Few historical figures have been depicted as often as America's 16th president, so Mark Reinhart had his work cut out for him when he compiled the second edition of his book, Abraham Lincoln on Screen, which catalogues hundreds of portrayals in movies and television. In honor of Abe's 200th birthday (yep, today), Reinhart spoke about his presidential passion.

Few historical figures have been depicted as often as America's 16th president, so Mark Reinhart had his work cut out for him when he compiled the second edition of his book, Abraham Lincoln on Screen, which catalogues hundreds of portrayals in movies and television. In honor of Abe's 200th birthday (yep, today), Reinhart spoke about his presidential passion.

Name: Mark Reinhart

Age: 44

Job: Musician, historian, part-time librarian

Neighborhood: Linworth

Hometown: Columbus

I first got interested in Lincoln because my grandfather was a Civil War and Lincoln buff. After he passed, these books were all there at my grandmother's, and I'd go down and look at them. Especially the photo books ... really fascinated me.

I didn't do an exact count, but I think there's maybe 300 [movie and TV] titles in my book. I've seen as many of them as I can, but there's some stuff that's just lost, especially a lot of the old silent films. I couldn't begin to guess how many hours I've actually spent poring over this.

Lincoln is the most portrayed American historical figure. I suppose you could make an argument for Jesus being portrayed more, but that'd be the only person you could come up with.

My favorite Lincoln portrayal is Hal Holbrook in Sandberg's Lincoln. It was from 1974-76, a miniseries made up of six parts.

An awful one is called Lincoln's Doctor's Dog, which was about Lincoln's dog, like prescribing him a puppy because he was so bone-weary and tired. You just couldn't believe how awful it was.

There seems to be a need to bring Lincoln to life. I think a big part of that is because, not too long after him, motion pictures were invented. Lincoln you have to envision dramatically because we don't have any film or any sort of moving image of him.

I've never tried to portray him. There's a group called the Association of Lincoln Presenters, and you have young Lincolns, old Lincolns, fat Lincolns, thin Lincolns, short and tall Lincolns. I think their slogan is "We're ready, willing and Abe-l."

Something fascinating about Lincoln is how radical his parenting style was for the time. They indulged their children and listened to them in terms of their thoughts and feelings, a lot more like we would do now. In the Victorian era, that was just something that wasn't done.

One funny thing that always pops up is they always show Lincoln wearing a wedding ring. He actually never in his life wore a wedding ring.

When I was researching the first edition of the book, a friend who works at the Library of Congress took me back into the vaults to show me all their Lincoln treasures. I actually got to examine up close the Lincoln Bible that they used in the [Obama] inauguration. I was just dizzy seeing all these things that were such historical treasures.

If my house was on fire, the one piece of Lincoln memorabilia I'd rescue is a photo that I just got from an antique shop. The clarity of that photo - how well you can see Lincoln - to me transcends anything in books.

The other book I wrote was about Batman. It was pre-Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, so it was actually about the '40s serials, the '60s film and the Warner Bros. films leading up to Batman & Robin.

I'm generally an obsessive guy about all the stuff that I like. Anything that I do, it's never a little. It's always to extremes.

One area where obsession's not the case is working. I've never crafted a resume in my entire life. I actually started working at the library in high school and just stayed there my whole life. My wife has sort of been my enabler. [Laughs.]

I guess you could say my real job is playing music. I'm the guitarist for Shucking Bubba Acoustic, and the other band, which is my band, is called Rich Meaty Taste.

Rich Meaty Taste performs a school program called "Songs of America," and it's like an American musical history revue. There's nothing like a gymnasium full of 600 kids just going nuts. [Laughs.] The energy of those shows is really fun.