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

Making war more humane: the Geneva Convention of 1864

In 1864, representatives from 16 countries came to Geneva, Switzerland, to negotiate and 12 the “Convention for the Amelioration of the Wounded in Time of War.” Known as the 1st Geneva Convention, the agreement granted immunity from capture and destruction for all hospitals and ambulances that treated wounded and sick soldiers. It called for humane care for all combatants and granted protection to civilians who aided the wounded. The U.S. ratified the agreement in 1882 with the document on display through March 15, the American accession to the “Convention for the Amelioration of the Wounded in Time of War.”


Magna Carta

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

Records of Rights News

View the Exhibit Website

Keep up on Social Media

Visiting the David M. Rubenstein Gallery

Other Exhibits:

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.