July 23, 2002
National Archives To Loan Delaware's Ratification of the Bill of Rights to the State of Delaware
College Park, MD. . .. Archivist of the United States John W. Carlin announced today that he has signed an historic agreement on behalf of the National Archives and Records Administration to loan the Delaware Ratification of the Bill of Rights to the State of Delaware. The document will be displayed in a newly renovated gallery at the Delaware Public Archives in Dover, Delaware. The Memorandum of Understanding that was also signed by Governor Ruth Ann Minner, Senators Joseph Biden and Thomas R. Carper, and Congressman Michael N. Castle, will remain in place for 25 years.
According to the agreement, the document may be displayed annually for a period of 84 days each year. During the months when the Ratification is not on display, it will be returned to the National Archives for safekeeping. The initial loan period will be from December 7, 2003 through July 4, 2004.
The document, which is ink on parchment, is dated January 28, 1790, and includes the ratification signatures of Jehu Davis and George Mitchell, as well as a ratification message from the Delaware General Assembly.
The National Archives has also agreed to work with the State of Delaware of identify an appropriate Delaware venue for its major raveling exhibition, "American Originals." The exhibition, which features some of the milestone documents in American history such as the Louisiana Purchase Treaty, the Voting Journal from the Constitution Convention and Thomas Edison's patent application for the light bulb has traveled to New York City and Chicago and is currently on display in Columbus, Ohio.
Finally, the National Archives will initiate a pilot program with the Delaware Public Archives for the loan and exhibition of historical documents unique to Delaware.
For PRESS information, contact the National Archives Public Affairs staff at (301) 837-1700 or by e-mail. To verify the date and times of the programs, the public should call the Public Events Line at: 202-501-5000.