National Archives Unveils Major Expansion for Exhibits

The Magna Carta Circa 1297

Source: USA Today

A major addition to the National Archives opened December 10, 2013, that will expand public exhibit space and provide a new home for the only original Magna Carta on display in this country.

The $13.5 million David M. Rubenstein Gallery and Visitor Orientation Plazais certain to heighten the profile of a sometimes-overlooked Washington institution, and is part of a new wave of visitor-oriented expansions on the National Mall.

The gallery’s new permanent exhibit, Records of Rights, examines via photos, videos and documents the civil rights struggles of African Americans, women and immigrants. A centerpiece is an original 1297 Magna Carta, the first charter to attempt to limit the power of the English monarchy and a basis for the concept of constitutional law in the American colonies.

Elements in the space are meant to add context to the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights, all of which are displayed nearby in the Archives Rotunda.

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