Press Release
Press Release · Wednesday, March 2, 2005

Washington, DC . . . On Friday, April 1, spring hours will resume at the National Archives. The museum, located on the National Mall on Constitution Avenue and 9th Street, NW, will be open to the public from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week through the Friday before Memorial Day Weekend. Summer hours of 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. will begin Memorial Day Weekend and continue through Labor Day. Admission is free. The Museum is open every day except December 25. Research Room hours remain the same.

Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom — On permanent display are the Charters of Freedom - the original Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights.

The Charters of Freedom: "A New World is at Hand" — surrounds the Rotunda’s centerpiece cases. Presenting a selection of milestone documents, the exhibit chronicles the creation of the Charters of Freedom in the 18th century and their impact on the course of history in the United States and around the world.

The Public Vaults — This interactive permanent exhibition creates the feeling of going into stacks and vaults of the National Archives. See the raw material from which history is made. From Washington’s letters, Lincoln’s telegrams, and FDR’s fireside chats to UFO reports and declassified secrets of World War II, these documents chronicle both great national events and the lives of individual Americans.

The Lawrence F. O’Brien Gallery — A new 3,000 square-foot gallery for special and traveling exhibitions. The gallery was named in honor of Lawrence F. O’Brien in recognition of a generous gift made in his memory by the O’Brien family to the Foundation for the National Archives.

William G. McGowan Theater — Starting at 10:30 a.m. and running throughout the day, a free 18-minute film is shown every 30 minutes. Produced by Middlemarch Films for NOVA/WGBH (Boston) and PBS, "Preserving the Charters of Freedom" reveals the behind-the-scenes excitement and drama of the preservation and re-encasement of The Declaration of Independence. The McGowan Theatre will serve as the Capitol region’s most important venue for documentary film, as well as a forum for the great issues of American government.

Museum Shop — After visitors have seen our nation's most treasured documents in the Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom, there's another important stop to make before they leave. Visitors can take home some treasures of their own. The Museum Shop offers wonderful gifts including: exclusive handmade jewelry depicting architectural elements of the National Archives Building and images of fragments of the Charters of Freedom; uniquely designed pottery, which is based on the fraktur family trees in the Archives' holdings; anything one might need to record and preserve memories of the important moments in life, including photo albums, archival storage boxes, and more!

The Microfilm and Central Research Rooms at the downtown building, and the Research Complex at the National Archives at College Park, Maryland, are open to the public Monday and Wednesday, 8:45 A.M. - 5 P.M.; Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, 8:45 A.M. - 9 P.M.; and Saturday, 8:45 A.M. - 4:45 P.M. These hours are the same year round. The research rooms are closed on Sundays and all Federal holidays. For additional research information, please call 202-501-5400. The number for the Public Events Line, listing free public programs and upcoming events, is 202-501-5000.

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For additional PRESS information, please contact the National Archives Public Affairs staff at 202-501-5526.


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