The National Archives and Records Administration

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by mh75 on May 28, 2007

I had to see the Declaration of Independence. That was a must see since I was going to be in D.C. Due to the age and condition of the documents housed at the Archives, light is kept at a minimum at just two candlepower. Very dim, but it has to be that way. If you have a camera that you can use without flash, you can snap photos and they will turn out, but you won't get much detail and they will be very dark.

But seeing the Charters of Freedom is worth more that what the pictures won't show. The Charters also include the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Although they are aged and not in good condition, they are something that you should take the time to see. I believe that their condition is even more reason to see them as you wonder how much longer they they will be viewable. But just the thought of being that close to the manuscripts that set into motion the creation of this country is an amazing feeling. Being inches away from documents handled by the original leaders of this nation is enough to make any American proud.

This tour is definitely worth taking the time to do as you can always say that you did see the Charters. There are a few guides who give a little bit of information, but for the most part, the tour is self-guided.

In addition to the Charters there is much more to see. However, I became a little pressed for time and had to leave. I would suggest to take at least an hour and a half to explore this site, more if you're planning on doing research in the archives below.

I will go back again when I visit D.C. again.
U.S. National Archives and Records Administration
700 Pennsylvania Avenue, Nw
Washington, DC, 20408
(202) 357-5350

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