These three documents, known collectively as the Charters of Freedom, have secured the rights of the American people for more than two and a quarter centuries and are considered instrumental to the founding and philosophy of the United States.
Located on the upper level of the National Archives museum, the Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom is the permanent home of the original Declaration of Independence, Constitution of the United States, and Bill of Rights.
Designed by architect John Russell Pope as a shrine to American democracy, the ornate Rotunda with its soaring domed ceiling also features two murals by Barry Faulkner, depicting fictional scenes of the “presentations” of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.
Through Founders Online, you can read and search through thousands of documents and records to and from George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison and see firsthand the growth of democracy and the birth of the Republic. Their letters and journals are a kind of "first draft" of the Charters of Freedom.
Milestone documents are primary source documents that highlight pivotal moments in the course of American history or government. They are some of the most-viewed and sought-out documents in the holdings of the National Archives.