National Archives Upcoming Exhibitions 2008/2010
Press Release · Friday, February 8, 2008

Washington, DC

Washington, DC…All exhibitions listed below are free and open to the public. The National Archives Building is located at Constitution Avenue and 9th St. NW. Exhibit hours are: Spring/Summer (March 15 – Labor Day) from 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Fall/Winter (day after Labor Day – March 14) 10 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Open every day except Thanksgiving Day and December 25. Please see for updates. All exhibitions are wheelchair accessible.

Ongoing Permanent Exhibitions

The Charters of Freedom

The National Archives Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom holds the original Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights. These Charters are the centerpiece of the National Archives Experience. For the first time, all four pages of the Constitution are displayed and new cases make the Charters more accessible for younger visitors and those using wheelchairs.

A New World Is At Hand

Surrounding the Rotunda’s centerpiece cases holding the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights, this exhibition chronicles the creation of these three documents in the 18th century, and the impact of the Charters on the course of history in the United States and around the world. Located in the Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom.

The Public Vaults

The Public Vaults creates the feeling of going into the stacks and vaults of the National Archives. In the central corridor, the Record of America explores the transformation of records through time and technology, from the first Acts of Congress to a Presidential Web site. In the interactive experiences of the five vaults, visitors can see and explore documents, photographs, maps, drawings, film or audio clips. The Public Vaults display more than 1,000 records-originals or facsimiles, inviting visitors to discover the raw materials of our American democracy.

Temporary Exhibitions 2008 Through 2010

Lawrence F. O’Brien Gallery

Running for Office: Candidates, Campaigns, and the Cartoons of Clifford Berryman

February 8, 2008 – August 17, 2008

Clifford K. Berryman, staff political cartoonist for the Washington Post and the Washington Evening Star, drew thousands of cartoons commenting on presidential and congressional candidates, campaigns, issues and elections of his era. Berryman was a Washington institution and his 53 years of daily front page drawings were internationally renowned. Throughout his extraordinary career he drew every Presidential administration from Benjamin Harrison to Harry Truman. Timed to coincide with the presidential primaries and the 2008 campaign season, this exhibition highlights both specific and timeless aspects of the American campaign and election process. The cartoons on display are part of the official Records of the U.S. Senate housed in the National Archives Center for Legislative Archives.

The Treaty of Paris Exhibition

September 2008 – January 5, 2009

The year 2008 marks the 225th anniversary of Treaty of Paris that ended the American Revolution. However, its legacy has been much greater than merely ending the war: it reshaped North America, creating new political relationships, voicing new American identities, and leading to the forging of new lives throughout North America. This international exhibition brings together for the first time Library and Archives of Canada with the National Archives and Records Administration. The eight-month exhibit will feature many valuable archival treasures from the vaults of both institutions, including the rarely-seen American copy of the 1783 Treaty of Paris. After premiering at the Library and Archives Canada in Ottawa on May 5, 2008, the exhibit will travel to the National Archives’ Lawrence F. O’Brien Gallery in Washington to open on the treaty’s anniversary date of September 3rd.

BIG: The National Archives at 75 (working title)

Winter - Summer 2009

The National Archives will celebrate its 75th anniversary by offering visitors a rare opportunity to see unusual original records at a remarkably large, authentic scale. Behind the world’s biggest bronze doors, we will display a selection of the National Archives biggest records. A map of the Gettysburg battlefield that measures 13 square feet, a drawing longer than 21 feet long of the S.S. Leviathan, once the world’s largest ocean liner, and a lengthy Cherokee petition from the 1830s, are among the items being considered. Although sections of some of these records have been displayed before, almost none of them has ever been displayed in its entirety. As people are becoming more and more accustomed to seeing images reduced to reproductions on a small computer screen, the National Archives will offer visitors a rare opportunity to see some truly memorable original records.

Discovering the Civil War

Part A: Opens September 2009
Part B: Opens June 2010

Shown in two parts, “Discovering the Civil War” commemorates the sesquicentennial of the American Civil War. The exhibition will include displays of original documents and artifacts, immersive environments, and interactive exhibits. Visitors will experience moments of discovery, encountering records that tell surprising stories, as well as examples of how they were used by a variety of researchers such as historians, archeologists, historic preservation specialists, and filmmakers. The National Archives holds incomparable records relating to the Civil War and Reconstruction. Landmark documents, in a variety of media, that may be featured include the 1860 electoral vote tally, Confederate ordinances of secession, original Mathew Brady glass plate negatives and photographs, the Emancipation Proclamation and 13th Amendment, maps of battlefields, signed Lincoln telegrams, documents about General Lee’s surrender at Appomattox, and records relating to President Lincoln’s assassination.

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For details, see the Visitor's Map or visit the National Archives Experience.

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For press information, contact the National Archives Public Affairs staff at 202-357-5300.


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