the home’s vital role in the living history of the University and the Mount Pleasant community. Support also allows the Harlan-Lincoln House to provide free admission as well as free educational programs throughout the year.

The Friends of the Harlan-Lincoln House are grateful for the continued support of our dedicated members, especially during the “Our Front Porch” campaign this year. The Honor Roll reflects members between October 2019 and November 2020.

President $5,000-$9,999
The Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation
Mr. Fred Miller

Senator $1,000-$4,999
F1 Key Foundation
Dr. Robert Tree

Cabinet $500-$999
Mr. Jerry and Mrs. Lea Bradley
Mr. Russell and Mrs. Diane Curtis
Mr. Paul and Mrs. Joyce Dennison
The Hon. John and Mrs. Mary Ann Freeland
Mr. Richard and Dr. Elizabeth Garrels
The Harlan Family in America
Mr. James and Mrs. Gwen Pedrick

Ambassador $100-$499
Mr. Gene and Mrs. Joy Anderson
Bainter & Thomas Law Office
The Hon. Steven and Mrs. Karen Brimhall
Mr. Robert and Mrs. Pamela Day
Ms. Marlys Dunphy
Ms. Mary Elgar
Mr. Tom and Mrs. Lynn Ellsworth
Mr. John and Mrs. Ninette Farrier
Mr. David and Mrs. Tricia File
Mr. Steven Freymark and Mrs. Susan Duncan Freymark
Mr. Michael and Mrs. Anita Hampton
Mr. Robert and Mrs. Cindy Harlan
Mr. Tom and Mrs. Kimn Hassenfritz
Mr. Michael and Mrs. Abigail Heaton
Mr. David and Mrs. Cathy Helman
Dr. Byron and Mrs. Gloria Johnson
Mr. Paul C. Juhl
Mr. Mark and Mrs. Linda Kimzey

Ambassador $100-$499 (continued)
C.J. King
Dr. Michael Kramme
Mr. Ed Kropa
Mr. Thomas and Mrs. Regina Lembrich
Mr. Warren and Mrs. Jill Ludvigsen
Mount Pleasant Woman’s Club
Mr. Ronald and Mrs. Karin Mullen
Dr. Carol Nemitz
Mr. Brad and Mrs. Mary Notestein
President Christine Plunkett
Mr. Mike and Mrs. Meg Richtman
Mrs. Debra Rodgers
Mr. Tom and Mrs. Marjorie Roth
Mr. J.D. and Mrs. Kathy Schimmelpfennig
Mrs. Charlene Seggerman
Mr. Robert and Mrs. Charlotte Stevenson
Mr. Nicholas and Ms. Anna Villareal
Mr. Kent and Mrs. Pat White

Friend $50-$99
Dr. Kristine Condon
Mrs. Judith Harnisch
Ms. Mary Hubbard
Mrs. Rita R. King
Mrs. Darlene Lounsbury
Mr. Thomas and Mrs. Karen Wenstrand
Mr. Richard and Mrs. Mary Beth Young

Charter Members of the Friends of the Harlan-Lincoln House
The Friends of the Harlan-Lincoln House recognizes its Charter Members who established the Friends organization on September 1st, 2004.
Mr. Jerry and Mrs. Lea Bradley
Dr. Carole J. Buss, Col. USA Ret.
The Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation
Mrs. Mary Helen Curtis
Mr. Paul and Mrs. Joyce Dennison, KILJ Inc.
Mr. Jim and Mrs. Marlene DePriest
Dr. A. Lowell Doud
The Dr. Alanson K. and Barbara Elgar Family
Mr. Tom and Mrs. Lynn Ellsworth
Mr. Richard E. and Dr. Elizabeth E. Garrels
Mr. Mike and Mrs. Anita Hampton
The Harlan Family in America
Mr. John and Mrs. Ann Harnisch
Miss Martha Hayes
The William M. and Donna J. Hoaglin Foundation
Dr. Waunita Hobbie
Dr. William N. and Mrs. Susan Johnston
Mr. Paul C. Juhl
Dr. Michael Kramme
The Lincoln Group of Washington D.C.
Mr. James and Mrs. Genevieve McCabe
The Mount Pleasant Duplicate Bridge Club
Dr. Carol Nemitz
The Pennebaker Foundation
Mr. Ken and Mrs. Bonnie Richart
The Ben and Lucile Taylor Estate
Mr. Dale and Mrs. Jodie Beck Wendel
Mr. Duane and Mrs. Martha Wiley
Mr. Earl and Mrs. Leslie Wilfong
Mr. Robert O. and Dr. Dolores Poulter Wilson
Mr. Cal and Mrs. Margaret Wolf
Mr. Donald E. Young

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