National Archives & Records Administration
Constitution Avenue NW. Between 7th & 9th Streets, Washington, DC, USA
www.archives.gov - (202) 357-5000
National Archives & Records Administration Washington Reviews
Houses more than 3 Billion Records Jul 25, 2012
Having said that, we made a last minute stop here after spending the afternoon at the National Gallery of Art West Wing. We went through the security checks that we were used to after 6 weeks of touring Washington. I was not much into visiting the archives, but Mark talked me into doing it. We visited only the Rotunda which houses the three most important documents of the Nation plus one.
It has over 3 billion records and house the original Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights and the Constitution. A new exhibit is currently running, known as 'The Public Vaults', we did not see it.
But this is the nations largest resource center after the Library of Congress. It serves as a research center as well as an archive for all important documents and manuscripts. The English 1297 Magna Carta is also stored here, the only residing copy in the United States. It has just about 3% of what is considered by the government 'Very important' documents, yes like the Constitution, Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Independence.
The line was long as people waited to view the documents which are protected and kept under low lighting for preservation purposes. The archive was built in 1934, prior to which individual states had to archive their own documents, manuscripts and records they considered important.
Opening hours are from 10:30 am - 5:30 pm Eastern time. Entrance is FREE!
Part of the District of Columbia (34) travel blog
Part of the list Washington Attractions
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