A Publication of WTVP

A courtroom in Beardstown where Abraham Lincoln once practiced law was recently captured in 3D for digital preservation.

In May of 1858, in a courtroom in the small town of Beardstown, Illinois, an hour and half southwest of Peoria, a future president went to trial in what would become a defining moment of his law career: the Almanac Murder Trial. Last December, that courtroom—the only one in which Abraham Lincoln practiced law that is still used as a courtroom today—came to life in a whole new way.

In a collaborative effort involving the Old Lincoln Courtroom & Museum Commission, the international nonprofit CyArk, and imaging and software companies US Laser Scanning and FARO, cutting-edge laser-arc technology captured a detailed 3D representation of the building’s interior and exterior. These images will be digitally archived by CyArk and added to the group’s 200+ preservation projects in the works. The Beardstown project is intended to raise awareness for both the museum and the international nonprofit’s larger mission: to digitally document and preserve buildings and sites with historical significance before they are lost to natural disaster, human aggression or the ravages of time. To learn more, visit