Exhibitions 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 exhibition showcases original and facsimile National Archives documents and uses an innovative 17-foot touch screen interactive table to illustrate how Americans throughout our history have debated issues such as citizenship, free speech, voting rights, and equal opportunity. Clarence Earl Gideon’s handwritten petition from the Gideon v. Wainright case is on display in the Landmark Document Case through March 15. Beginning March 23: The 1830 Indian Removal Act, which authorized President Andrew Jackson to remove Native Americans from their lands in exchange for lands west of the Mississippi River. 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 Using historical documents from the holdings of the National Archives, we answer two key questions about the Charters: "How did they happen?"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
Only 27 times—out of more than 11,000 proposals—have Americans reached consensus to amend the Constitution. A new exhibit, “Amending America,” reveals the stories behind why some proposed amendments successfully became part of the Constitution, while others failed to gain enough support. Lawrence F. O’Brien Gallery, March 11, 2016–September 4, 2017
The “Amending America” exhibit and related programs are presented in part by AT&T, HISTORY®, the Lawrence F. O’Brien Family, Seedlings Foundation, and the National Archives Foundation.
Featured Document Display: 100th Anniversary of U.S. Entry into World War I President Woodrow Wilson signed this declaration of war on April 6, 1917, ending America’s neutral stance on the World War conflict and formally declaring war against Germany. East Rotunda Gallery, through May 3, 2017
Featured Document Display: World War I Selective Service Act and Draft Registration In commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Selective Service Act, passed on May 18, 1917, a selection of notable men’s draft registration cards will be on display. Under the Selective Service Act, approximately 24 million men registered for the draft during U.S. involvement in World War I. East Rotunda Gallery, May 4–June 7, 2017
Special Exhibition 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.
To the Brink: JFK and the Cuban Missile Crisis
An exhibit marking the 50th anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis.
“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.