On December 15, 1952, President Harry S. Truman presided over the unveiling of the Declaration of Independence, Constitution of the United States, and Bill of Rights in the Rotunda of the National Archives. For more than 60 years, visitors have come to view the original signed documents that have come to be known as “The Charters of Freedom.”
About the Building
The National Archives Building was designed by the renowned architect John Russell Pope (1874–1937) as a temple to history. Pope, who also designed the Jefferson Memorial, wanted the architecture of the National Archives to reflect the significance, security, and permanence of the records held therein. The majestic domed ceiling of the Rotunda, rising 70 feet above the floor, and the 40-foot-tall bronze doors contribute to the feelings of awe and reverence experienced by visitors to this magnificent space. Learn more about the building.
About the National Archives
The National Archives and Records Administration is an independent Federal agency that preserves and shares with the public records that trace the story of our nation, government, and the American people. From the Declaration of Independence to accounts of ordinary Americans, the holdings of the National Archives directly touch the lives of millions of people. The National Archives carries out its mission through a nationwide network of archives, records centers, and Presidential libraries, and online. Learn more about the National Archives and Records Administration.
About the Foundation
The National Archives Foundation is an independent nonprofit that increases public awareness of the National Archives, inspires a deeper appreciation of our country’s heritage, and encourages citizen engagement in our democracy. As the National Archives’ nonprofit partner, the Foundation generates financial and creative support for National Archives exhibitions, public programs, and educational initiatives, introducing America’s records to people around the U.S. and the world. The Foundation’s support makes possible the National Archives Museum in Washington, DC. Learn more about the Foundation.
About the Store
Your store purchase supports the National Archives Museum exhibits, public programs, and educational initiatives. Find quality products and publications inspired by the holdings of the National Archives and our country's history. Extend your Archives visit at home and at school with products developed especially by the National Archives Foundation.