The following is a press release written by the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration:
Archivist of the United States Dr. Colleen Shogan announced earlier today that the National Archives plans to place the Emancipation Proclamation on permanent display in the Rotunda of the National Archives Building in Washington, DC.
Archivist of the United States Dr. Colleen Shogan with the display of the Emancipation Proclamation. NARA photo by John Valceanu.
“When President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, he wrote that ‘all persons held as slaves within said designated States, and parts of States, are, and henceforward shall be free,’’’ Shogan quoted. “Although the full privileges of freedom were not immediately bestowed upon all Americans with Lincoln’s order, I am proud that the National Archives will enshrine this seminal document for public display adjacent to our nation’s founding documents. Together, they tell a more comprehensive story of the history of all Americans and document progress in our nation’s continuous growth toward a more perfect Union,” she said.
The intent is for the Emancipation Proclamation to be permanently displayed in the Rotunda with the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States, and the Bill of Rights. The National Archives will commence an assessment to determine the best display environment considering the condition and importance of the original document. The current plan for display calls for showing one side of the Emancipation Proclamation, a double-sided five-page document, alongside facsimiles of the reverse pages. The original pages on display will be rotated on a regular basis to limit light exposure.
Shogan made the announcement this morning ahead of the National Archives’ annual temporary display of the Emancipation Proclamation as part of its Juneteenth celebration. From June 17 to 19, 2023, the National Archives Museum will display the original Emancipation Proclamation and General Order No. 3. Timed ticket entry is available but not required. Reserve a ticket at recreation.gov. The National Archives will host a special Juneteenth Family Day on Saturday, June 17, from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Related programs include author book talks and a panel discussion with a musical performance. Additional information is available online.
The National Archives Museum in Washington, DC, is located on Constitution Avenue at 9th Street, NW. The Museum will be open for special extended hours of 10 a.m.–7 p.m. for the Juneteenth weekend, June 17, 18, and 19. Free admission and fully accessible. Metro: Yellow or Green lines, Archives/Navy Memorial station. Reserve timed entry tickets on Recreation.gov.
The Emancipation Proclamation and General Order No. 3 Featured Document Presentation and related public programs are made possible in part by the National Archives Foundation through the generous support of The Boeing Company.