Contact: Craig D'Ooge (202) 707-9189

July 18, 1997

Jefferson's Original Rough Draft of the Declaration of Independence Returns to the Vault August 1

One of the greatest treasures of American democracy will be removed from public display at the Library of Congress on August 1. On that date, the rough draft of the Declaration of Independence, in Thomas Jefferson's own hand, will return to its storage vault after being on display for three months in the Library's "American Treasures" exhibition. Visitors have only through July 31 to see this "top treasure" before it is removed, as previously scheduled, because of preservation considerations. This document has seldom been on display and there are no plans for it to be on exhibit again in the near future.

The permanent "American Treasures" exhibition is located in the Library's Thomas Jefferson Building at 10 First St. S.E. Hours are Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. On August 7, George Mason's "Virginia Declaration of Rights," another seminal document of American history, will go on display in place of the rough draft. The Virginia Declaration of Rights was written in May 1776 and is considered to be the basis not only for the Declaration of Independence, but also for the U.S. Bill of Rights and the French Declaration of the Rights of Man.

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PR 97-123
ISSN 0731-3527

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