David M. Rubenstein Gallery

David M. Rubenstein Gallery / Records of Rights

Records of Rights: a permanent exhibition in the new David M. Rubenstein Gallery, National Archives, Washington, DC

America’s founding documents—the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights—are icons of human liberty. But the ideals enshrined in those documents did not initially apply to all Americans. They were, in the words of Martin Luther King, Jr., “a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir.” “Records of Rights” allows visitors to explore how generations of Americans sought to fulfill this promise. The exhibition showcases original and facsimile National Archives documents and uses an innovative 17-foot touch screen interactive table to illustrate how Americans throughout our history have debated issues such as citizenship, free speech, voting rights, and equal opportunity.

Landmark Document Case

The Freedom of Information Act (1966)

Today, public access to information about the government is considered a fundamental right. The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is the law that makes that access happen. Recognizing that the records of a democratic government belong to the people, the United States became one of the first nations to open its records to the public on July 4, 1966, when it passed the Freedom of Information Act.
Through September 14, 2017. 

 


Magna Carta

photoBegin your exploration of "Records of Rights" by viewing the original 1297 Magna Carta, on display courtesy of David M. Rubenstein.

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The "Records of Rights" exhibition and the David M. Rubenstein Gallery are made possible in part by the Foundation for the National Archives, through the support of David M. Rubenstein.