Exhibits in the Washington, DC, Metro AreaFind an Event
Records of Rights explores how Americans have worked to realize their nation’s ideals of freedom. The exhibit features the 1297 Magna Carta, on permanent loan from David M. Rubenstein. The 1916 Keating-Owen Act, which banned the interstate sale of products made by child labor and limited the working hours of children, is on display in the Landmark Document Case through March 17. Beginning March 18, see the historic 15th Amendment, which prohibits the Federal Government and states from denying the right to vote based on “race, color, or previous condition of servitude.” David M. Rubenstein Gallery
1297 Magna Carta
The 1297 Magna Carta, on permanent loan from David M. Rubenstein, is featured in the “Records of Rights” exhibit. David M. Rubenstein Gallery
- Declaration of Independence
- Bill of Rights
“The Charters of Freedom: Our Nation’s Founding Documents” takes a fresh look at the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. Using historical documents from the holdings of the National Archives, we answer two key questions about the Charters: "How did they happen?" and "Why are they important?" Rotunda
The Public Vaults invites visitors into virtual stack areas to discover historic documents, films, maps, and photographs from the National Archives. A rare print on parchment of the Declaration of Independence–made from the original copperplate engraved by William J. Stone in 1823—is on display for a limited time. Courtesy of David M. Rubenstein
Rightfully Hers: American Women and the Vote in the Lawrence F. O'Brien Gallery
Rightfully Hers: American Women and the Vote commemorates the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment by looking beyond suffrage parades and protests to the often overlooked story behind this landmark moment in American history. This fuller retelling of the struggle for women’s voting rights illustrates the dynamic involvement of American women across the spectrum of race, ethnicity, and class to reveal what it really takes to win the vote for one-half of the people. Lawrence F. O'Brien Gallery, through January 3, 2021.
Rightfully Hers is made possible in part by the National Archives Foundation through the generous support of Unilever, Pivotal Ventures, Carl M. Freeman Foundation in honor of Virginia Allen Freeman, AARP, AT&T, Ford Motor Company Fund, Facebook, Barbara Lee Family Foundation Fund at the Boston Foundation, Google, HISTORY ®, and Jacqueline B. Mars. Additional support for National Outreach and Programs provided by Denise Gwyn Ferguson, Maggie and Robert Boroujerdi, BMO Financial Group, The Hearst Foundations, Maris S. Cuneo Foundation, FedEx, Bernstein Family Foundation, and The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation/Ambassador Fay-Hartog Levin (Ret.).
Featured Documents on Display in Washington, DC
Featured Document Display: National Inventors Day
To celebrate National Inventors Day, learn about Marjorie S. Joyner and her groundbreaking permanent wave machine, an innovation that revolutionized the time-intensive task of curling or straightening women’s hair. Over her 50-year career, Joyner trained thousands of students and helped write the first cosmetology laws in the State of Illinois. East Rotunda Gallery through March 18, 2020.
See one of the very first, and most famous, posters from the inaugural Earth Day in 1970. American painter and sculptor Robert Rauschenberg designed this iconic image to help raise funds for the American Environment Foundation, in Washington, DC. Our copy of the poster is in the records of the United States Information Agency, which distributed copies around the world in 1993. East Rotunda Gallery, March 19–May 6, 2020.
Special Document Display: Emancipation Proclamation
The National Archives marks the 157th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation with a special display of the original document. The Emancipation Proclamation captured the hearts and imagination of millions of Americans and fundamentally transformed the character of the war. As a milestone along the road to slavery’s final destruction, the Emancipation Proclamation has assumed a place among the great documents of human freedom. West Rotunda Gallery, April 16–19. Made possible in part by the National Archives Foundation, through the generous support of The Boeing Company.
Special Exhibit in College Park, Maryland
Auditorium Lobby at the National Archives Research Center:
"Hidden Treasure" features historic panoramic photographs taken by topographers with the U.S. Geological Survey from 1910 to 1932 in the Alaska.
Dozens of exhibits can be experienced online. Visit Now!
Records of Rights
Explore records of the National Archives documenting the ongoing struggle of Americans to define, attain, and protect their rights.
Discovery and Recovery: Preserving Iraqi Jewish Heritage
Startling evidence of the once vibrant Jewish life in Iraq came to light in May 2003—over 2,700 books and tens of thousands of documents were discovered in the flooded basement of the Iraqi intelligence headquarters by a U.S. Army team.
“What’s Cooking, Uncle Sam?”
Unearth the stories and personalities behind the increasingly complex programs and legislation that affect what we eat. Learn about the Government’s extraordinary efforts, successes, and failures to change our eating habits. Find out why the Government wanted us to “Eat the Carp,” “Share the Meat,” and “Know Our Onions.” There are over 100 original records in the exhibit—including folk songs, war posters, educational films, and even seed packets. From Revolutionary War rations to Cold War cultural exchanges, discover the multiple ways that food has occupied the hearts and minds of Americans and their Government. Online exhibit
All events listed in the calendar are free unless noted.