You just can't go to D.C. without getting a glimpse of the Declaration of Independence. Of course, you can hardly read any of it. But, just the thought of all the great men in this country’s history that signed it... unbelievable. The Rotunda (called: The Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom) is magnificent (as it would have to be, to be worthy of housing the amazing documents that it holds). The Rotunda/Exhibition hall holds the original copies of the 3 most historical documents in US history: The Declaration of Independence, The Bill of Rights, and the Constitution.
Also on display is a copy of the 1297 issue of Magna Carta. I found it to be amazing that this document could survive over 700 years… and legible (if you can read Latin… I can’t). The National Archives Building also exhibits other important American historical documents such as the Louisiana Purchase and the Emancipation Proclamation, as well as various collections of photos and other historically significant American artifacts. Admission is Free.
Spring and summer hours are 10am – 7pm, fall and winter hours are 10am – 5:30pm. Tip: Make sure you bring a camera that has the option to shut off the flash… there is no flash photography allowed in the Exhibit Hall. The National Archives building’s address is on Pennsylvania Avenue, however, the Rotunda entrance, which includes the Exhibit Hall is on Constitution Avenue (across from the National Mall). It is located between 7th and 9th Streets.
Several D.C. buses stop at the National Archives, and you can take the sub-way’s yellow or green lines to the Archives/Navy Memorial stop.
The National Archives: 700 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW