Press Release
Press Release · Monday, September 2, 2002

Press Release
September 2, 2002
National Archives Brings "American Originals" to Atlanta

Washington, D.C. … On Friday, September 27, the National Archives traveling exhibition "American Originals" opens at the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum in Atlanta, Georgia. This opening is part of a three-year initiative by the National Archives and Records Administration to bring some of the nation's most treasured documents directly to the American people. Atlanta is the first city in the South and the only city in the Southeast that will host the exhibition.

A highlight of "American Originals" will be the special four-day display of the original, signed Emancipation Proclamation. This landmark document will be at the Carter Library from Thursday, October 17 through Sunday, October 20. The Emancipation Proclamation has not been on display in the Southeast in more than 50 years. It will be displayed for four days only at each venue for conservation reasons. Tickets are required; advance ticket reservations are available by calling 404-223-6700.

"American Originals" showcases original documents that have charted the course of American history. The exhibition is drawn from the vast holdings of the National Archives, which preserves and makes available to the public those records of the United States government that have been identified as having permanent value. These original documents are the raw stuff of history. They are physical links to the past -- pieces of history in its most unprocessed form. While some of the documents announce their own importance with flourished signatures and wax seals, others are deceptively routine in appearance. They have passed through the hands of the most notable figures in our nation's history, and hold messages beyond their years.

In addition to the Emancipation Proclamation, some of the highlights of "American Originals" at the Carter Library include:

  • Official voting record of the 1787 Constitutional Convention;
  • Louisiana Purchase Treaty, signed by Robert Livingston and James Monroe in Paris, April 30, 1803;
  • Telegram from Maj. Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman to President Abraham Lincoln presenting the city of Savannah as a "Christmas gift," 1864;
  • President Carter's draft, "Framework for a settlement in Sinai," 1978.

"'American Originals' gives us an invaluable opportunity to share our nation's rich historical resources with Americans around the country. The traveling exhibition is scheduled to coincide with an extensive renovation of the National Archives Building in Washington, D.C. When we reopen the Rotunda in 2003, the Charters of Freedom will be more accessible to all Americans and our renovated building will have better public areas to showcase our nation's documentary heritage," said John Carlin, Archivist of the United States.

"American Originals" has been shown at The New York Public Library in New York City, the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum in Chicago, and the Ohio Historical Society in Columbus. Following its display in Atlanta, it will continue its tour at the following venues:

  • Union Station Kansas City, Kansas City, Mo. (Jan. 31-May 4, 2003);
  • Witte Museum, San Antonio, Tex. (May 31-Sept. 1, 2003);
  • Los Angeles Public Library, Los Angeles, Calif. (Oct. 4, 2003-Jan. 4, 2004); and
  • Hartford, Conn. (Jan. 30-May 9, 2004)

"American Originals" will be on display from September 27, 2002 through January 5, 2003. The Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum, one of ten Presidential Libraries administered by the National Archives and Records Administration, is located at 441 Freedom Parkway in Atlanta, Georgia. The Museum is open from 9 A.M. to 4:45 P.M. Monday through Saturday and from noon to 4:45 P.M. on Sunday. Admission to the Carter Library is $5 for adults, $4 for senior citizens, and free for children 16 and under. Additional information is available online at

There will be special extended hours during the display of the Emancipation Proclamation as follows: October 17-19 from 9 A.M. to 8 P.M., and October 20 from noon to 8 P.M. Tickets are required for this special display; advance ticket reservations are available by calling 404-223-6700.

"American Originals" was created by the National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, DC, and The Foundation for the National Archives.

The "American Originals" exhibition at the Carter Library is sponsored by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Bank of America, Cox Enterprises, and Georgia Natural Gas.

MEDIA CONTACTS: For additional information on the traveling exhibition, contact Stephanie Clemson at 847-570-0943, or by email at, or visit the online press kit at
american_originals_traveling_exhibit_kit.html. For additional information about the exhibition at the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library, please contact Carolyn Clifford at 404-331-3942, or by email at


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