2014 Press Releases

National Archives Marks Constitution Day with Free Mobile App and eBook
Press Release · Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Washington, DC

Refer to Caption The menu-based navigation to all the content in the mobile app: Congress Creates the Bill of Rights


Refer to Caption The title page for the eBook:   Congress Creates the Bill of Rights: Completing the Constitution Learn More


Refer to Caption One of the features in the mobile app: Close-up on Compromise shows the evolution of the First Amendment as it moved through the House and Senate in 1789.

WIn celebration of Constitution Day, the National Archives Center for Legislative Archives today launched Congress Creates the Bill of Rights, a free mobile app and eBook. These new free educational resources commemorate the First Congress and its role in the creation of this landmark document.

The Center for Legislative Archives, which houses the official records of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, created the app and eBook to mark the 225th anniversary of Congress’s historic achievement in proposing a set of amendments that would become the Bill of Rights. The Center also created lesson plans and teaching activities for teachers and students to use with the app and eBook. The app, eBook, and educational resources are all available online [www.archives.gov/legislative/resources/bill-of-rights]

The app is available for download on iPad at the App Store. The eBook is available for download on the National Archives website and in iTunes and the iBookstore for iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch.

Congress Creates the Bill of Rights mobile app is an interactive learning tool for tablets that lets the user experience the proposals, debates, and revisions that shaped the Bill of Rights in the First Congress. Its menu-based organization presents a historic overview, a one-stop source that includes the evolving language of each proposed amendment as it was shaped in the House and the Senate, a close-up look at essential documents, a "time-lapse" display of the creation of the First Amendment, and more.

Congress Creates the Bill of Rights eBook presents a historic narrative focusing on James Madison's leadership role in creating the Bill of Rights and effectively completing the Constitution. Starting with the crises facing the nation in the 1780s, the narrative traces the call for constitutional amendments from the state ratification conventions, and takes the reader inside Congress as the House and the Senate worked to formulate a set of amendments to send to the states.

Project support was provided by The Chisholm Foundation, the Dyson Foundation, Humanities Texas, The Foundation for the National Archives and the National Archives Trust Fund. Both products were designed by Research & Design Ltd, of Arlington, VA, in collaboration with Center for Legislative Archives staff.

The Center for Legislative Archives—part of the National Archives—preserves and makes available to researchers the official records of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. Educators can use these historical documents to teach about representative democracy, how Congress works, and the important role Congress has played throughout American history. Through its public outreach and educational programs, the Center uses these historical records to promote a better understanding of Congress and the history of American representative government. Online at www.archives.gov/legislative

The National Archives is an independent Federal agency that serves American democracy by safeguarding and preserving the records of our Government, ensuring that the people can discover, use, and learn from this documentary heritage. The National Archives ensures continuing access to the essential documentation of the rights of American citizens and the actions of their government. From the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights, to accounts of ordinary Americans, the holdings of the National Archives directly touch the lives of millions of people. The agency supports democracy, promote civic education, and facilitate historical understanding of our national experience. The National Archives carries out its mission through a nationwide network of archives, records centers, and Presidential Libraries, and on the Internet at www.archives.gov.

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

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