Press/Journalists
Press Release
March 23, 2001
Important Announcement from the National Archives for School Groups Planning to Visit Washington, DC, Between July 2001 and 2003

Washington, DC. . . The exhibit halls of the National Archives Building in downtown Washington, DC, will close for renovation on July 5, 2001 and reopen in 2003. During this period, when the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights are off public display, they will continue to be available online and the research side of the building will remain open. In addition, the National Archives and Records Administration will launch a new web portal this June, and in the fall, will begin a major nationwide tour of documentary treasures from its holdings.

During the renovation of the Rotunda, the Charters of Freedom will be removed from their current encasements for the first time in 50 years, examined by conservators, and re-encased in new airtight containers. In addition, the two oversized murals by Barry Faulkner depicting the presentation of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution will be restored. The display cases for the Charters of Freedom will also be reconfigured, allowing all four pages of the Constitution to be displayed (currently only the first and last pages can be displayed), and making the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights accessible to visitors with disabilities.

When the Rotunda reopens, visitors will be welcomed to a new, state-of-the-art, public exhibition space in which documents from the holdings of the National Archives will be complemented by media presentations, computer interactives, and immersive environments. A new Learning Center will make an exciting schedule of interactive workshops, lectures, films, and tours available.

Additional information is available on the National Archives web site at www.archives.gov.

For additional PRESS information, please contact the National Archives Public Affairs staff at (301) 837-1700 or by e-mail.

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