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Press Release
Press Release · Monday, October 1, 2001

Press Release
October 1, 2001
National Archives Exhibition Opens at the New York Public Library

Washington, D.C. … On Friday, October 5, the new National Archives traveling exhibition "American Originals" opens at The New York Public Library at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street in New York City. This opening marks the beginning of a three-year effort by the National Archives and Records Administration to share some of the rarely-seen jewels of its collection with the American people. New York is the first venue for this major exhibition, which is scheduled to travel to eight cities, including New York, during the next three years.

In conjunction with "American Originals," there will be a special display of the original, signed Emancipation Proclamation. This landmark document will be on display at The New York Public Library from Friday, November 16 through Monday, November 19. It will also be on special display for four days at each of the other venues.

"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. All of them 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 New York Public Library include:

  • Official voting record of the 1787 Continental Convention;
  • Louisiana Purchase Treaty, signed by Robert Livingston and James Monroe in Paris, April 30, 1803;
  • Deed of Gift of the Statue of Liberty, July 4, 1884;*
  • John F. Kennedy's handwritten draft of his inaugural address, January 17, 1961.
    * Document will be exhibited only in New York.

"'American Originals' gives us an invaluable opportunity to share our nation's r