Location and Collection of a Document

The document location is the site of the original or facsimile at the time it was copied for The Complete Documentary Edition. Location of Original is designated when The Lincoln Legal Papers staff copied from the original document. Location of Copy is designated when staff copied from a facsimile of the document. In some instances, for collections such as the Herndon-Weik Collection at the Library of Congress, editors cited both the original and copy location. While the original is at that location, staff had access only to a microfilm copy. When editors used a facsimile or microfilmed copy as its source, they indicated that in the document description as explained below with a -P.

For the majority of case documents that are still in the county courthouses, the Location of Original citation will also identify the specific court from which a document originated. For example: a subpoena cited in Location of Original as: TAZCC cf 28, means the original document is in the Tazewell County courthouse which houses (among many others) the records of the Tazewell County Circuit Court (TAZCC), case file number 28. Similarly, any document from a repository is cited as a combination of both Location of Original and Collection. For example, documents from the Circuit Court of Sangamon County would be cited in Original Location: ISRAD (Illinois Regional Archival Depository in Springfield), Collection: SANCC (Sangamon County Circuit Court), 04/0150/01 (the repository=s specific accession identifier). Some repository holdings are copies rather than original documents, so the citation is a combination of Copy Location and Collection. (See Using Abbreviation Keys, County and Court Abbreviations, and Repository Abbreviations for more information.)

For a small minority of documents (some probate and justice of the peace) the location of the original is cited, but that is not necessarily the specific court from which it originated. For example, no justice of the peace case files were found in any county. However, many justice of the peace documents were filed in circuit court case files when an appeal was sought. These documents are generally cited as located in circuit court files, although they originated in another court (JP.)

The editors have accessioned some document transcriptions from secondary sources, documentary editions, and sales/auction catalogs because they were unable to locate the manuscript document. These are cited in Location of Original by the author of the book, the name of the documentary edition, or the name of the sales/auction catalog, with a full bibliographic reference in Printed Sources Abbreviations.

The editors copied pages from a great many court docket books. The lengthy docket book names are repeated in every county, and nearly every court, so editors developed a coding system for these citations. The full docket book names for each specific county and court are located in the Docket Book Abbreviations. In some cases, the editors provided additional detail regarding the function or court for docket books. This information is in brackets [ ] in the table. The name of the court hearing probate actions changed in 1849 from probate justice of the peace court to county court. In a few cases, probate dockets spanned this period of name change. In those instances, the docket book table identifies the docket with the abbreviation for the county court (CoC). The explanation for the county and court abbreviations is detailed in the County and Court Abbreviation Table.