Press/Journalists
Press Release
March 7, 2001
The National Archives Takes "American Originals" on the Road

Washington, D.C. The Louisiana Purchase. The Emancipation Proclamation. Thomas Edison's patent for the "Electric Lamp---" these documents represent milestones in American history, and all are part of "American Originals," a new traveling exhibition from the National Archives and Records Administration. This major exhibition is scheduled to travel to eight cities during the next three years, bringing some of the rarely-seen jewels in the holdings of the National Archives to people across the nation.

"American Originals" is currently scheduled to travel to the following locations:

  • The New York Public Library, New York City, N.Y. (Oct. 5, 2001-Jan. 5, 2002);
  • The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum (Feb.-April 2002)
  • Ohio Historical Society, Columbus, Ohio (May 24-Sept. 2, 2002);
  • Jimmy Carter Presidential Library, Atlanta, Ga. (Sept. 27, 2002-Jan. 5, 2003);
  • Science City, Kansas City, Mo. (Jan. 31-May 4, 2003);
  • Witte Museum, San Antonio, Tex. (May 31-Sept. 1, 2003);
  • Los Angeles Public Library, Los Angeles, Calif. (Oct. 4, 2003-Jan. 4, 2004); and
  • Old State House, Hartford, Conn. (Jan. 30-May 8, 2004)

"American Originals" showcases original documents that have charted the course of American history. The exhibition is drawn from the vast holdings of the National Archives, which preserves and makes available to the public those records of the United States government that have been identified as having permanent value. These original documents are the raw stuff of history. They are physical links to the past - pieces of history in its most unprocessed form. While some of the documents announce their own importance with flourished signatures and wax seals, others are deceptively routine in appearance. All of them have passed through the hands of the most notable figures in our nation's history, and hold messages beyond their years.

In conjunction with "American Originals," the National Archives will also share one of its greatest treasures with the American people by sending the original, signed Emancipation Proclamation to each of the seven sites. This landmark document will be on special display for four days at each venue.

"'American Originals' gives us an invaluable opportunity to share our nation's rich historical resources with Americans around the country. The traveling exhibition is scheduled to coincide with an extensive renovation of the National Archives Building in Washington, D.C. When we reopen the Rotunda in 2003, the Charters of Freedom will be more accessible to all Americans and our renovated building will have better public areas to showcase our nation's documentary heritage," said John Carlin, Archivist of the United States.

View March 2001 Calendar of Events Feature Article on "American Originals."

"American Originals" Washington, DC, exhibition, March 16, 2001-July 4, 2001.

For press information or images of the items featured in the exhibition, contact the National Archives public affairs staff at 301-837-1700 or by e-mail.

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