The National Archives Experience
"The great collection of the National Archives is one of the wonders of our country, the richest, most enthralling documentation we have as a nation of who we are, what we have achieved, our adventures, and what we stand for." David McCullough
When the National Archives in Washington, DC reopens its Rotunda on September 17, 2003, it will unveil not only the restored and re-encased Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights, but the start of a whole new National Archives Experience for the education and inspiration of the American public. The National Archives, with the help of the Foundation for the National Archives, is creating a dramatic and powerful project to motivate people to care more deeply about democracy, learn about their individual stories, and make use of the patriotic spirit that lives on because of records.
The National Archives Experience is in essence a journey - a journey through time and a journey through American struggles and triumphs. It has the power to teach us how our nation's past can become a living instrument for directing our nation's future. Using exciting interactive components, the National Archives Experience will ensure that each visitor will take from it an understanding of his or her own personal and profound connection to the records in the National Archives. The National Archives Experience will accomplish this through six integrated components:
In We the People, help an elderly widow establish her identity as an American citizen or discover whether records of your family are in the Archives.
In To Form a More Perfect Union, explore evidence and judgments from civil rights cases such as Brown v. Board of Education or cast your vote after witnessing a great debate in Congress.
In Promote the General Welfare, be transported back to the day man first walked on the moon or uncover surprising inventions and patents from the 19th century.
In Provide for the Common Defense, use records to create a moment of film on D-Day or stand in the shoes of the President during the Cuban Missle Crisis.
In To Ourselves and Our Posterity, help a document become an Archives record or solve the challenge of reading electronic records in the 23rd century.
The records of the National Archives tell the stories of the American people and continually validate the American experience. They are a tangible legacy from the generations who built our nation. The National Archives Experience will inspire individuals to use the Archives to learn, to unravel, to discover and to celebrate these stories and the American spirit that is a hallmark of our great country.
For additional PRESS information, please contact the National Archives Public Affairs staff at (301) 837-1700 or by e-mail.