History of the Mountain Herald and the Beginnings of the Lincoln Herald

It’s been a long-held belief that the Mountain Herald had begun publication in 1899, or at least, soon after class work had begun at the then recently established Lincoln Memorial University. This magazine was originally created “to develop Lincoln memorial University and foster other interests of the Mountaineers of the Southern States.” Issued monthly with a yearly subscription price of $1, this magazine was printed by the students of Lincoln Memorial University in the large basement of Grant-Lee Hall. This practice continued until the fire of 1909 in which Grant-Lee was damaged, and all of the equipment located within its basement was destroyed. Alongside the printing equipment, it is believed that all stored files of the Mountain Herald and most of the University records until that time were also destroyed in the fire. By the time printing of the Mountain Herald resumed in late 1909, only a handful of Mountain Herald magazines printed prior to the 1909 fire were recovered in addition to various Mountain Herald school catalogs.

For a period of time after printing resumed, the magazine not only featured various changes to its formatting but also to its mission. For example, at one point, the intent of the magazine was slightly changed to, “to develop Lincoln Memorial University and to foster the educational needs of the mountain people of the Central South.” With occasional missing issues and with perhaps one or two being printed in a different format, publication of this magazine continued until 1933 when it had to be halted due to financial difficulties. It wasn’t until October 1937 that publication of the Mountain Herald was restarted once again.

However, by 1938, the Mountain Herald had already begun undergoing several other substantial changes. The publication was now being printed quarterly and when its February 1938, Vol. 40, No. 2 publication was issued, it was done so under the new name of “Lincoln Herald.” This had been done to ensure that the magazine aligned more with Lincoln Memorial University’s traditions as a memorial to Abraham Lincoln. With this change, the magazine became one of “Education and Lincolniana” with the purpose of being “devoted to the interests of Lincoln Memorial University and the promotion of Lincoln Ideas in the education of American youth.” Prior to 1938, this magazine could not have been classified as one dedicated solely to the study of Lincolniana, although Abraham Lincoln content appeared within it from time to time.

Following this, more alterations were made in the early 1940s. By 1940-1941, the volume and issue numbers of the Lincoln Herald were updated to coincide with the calendar year as opposed to the University’s academic year and its years of establishment. And in October 1943, the most significant change happened in which this college publication of Lincoln Memorial University changed to being strictly “A magazine devoted to historical research in the field of Lincolniana and the Civil War, and to the promotion of Lincoln Ideals in American Education.” In fact, the priorly issued June 1943 Lincoln Herald publication was the last one to feature a section of articles dedicated to “On the L.M.U. Campus.”

At present, the Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum has been responsible for the Lincoln Herald publication and its subscriptions since the ALLM’s official opening on the campus of Lincoln Memorial University in June of 1977.

Concerning this Online Collection

This collection of Mountain Heralds magazines, as well as some of its following Lincoln Heralds journals, have been included within the University Archives section of the Institutional Repository of Lincoln Memorial University due to the inclusion of LMU within their contents. All other issues of the Lincoln Herald uploaded and published online fall under the responsibility of the Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum, the sister repository of the University Archives & Special Collections, also located on the main campus of Lincoln Memorial University. These Mountain Heralds and Lincoln Heralds were digitized using the CZUR M3000 Pro V2 overhead book scanner. This scanner was purchased with funding made possible by the National Historical Publications & Records Commission of the National Archives through the State Board Programming Regrant provided by the Tennessee Historical Records Advisory Board.

Though the pages of the Mountain Heralds and Lincoln Heralds are overlaid with a transparent watermark, these copies made from digitizing our magazines are unabridged and without exclusions. As such, there are some years in which a magazine contains offensive content that is not condoned by the University Archives & Special Collections. We maintain these publications in full as records of the past, representing the societal norms during the time in which they were made, so they may be viewed within their historical context as primary sources for the study and understanding of LMU’s growth through the decades.


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