FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
State Archives and Library to Display Copy of U.S. Constitution in Celebration of Constitution Day on September 16
The New York State Archives and Library will celebrate Constitution Day on Saturday, September 16 with a public display of New York State’s handwritten 1788 copy of the United States Constitution, from the convention in Poughkeepsie where it was ratified.
“New York’s handwritten copy of the United States Constitution reflects the role that New York played in shaping our nation,” said Board of Regents Chancellor Betty A. Rosa. “The State Archives preserves this extraordinary document for future generations to discover. I encourage adults and children alike to take advantage of this opportunity to see this national treasure in person and learn about the vast educational resources at the State Archives and Library.”
“The United States Constitution is a founding document of our nation,” said State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia. “The State Library and Archives’ Constitution Day program is a great educational opportunity for New Yorkers of all ages to see the document that was used by the delegates to New York’s convention in Poughkeepsie. We urge schools and communities across the state to celebrate Constitution Day by learning about this national treasure that is the foundation of our democracy.”
The Constitution Day exhibition will be held on the 7th floor of the Cultural Education Center at 222 Madison Avenue in Albany on Saturday, September 16 from 9:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. In addition, free pocket-sized copies of the Constitution will be distributed on a first come, first-served basis; one per visitor while quantities last. A digital talking book of the Constitution from the New York State Talking Book and Braille Library (TBBL) will be available for TBBL patrons as well.
The United States Constitution was created on September 17, 1787. The document was considered by New York delegates who met in Poughkeepsie from June 17 through July 26, 1788. The delegates voted to ratify the Constitution on July 26, 1788 after lengthy debates which included such notable New Yorkers as Alexander Hamilton, George Clinton and John Jay. New York was the 11th state to ratify.
At the conclusion of the convention, the text of the Constitution as ratified by the delegates was engrossed (written in a large, legible hand) on parchment (treated sheepskin). This priceless document and the journal of the debates of the delegates have been preserved ever since. View an image of the first page of document.
The annual celebration of Constitution Day is an opportunity for the over 3,000 official depositories of federal publications, in print and online, to share their rich resources with the public. The New York State Library, is one of the oldest depositories in the country, founded in 1818. It is the largest depository in the state of New York and its holdings include both federal and state documents. As the New York State regional depository for U.S. government publications, the State Library receives and permanently keeps a copy of every document distributed under the Government Printing Office Depository Library Program.
The New York State Archives and Library are programs of the State Education Department’s Office of Cultural Education. Located on Madison Avenue in Albany, the Archives and Library are open Monday through Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. except on legal holidays. Further information can be obtained by calling (518) 474-5355 or visiting the Office of Cultural Education website.
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