Celebrating 17 years

Safety and Happiness

The Paradox of the Declaration of Independence

"I am standing in the rotunda of the National Archives, looking down at the Declaration of Independence. As we all know, this is an extremely famous and important document, and I am filled with all the appropriate awe and wonder, diminished only slightly by the fact that the Declaration is, essentially, a blank sheet of paper. They never tell you that in school. It has faded to the point where the only immediately recognizable words are the giant 'In Congress' at the top, and John Hancock's John Hancock.... This is because, for the first half-century or so after it was signed, it was displayed on the walls of various government buildings, in the sun and elements." 1

Many of the challenges of document preservation are about correcting the vicissitudes of ignorance. It is difficult to know from the start which documents are important and worthy of protection. And even when documents are understood to be important, as in the case of the Declaration of Independence, the best way to preserve the document is rarely, if ever, known.

From the very moment of its creation, the Declaration of Independence has been a document potent in symbolic, historical and political value. People have tried to physically protect it, even when they did not fully understand how to do so. However, the same love that has lead people to try and protect the document has also led them to view and display it; a practice that has, over time resulted in damage. The velveteen rabbit2 of America, the Declaration of Independence has very nearly been loved to death.

By using the American experience in attempting to both preserve and display the Declaration of Independence as a lens, we can examine the problems and difficulties of preserving precious documents. The ways in which Americans have acted to protect the Declaration of Independence illustrate problems that must be overcome in order to effectively protect precious documents.

Creation of the Declaration of Independence

In June of 1776, the Continental Congress ('Congress') commissioned the Committee of Five ('Committee') to draft a statement that would present to the world the Thirteen Colonies' case for independence.3 Thomas Jefferson was to do the majority of the actual writing of the document, which was later to become known as the Declaration of Independence ('Declaration').4 After completing his initial draft (which he called the 'original Rough draught'),5 Jefferson presented it to the rest of the Committee. Fellow committee members John Adams and Benjamin Franklin made some small changes.6

It was then submitted to the Congress as a whole. On July 2, 1776, the Congress began to consider the Declaration.7 Some small amendments were made, but the basic document remained nearly identical to the document initially penned by Jefferson.8 Late on the afternoon of July 4, the Declaration was adopted by a majority of the Congress (New York abstaining).9

Upon this news, the Committee arranged to have copies of the Declaration printed at the shop of John Dunlap.10 On July 5, the Dunlap copies were dispatched by the Continental Congress to various colonial and local committees, assemblies, and military officials.11 It is not known how many copies of the so-called "Dunlap Broadside" were originally printed, but the number is believed to have been between 200 and 500.12 There are currently about 25 copies currently known to remain.13

On July 9, New York officially ratified the Declaration.14 Since all the colonies had now ratified it, the Congress ordered on July 19 that the Declaration be, "fairly engrossed on parchment with the title and stile of 'The unanimous declaration of the thirteen United States of America', and that the same, when engrossed, be signed by every member of Congress."15 It is believed that Timothy Matlack,16 a Pennsylvanian who had also written out George Washington's commission as commanding general of the Continental Army, was the scribe who engrossed17 the Declaration.18

On August 2, the engrossed copy of the Declaration was completed, and signed by the members of Congress who were present.19 Eventually, most of the members of the Congress signed it, though some did not, including Robert R. Livingstone of New York, one of the Committee members.20 Written with iron-gall ink21 on animal skin parchment,22 it is this signed and engrossed copy (hereinafter 'Engrossed Copy') that most Americans refer to when they refer to the physical "Declaration of Independence".

The Fragment

Both the draft that Jefferson submitted to the Committee and a fragment of an earlier draft (hereinafter 'Fragment') still survive.23 From the Fragment, we know that Jefferson heavily edited his work before it was first submitted to the Committee.

In actuality, none of the work that appears on the Fragment remains in the final Engrossed Copy. However upon examination of the chain and laid lines24 in the Fragment with fiber-optic light, it has been determined that the Fragment and the paper of the 'original Rough draught' (hereinafter 'Draft') were made by the same manufacturer.25 The Fragment was discovered by Julian Boyd 26 in 1947 among the Thomas Jefferson Papers at the Library of Congress.27 The fragment had been misfiled among some other papers.28 Textual evidence makes it clear that the Fragment was written before the Draft.29

The Fragment has undergone substantial conservation treatments both before and after its rediscovery. The first of them was 'silking' -- a manuscript repair and strengthening process adopted by the Library of Congress in the 1899.30 The silking process involved gluing the document between two pieces of transparent silk.31 In the 1940s, the process fell out of favor when conservators realized that the adhesive and other materials used in the silking process became acidic and brittle over time.32 The silk was removed from the fragment in the 1970s. At the same time, the fragment was de-acidified33 and mended34 with Japanese paper.35 Before being displayed as one of the "Treasures of the Library of Congress",36 the Fragment underwent treatment to remove and revise earlier restorations that were "visually unsympathetic", and to undergo a stabilizing treatment.37 Since that exhibition, the Fragment had remained in a cold storage vault which maintains rigid temperature and humidity38 control.39 While exhibited, the Fragment is placed in a temperature and humidity controlled display case40 that has specially glazed, ballistics rated polycarbonate and glass viewing windows41 so that visitors to the Library of Congress can view it.

The Draft

The Draft is in the possession of the Library of Congress. It was obtained when the Library of Congress purchased President Jefferson's papers.42 This four-page manuscript is thought to have been created as a 'clean copy' by Jefferson out of his previous drafts.43 It was submitted to the Committee, and bears corrections made by both Franklin and Adams, as well as the emendations Congress made during the ratification process.44

The Draft was placed on display to the general public as one of the "Treasures of the Library of Congress" 45 for the first time in 1995.46 It was displayed again in 1998.47 It has been frequently handled and publicly exhibited on previous occasions.48 Though it is known that the Draft had undergone conservation treatment on at least three occasions, the precise nature of these treatments is unknown. Therefore in 1997, the Library of Congress' Conservation and Research and Testing Offices carried out a thorough technical analysis of the document's condition.49 It was determined that the document was so sensitive and so acidic that no current method of deacidification50 can be used.51 It is currently housed in a custom built, temperature and humidity controlled display case filled with the inert gas Argon52 that is designed to drastically reduce oxidation and hydrolysis, extending the document's life expectancy.53 Like the Fragment, while exhibited, the Draft is placed in a maple framed display case53 designed to keep both temperature and humidity low.55 The case retreats into a 55-ton vault under the Rotunda of the National Archives Building each night, and during times of danger.56 The environment of the vault itself is kept at a constant 50 degrees Fahrenheit and 50% relative humidity.57 The case has specially glazed, ballistics rated polycarbonate and glass viewing windows58 with double ultraviolet light-filtering acrylic glazing in order to reduce photo oxidization.59 This enables safe display under low-light conditions, allowing the Draft to be exhibited.

The Engrossed Copy

From the time of the Engrossed Copy's creation in August of 1776, it traveled as one of the various papers of the Continental Congress,60 possibly having been filed with the Secretary of the Continental Congress in Philadelphia.61 Like most parchment62 documents of that day, it was most likely stored in a roll.63 At the end of 1776, as the British were threatening Philadelphia, the Congress and its papers were moved by wagon to Baltimore, where the papers were to remain until their return to Philadelphia in mid-1777.64 Soon after arriving in Philadelphia, however, the Congress and its papers were again forced to flee; this time to Lancaster and York, Pennsylvania, where their papers, including the Engrossed Copy, resided in the courthouse until it was safe to return to Philadelphia.65 From 1778 until 1783, the Engrossed Copy resided in the State House in Philadelphia.66 As the Congress moved, so did the Engrossed Copy. At various times it resided in Princeton, Annapolis, Trenton and New York, where it briefly resided in the City Hall (remodeled by Pierre L'Enfant into Federal Hall) on Wall Street.67

In July of 1789, the first National Congress created the Department of Foreign Affairs (to be renamed during that same year as the Department of State), and decreed that it should have custody of the records – including the Engrossed Copy. It was delivered into the custody of Thomas Jefferson in March 1790, who in addition to being the author of the Declaration of Independence was now, as the first Secretary of State, its first official guardian.68 In 1800, the new capital in the District of Columbia was sufficiently prepared to host the new government. Accordingly, the Engrossed Copy and all the other government records were moved to the new capital.69

The vast majority of this journey had been made by cart or wagon (though the final move had been made over water), over unpaved roads and with questionable care – sometimes during emergency circumstances. Though all of these moves had been made in order to protect or honor it, it is fair to say that the Engrossed Copy was not treated with much delicacy during the first 25 years of its existence. Unfortunately, the years immediately following 1800 were to be no kinder.

The year 1812 found the United States again at war with the British. In 1814, the British had taken control of the Chesapeake region of the United States.70 In August of that year, Washington City was evacuated. A State Department clerk by the name of Stephen Pleasanton 71 packed all the books and records in the keeping of the State Department (including the Engrossed Copy of the Declaration of Independence) into coarse linen bags, whereupon they were taken by cart out of the city. This group of records, which included the Engrossed Copy, was hidden in a gristmill in northern Virginia, a scant two miles from Georgetown – a city which was threatened by the British and soon to be burned.72

On August 24, as the capital burned, the Engrossed Copy of the Declaration of Independence traveled by wagon to Leesburg, Virginia, where it stayed in the private home of a clergyman 73 until the British had withdrawn and it could be restored to the capital.74 It has stayed in Washington, D.C. ever since, save for a centennial trip to Philadelphia in 1876, and evacuation to Fort Knox during World War II.75

Even though its days of frequent travel were over, the vicissitudes of the Engrossed Copy were not at an end. In 1817, Acting Secretary of State Richard Rush 76 commented on the fading and premature degeneration of the Engrossed Copy. 77 Its condition can be explained by its days of hard and frequent travel, and by the several facsimiles made by various publishers in the years immediately following the war of 1812. 78 These facsimiles were often made by creating wet press copies.79 This is a method of making a copy of a document by placing a damp sheet of paper over the original and actually transferring a quantity of the original ink to the damp paper. 80 This process removed a large portion of ink from the Engrossed Copy. 81 In addition, having been stored as a rolled parchment (as noted above), any user would have to unroll the document in order to read it, and then re-roll it when finished. This type of use creates quite a bit of wear and damage to a document.82

In 1841, the Secretary of State ordered that the Engrossed Copy be placed in the new Patent Office Building, where it was placed in an ordinary glass frame directly opposite a large, sun-filled window. While this type of display allowed the public to view the Engrossed Copy, it also meant that fading was inevitable. 83 By the time it was exhibited in Philadelphia in 1876 for the Centennial celebrations there, many of the signatures were illegible, or had faded to invisibility.84 Various restoration schemes, such as retracing the lettering, were proposed but never implemented. In 1879, exhibition of the Engrossed Copy was restricted to extraordinary occasions and only then upon the direct order of the Secretary of State.85 As a preservation measure, it was sealed in a steel case between two plates of glass and locked in a safe. 86 A proposal was made in 1903 to restore the appearance of the ink by application of chemical salts, and to reinforce the parchment with paraffin. 87 This proposal was opposed by a committee formed to study the deteriorating document.88 The Secretary of State supported the committee unreservedly.89

The Engrossed Copy remained in Washington DC, mostly undisturbed, until just after World War I, whereupon a team of experts examined it and declared that it might be exhibited under careful circumstances, as long as it remained in safe and expert custody and was exposed only to diffuse light. 90 In 1921, President Warren G. Harding signed an Executive order, directing that custody of the Engrossed Copy be transferred from the State Department, to the Librarian of Congress. 91 Consequently, Herbert Putnam, the Librarian of Congress, retrieved the Engrossed Copy. Putnam placed the document on a pile of leather mail sacks in the back of a Model T Ford, and drove it to the Library of Congress building.92 Putnam requested funds from Congress so that visitors to the capitol could view the Engrossed Copy, and Congress appropriated $12,000 for this purpose.93

Soon plans were made for a 'shrine' in which to house it.94

This 'shrine', the first of a number of 'protective displays' that have been designed over the years as a compromise between public display and physical protection, was surrounded by American marbles and entered by way of two gold-plated bronze doors.95 The housing for the Engrossed Copy was made of a double layer of plate glass with a gelatin film between the plates. This was intended to protect the Engrossed Copy from direct light.96 The 'shrine' was dedicated in 1924 in the presence of President Calvin Coolidge, First Lady Grace Coolidge, and other distinguished guests.97 It was to remain there, in spite of political wrangling between the Library of Congress and the newly formed National Archives, until 1941.98

In 1941, when the United States entered World War II, it was taken to a vault at Fort Knox for safekeeping, along with other documents of importance, such as the Constitution and a copy of the Magna Carta.99

The preparations for transportation were elaborate. First, the document was removed from its 'shrine' and placed between two sheets of acid-free manila paper.100 Then, the Engrossed Copy, along with other, similarly treated documents, were placed into a container of all-rag, neutral millboard and then into a bronze container secured with padlocks on each side.101 Under heavy guard, the bronze container was sealed with lead and transported to a train at Washington DC's Union Station, where it was put into a Pullman sleeper car guarded by armed Secret Service agents.102

Upon arrival at Fort Knox, the lead sealed bronze case was met by a cavalry troop of the 13th armored division, which escorted it to the Bullion Depository of Fort Knox.103 While at Fort Knox, the Engrossed Copy was inspected by experts who took it from its case, and removed glue and other adhesives from the parchment.104

It was discovered that, sometime during its history, a tear in the upper right-hand corner of the Engrossed Copy had been repaired with cellophane105 tape.106 The Engrossed Copy was to remain at Fort Knox until October 1944 when it was returned to the Library of Congress.107

In 1951, the National Bureau of Standards, concerned about the physical degradation of the document itself, sealed the engrossed copy in a helium-filled glass and metal case. This case, another protective display, was fitted with a light-filtering screen, and the case itself was designed to protect against air pollution. 108 The case was a part of an improved display in the Library of Congress building, and on September 17, 1951, the display was rededicated and opened to the public.109

However, scarcely as soon as the display in the Library of Congress had been completed, plans were being hatched to move the Engrossed Copy (as well as the original copy of the Constitution) to the National Archives. This time, there was no disagreement between the Librarian of Congress and the National Archivist, who worked together in order to effect the transfer of custody. On April 30, 1952, the Joint Congressional Committee on the Library unanimously ordered that the Engrossed Copy be given over to the National Archives.

On December 13 of that year, the Engrossed Copy was transferred into the custody of the National Archives110 where another protective display awaited it. In contrast to the casual transfer of custody from the State Department to the Library of Congress, this transfer was made with great ceremony.111 Members of the Armed Forces Special Police carried wooden crates containing the fragile documents, which were still in their helium-filled glass cases, out of the library through a cordon of eighty-eight servicewomen. The boxes were then placed on mattresses in an armored personnel carrier. A color guard, ceremonial troops, the Army Band, the Air Force Drum and Bugle Corps, two light tanks, four servicemen carrying submachine guns, and a motorcycle escort accompanied the armored personnel carrier along the streets of Washington DC to the Archives Building. Lining both sides of the street along the parade route were members of the Army, Navy, Coast Guard, Marine, and Air Force. The delegation of Armed Forces Special Police carried the crates into the National Archives Building where the commanding general of the Air Force Headquarters Command formally delivered the documents into the custody of the National Archives.

On December 15, the Engrossed Copy was formally enshrined in a 55 ton bombproof vault,112 and placed on display in a bronze and marble case fronted with ballistically tested, light filtering glass and an ultraviolet-filtering plastic laminate.113 It was filled with a mixture of helium vapor at a relative humidity of 25-35 percent at room temperature.114 The case was designed to descend into that vault at night or in times of danger, and was under the protection of two armed guards while outside the vault.115 In his speech at the dedication ceremony, President Harry S. Truman spoke of the dual nature of the display; "We are engaged here today in a symbolic act. We are enshrining these documents for future ages. . . . This magnificent hall has been constructed to exhibit them, and the vault beneath, that we have built to protect them, is as safe from destruction as anything that the wit of modern man can devise."116

In 1987, the renamed National Archives and Records Administration (hereinafter NARA) installed a sophisticated camera system to constantly monitor all the documents117 displayed in the Rotunda.118 This was not only a security measure. The computerized Charters Monitoring System that was put into place also constantly assessed the documents' state of preservation.119 These enclosures, which were designed according to the current state of the art, were expected to provide thorough protection for at least 100 years.120

It stayed uneventfully in this protective display until 1998, when NARA became interested in some tiny white specks that had begun to appear on the inside of the glass protecting the Engrossed Copy.121

Upon becoming aware of these white specks, as well as a "haziness" in places where the parchment was in contact with the glass,122 the Document Conservation Office requested experts from the NASA Langley Research Center123 and the University of Iowa Center for the Book124 to determine, first, what was going on; second, if the Engrossed Copy was in any danger; and third, if so, what ought to be done and, upon authorization, to commence with the repairs. These experts tested the humidity within the sealed display and found a relative humidity of 55-65 percent.

The glass manufacturer determined that the white specks were alkaline compounds leached from the glass in the oxygen-deficient but water-rich environment.125 Experts from the University of Iowa hypothesized that the increase in humidity came from the backing paper enclosed with the parchment, which had absorbed water from the humid Washington DC air before being placed in the sealed display. Over the years, the water vapor outgassed126 from the backing paper and into the environment of the display.127

Upon learning of these problems, a new protective display was planned as a part of the President William J. Clinton's Millennium Project.128 The cases were to be made of aluminum, titanium and light-filtering ballistics-rated glass that would then be filled with argon.129 The relative humidity was planned for 40 percent in order to reduce shock to the document in case the display ever had to be reopened.130 The University of Iowa's Center for the Book designed a special backing paper that would help to stabilize the humidity within the case. 131 The case was designed to suspend the documents, preventing contact with the glass.132

Like the Draft and Fragment, while exhibited, the Engrossed Copy's display case, which retreats into a further environmentally controlled vault133 under the Rotunda of the National Archives building each night,134 is designed to keep the temperature and humidity low. On September 18, 2003, the newly encased Engrossed Copy was displayed to the public in its new state of the art encasement.135

The new encasement is located in the Rotunda of the National Archives. The Rotunda itself also reopened on September 18, 2003, after a $100 million renovation taking more than two years136 that resulted in a partial redesign of the displays so that all of the Charters of Freedom, including the Engrossed Copy, are "at heights and angles viewable to everyone, including small children and people in wheelchairs." 137 Before the Rotunda was closed for renovations, its displays attracted about 1 million visitors annually.138

More than two hundred years after it was written, and in spite of its poor condition, Americans continue to love the Declaration of Independence: In 2005, the National Archives welcomed its millionth visitor of the year on September 29, surpassing initial projections and exceeding the previous year's attendance numbers by more than 40%.139

Conclusion

Given that document preservation is a new and constantly changing art, in order to preserve the physicality of beloved documents, those who would conserve them must be flexible in thought and careful in action, as a permanent "repair" may turn out to do permanent damage. The 'state of the art' from one era may turn out to present challenges and do damage that the next 'state of the art' must undo. Modern experts may gasp in relief that the 1903 proposal to restore the Engrossed Copy's appearance with chemical salts and reinforce the parchment with paraffin was rejected, but it is important to remember that the proposal was made seriously and in good faith.

The value of a document cannot be found solely in the words, or even in its image. As President Bush said at the reopening of the Rotunda, "Many Americans have seen reproductions of the Declaration of Independence....Yet as familiar as these documents [the Charters of Freedom] are, to see them in their originals is a moving experience."140 Despite the familiarity of the language and concepts encapsulated in the Declaration of Independence, and the abundance of facsimiles, Americans have consistently gone to expensive, elaborate lengths in order to preserve the physical document itself, and to make it accessible for viewing. This is because the Declaration of Independence is a beloved national icon. Americans value the physical object itself, finding significance in it as an original item that cannot be found in any reproduction.

It is precisely because of this value that those who preserve documents must balance the need to preserve documents so that future generations might have access to them, with the drive of the present generation to access the items which they value so highly.

 

References

1. Gene Weingarten, "Whee the People; The National Archives: Where the Laughs are," The Washington Post Magazine, 36 February 6, 2005.

2. The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams is a children's book first published in 1922. It is about a toy rabbit that is so deeply loved by a little boy that, though his physical form is worn out and destroyed, he transcends it and becomes a real rabbit. An online text may be found at http://digital.library.upenn.edu/women/williams/rabbit/rabbit.html.

3. National Archives and Records Administration. "The Declaration of Independence; A History." US National Archives and Records Administration. http://www.archives.gov/national_archives_experience/ charters/declaration_history.html (accessed 30 June 30, 2004). Hereinafter, the National Archives and Records Association will be referred to as NARA.

4. National Trust for Historic Preservation. "Save America's Treasures: Charters of Freedom" National Trust for Historic Preservation. http://www.nationaltrust.org/sat/profiles/charterfree.htm (accessed 30 June 30, 2004).

5. Library of Congress. Declaring Independence: Drafting the Documents. Library of Congress. http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/declara/declara4.html (accessed April 14, 2005).

6. NARA, "The Declaration of Independence; A History"

7. NARA, "The Declaration of Independence; A History"

8. NARA, "The Declaration of Independence; A History"

9. NARA, "The Declaration of Independence; A History"

10. NARA, "The Declaration of Independence; A History"

11. NARA, "The Declaration of Independence; A History"

12. Stanley L. Klos. Declaration of Independence, A Brief History. Virtualology, a Virtual Education Project. http://www.virtualology.com/virtualmuseumofhistory/declarationofindependence.info/ (accessed July 30, 2004). One of the extant copies of the Dunlap Broadside resides in the collection of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University. Thanks to that institution's Digital Images Online project, a digital image of the Dunlap Broadside may be seen at http://beinecke.library.yale.edu/dl_crosscollex/brbldl/oneITEM.asp?pid=2003775&iid=1017037&srchtype= .

13. National Park Service. A Multitude of Amendments, Alterations and Additions: The Declaration of Independence. National Park Service. http://www.cr.nps.gov/history/online_books/dube/inde2.htm accessed July 30, 2004).

14. NARA, "The Declaration of Independence; A History"

15. NARA, "The Declaration of Independence; A History"

16. In addition to being a member of the Continental Congress and Committees of Correspondence, Timothy Matlack was influential in shaping Pennsylvania's constitution and represented Pennsylvania at the trial of Benedict Arnold. During the Revolutionary War, Matlack also served as Colonel of the Fifth Rifle Battalion of Philadelphia Associators, seeing battle at the Battle of Trenton and the Battle of Princeton. Allen Johnson and Dumas Malone, eds. Dictionary of American Biography, (New York: Charles Scribner & Sons. 1933), vol 12, pp 409-410

17. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, a thing that is engrossed is, "Written out large, written in a legal hand; expressed or incorporated in a legal document". Simpson J.A. and Weiner, E.S.C., eds. The Oxford English Dictionary, Second Edition. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1989).

18. NARA, "The Declaration of Independence; A History"

19. Most of the members of the Continental Congress signed the Declaration on this day. The remaining delegates signed it as follows: George Wythe of Virginia signed on August 27, 1776. Richard Henry Lee of Virginia, Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts, and Oliver Wolcott of Connecticut signed on September 4, 1776. Matthew Thornton of New Hampshire signed on November 19 of that year, and Thomas McKean of Delaware, the last person to sign, did so sometime during the year of 1781.

20. NARA, "The Declaration of Independence; A History"

21. Iron-gall ink is a preparation of tannic acid (commonly found in oak galls) and iron sulphate. This type of ink, when perfectly made, is very stable. However, when imperfectly made, iron-gall ink is prone to fading upon exposure to light. Fellows-Jensen, Gillian and Peter Springborg. Care and Conservation of Manuscripts: Proceedings of the Seventh International Seminar held at the Royal Library, Copenhagen, 18th-19th April, 2002. (Copenhagen: Museum Tusculanum Press, 2003), 159-160.

22. John DeGaspari. "Preserving the Charters of Freedom." Mechanical Engineering-CIME, 125 i3 (2003). InfoTrac General Full-Text Database via Sabio,
http://sabio.library.arizona.edu.ezproxy.library.arizona.edu/.

23. Mark Roosa. "Preservation Corner: Piecing Together Fragments of History ." Library of Congress Information Bulletin 58, n7 (1998) FirstSearch Database via Sabio, http://sabio.library.arizona.edu.ezproxy.library.arizona.edu/.

24. Chain and Laid lines are marks left by the moulds used in the papermaking process. Dard Hunter, Papermaking: The History and Technique of an Ancient Craft. (New York: Dover Publications, 1978), 86-89.

25. Roosa

26. Julian P. Boyd is the author of several books on American colonial history. One well-known work, his 1950 volume, entitled The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, drew upon the information contained in the Fragment to reconstruct Jefferson's drafting process. See, Julian P. Boyd, et al., eds. The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, Vol. 1, 1760-1776. (Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1950), 242-247.

27. Gerard Gawalt, Jefferson and the Declaration: Updated Work Studies Evolution of Historic Text. Library of Congress. http://www.loc.gov/loc/lcib/9907/jeffdec.html (accessed 17 April 17, 2005).

28. Gawalt

29. Gawalt

30. Roosa

31. Roosa

32. Roosa

33. Paper and animal skin products such as leather, parchment and vellum are vulnerable to damage in acidic environments. "Paper becomes discolored and brittle, and leather becomes weak and powdery". Sherelyn Ogden, Preservation of Library and Archival Materials. (Andover, Massachusetts: Northeast Document Conservation Center, 1999), 71.

34. The process of mending with Japanese paper is described thus: "Tears are carefully aligned, then repaired, usually on the reverse, with narrow strips of torn Japanese tissue. The strips are adhered with a permanent, non-staining adhesive such as starch-based paste. Fine, transparent tissue is used to avoid build-up and to allow writing on the reverse to be seen." Ogden, 393.

35. Roosa

36. Library of Congress "Preserving our Treasures"

37. Roosa

38. In the words of one expert, "Control of temperature and relative humidity is critical in the preservation of library and archival collections because unacceptable levels of these contribute significantly to the breakdown of materials.... Fluctuations in temperature and relative humidity are also damaging. Library and archival materials are hygroscopic, readily absorbing and releasing moisture. They respond to diurnal and seasonal changes in temperature and relative humidity by expanding and contracting. Dimensional changes accelerate deterioration and lead to such visible damage as cockling paper [and] flaking ink" Ogden, 69.

39. Roosa

40. For more details on the current housing and display of the fragment, see the section on page 10 (notes 43 – 50) dealing with the display and housing of the Draft.

41. Roosa

42. It was obtained either in 1815 when the Library purchased Jefferson's collection to replace what was lost during the war of 1812, or in 1829 when the Library bought Jefferson's remaining papers at auction.

Library of Congress, "Introduction: Library of Congress Manuscripts, an illustrated guide". Library of Congress. http://www.loc.gov/rr/mss/guide/intro.html (accessed April 17, 2005).

43. Library of Congress "Introduction"

44. Library of Congress "Introduction"

45. Library of Congress. "American Treasures of the Library of Congress". Library of Congress. http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/treasures/ (accessed April 17, 2005).

46. Library of Congress, "Library of Congress To Exhibit Draft of the Declaration of Independence". Library of Congress Public Affairs Office. http://www.loc.gov/today/pr/1995/95-075.html (accessed April 17, 2005).

47. Library of Congress, "Declaration of Independence Rough Draft Again on View in 'Treasures'". Library of Congress Public Affairs Office. http://www.loc.gov/today/pr/1998/98-088.html (accessed April 17, 2005).

48. Library of Congress, "Manuscripts: Preserving the Nation's Heritage at the Library of Congress". Library of Congress Manuscripts Division. http://www.loc.gov/preserv/bachbase/bbcmanus2.html (accessed April 17, 2005).

49. Library of Congress "Manuscripts"

50. Deacidification (sometimes known as alkalization) is sometimes accomplished through immersion or spraying with pure water, or in water in which an alkalizing agent has been dissolved. Where water-soluble substances are present, these alkalizing agents may be dissolved in organic solvents instead of in water. The particular solvent and alkalizing agents used are selected based on the various media used in the document or artifact to be deacidified. Ogden, 392.

51. Library of Congress "Manuscripts"

52. Library of Congress, "Services of the Conservation Division", Library of Congress Conservation Division. http://www.loc.gov/preserv/conserv.html (accessed April 17, 2005).

53. Library of Congress "Services"

54. Henry Groskinsky "Up With Liberty." Life Magazine,17 n7 (July, 1994) FirstSearch Database via Sabio, http://sabio.library.arizona.edu.ezproxy.library.arizona.edu/.

55. Library of Congress "Services"

56. Groskinsky

57. Library of Congress "Preserving our Treasures"

58. Roosa

59. Library of Congress "Preserving our Treasures"

60. Dumas Malone, The Story of the Declaration of Independence. (New York: Oxford University Press, 1975) 249.

61. NARA, "The Declaration of Independence; A History"

62. Parchment is a writing material made from animal skin that has had the hair removed, then been wet, limed, and dried under tension. It must be degreased and hardened before it can be written upon. Parchment, though made of animal skin like leather, is not tanned the way leather is. .Frederick Kilgour, The Evolution of the Book. (New York: Oxford University Press, 1998). 39.

63. NARA, "The Declaration of Independence; A History"

64. NARA, "The Declaration of Independence; A History"

65. Malone, 249.

66. Malone, 250.

67. Malone, 250.

68. NARA, "The Declaration of Independence; A History"

69. NARA, "The Declaration of Independence; A History"

70. Malone, 252.

71. Pleasanton had been assured by the Secretary of War (an office now entitled the Secretary of Defense) that Washington DC was in no danger from the advancing British troops. As it turned out, the British troops broke through the American lines to burn much of Washington DC – including all of the public buildings. (Press Release, The White House Office of the Press Secretary, Remarks of the President and the First Lady in Highlighting the Charters of Freedom Project, (July 1, 1999))

72. NARA, "The Declaration of Independence; A History"

73. Malone, 253.

74. NARA, "The Declaration of Independence; A History"

75. NARA, "The Declaration of Independence; A History"

76. Richard Rush was the son of Benjamin Rush, one of the signers of the Engrossed Copy. Rush served in a number of roles during his career. He was appointed Attorney General under James Madison. (John Gilmary Shea, ed. The Magazine of American History with Notes and Queries. Vol 3 (New York: W.H. Tinson, 1859) 287-289. Later, during a diplomatic mission to England in 1817, he negotiated the Rush-Bagot Convention which demilitarized the US-Canadian border. In 1818, he negotiated the Treaty of 1818, which, among other things, resolved boundary disputes between the US and Britain and allowed for joint settlement of the Oregon Territory. (Richard Rush, Memoranda of a Residence at the Court of London. (Philadelphia: Key & Biddle 1833) 388-415.) On another mission to England in 1836, Rush secured the legacy left to the United States by James Smithson. This legacy was used to endow the Smithsonian Institution. Rush also served as Secretary of the Treasury under President John Quincy Adams. Rush also served as Ambassador to France under President James K. Polk. (Shea, 287-289).

77. NARA, "The Declaration of Independence; A History"

78. Malone, 253 - 255.

79. NARA, "The Declaration of Independence; A History"

80. NARA, "The Declaration of Independence; A History"

81. National Academy of Sciences. Report of a Committee of the National Academy of Sciences on the Condition and Preservation of the Declaration of Independence. (New York: National Academy of Sciences). April 24, 1903.

82. Malone, 255.

83. Malone, 256.

84. Malone, 253 - 255.

85. Malone, 256.

86. Malone, 256.

87. National Academy of Sciences.

88. National Academy of Sciences.

89. National Academy of Sciences.

90. Malone, 262.

91. Malone, 256.

92. Gustafson, Milton. "Travels of the Charters of Freedom." Prologue Magazine, v34 n 4 (Winter 2002) http://www.archives.gov/publications/prologue/2002/winter/travels-charters.html (accessed March 5, 2007).

93. Gustafson

94. Malone, 256.

95. NARA, "The Declaration of Independence; A History"

96. NARA, "The Declaration of Independence; A History"

97. NARA, "The Declaration of Independence; A History"

98. Gustafson

99. Malone, 263.

100. NARA, "The Declaration of Independence; A History"

101. NARA, "The Declaration of Independence; A History"

102. NARA, "The Declaration of Independence; A History"

103. NARA, "The Declaration of Independence; A History"

104. Malone, 263.

105. Commercial tapes and adhesives are often harmful to fragile documents. The method of removing these substances is described thus: "water-based adhesives such as animal glue are removed in a water bath, by local application of moisture, or with steam. Synthetic adhesives and pressure-sensitive (self-adhering) tapes usually have to be dissolved in or softened with an organic solvent before they can be removed." Ogden, 392.

106. NARA, "The Declaration of Independence; A History"

107. Malone, 263.

108. NARA, "The Declaration of Independence; A History"

109. Gustafson

110. NARA, "The Declaration of Independence; A History"

111. Gustafson

112. Warren E. Leary, "Nation's Vital Documents Get Checkups". New York Times. C1 February 14, 1995.

113. NARA, "The Declaration of Independence; A History"

114. DeGaspari

115. NARA, "The Declaration of Independence; A History"

116. Truman, Harry S. "Address at the National Archives Dedicating the New Shrine for the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights, December 15, 1952". Public Papers of the Presidents. http://www.trumanlibrary.org/publicpapers/index.php?pid=2102&st=&st1= (accessed March 5, 2007)

117. These documents are often referred to as 'The Charters of Freedom'

118. NARA, "The Declaration of Independence; A History"

119. NARA, "The Declaration of Independence; A History"

120. Warren E. Leary. "Some New Framers Preserve A Heritage". New York Times. 1 February 7, 1999.

121. DeGaspari

122. Leary, "Vital Documents"

123. DeGaspari

124. University of Iowa Center for the Book. Center for the Book Paper Chosen for Preservation of Declaration of Independence, Other Documents. University of Iowa. http://www.uiowa.edu/~fyi/issues1999/08201999/book.html (accessed July 30, 2004)

125. DeGaspari

126. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, 'outgassing' means, "release or give off as a gas or vapour" Simpson and Weiner

127. DeGaspari

128. Leary, "Heritage"

129. DeGaspari

130. Leary, "Heritage"

131. University of Iowa Center for the Book

132. Popular Mechanics "Reframing the Past". 176 i11 (November 1999) InfoTrac IAC General Full-Text Database via Sabio, http://sabio.library.arizona.edu.ezproxy.library.arizona.edu/.

133. Library of Congress "Services"

134. Groskinsky

135. U.S. News and World Report, "Journey of an American Icon" 135 i9. InfoTrac IAC General Full-Text Database via Sabio, http://sabio.library.arizona.edu.ezproxy.library.arizona.edu/.

136. Monte Reel, "A Strictly Constitutional Celebration of Principles; at Renovated Archive, a Charter Party" Washington Post, September 18, 2003, B1.

137. Eric Morath, "Rare Missouri Marble Encases 'Cherished' Historic Documents; Renovated National Archives" St. Louis Post-Dispatch, September 18, 2003, A4.

138. Reel

139. "National Archives Welcomes Millionth 2005 Visitor" States News Service, September 29, 2005.Lexis Nexis Academic via University of Houston Library Catalog at http://libraries.uh.edu/

140. Morath

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