This collection consists of items gathered by Herbert Wells Fay, a collector of historical portraits. Fay was a custodian at the Lincoln Tomb in Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield, Illinois.
Herbert Wells Fay (1859-1949) was born in DeKalb County, Illinois. He was part owner of the Hinckley (Illinois) Review and later co-owned the DeKalb Review. He was also a DeKalb county surveyor and member of the DeKalb Board of Education. Fay began collecting historical portraits in 1886, particularly of international figures, US politicians, and famous authors and artists. Fay used his collection to illustrate the National Cyclopedia of American Biography, of which he was associate editor. He was the custodian, historian, and tour guide of the Lincoln Tomb at Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield, Illinois, from 1921 to 1948.
This collection primarily contains Lincoln ephemera, such as birthday celebration programs, drawings by Fay, Lincoln Tomb brochures and postcards, and publications and clippings related to the Lincoln family. Also included is a small sample of Fay's photograph collection, the bulk of which is held at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb.
This collection was donated to the Library in 2010 by Vincent Golden. Materials were previously kept by Hebert Wells Fay's son, Earl. A second acquisition, from an unknown source, was added to the collection circa 2015.