June 13, 2006 -- The Charlottesville community is invited to see the subversive document that launched a revolution: the Declaration of Independence. For the first time, the University of Virginia Library’s permanent exhibit, “Declaring Independence: Creating and Recreating America’s Document,” will be open on July 4. The exhibit highlights the collection given by U.Va. alumnus Albert H. Small, and includes one of only 25 surviving copies printed on the night of July 4, 1776.
The exhibit also includes printings of the Declaration through history, letters and documents from the 56 signers, and a 13-minute documentary film showing the story of the events that led to the founding of this country.
“We consider it our patriotic duty to extend a special invitation to visit our unique exhibition over the Independence Day holiday,” said Christian Dupont, director of the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library. “Nothing can bring you closer to the events of July 4, 1776.”
“Declaring Independence: Creating and Re-creating America’s Document” will be open to the public on Tuesday, July 4, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Docents will be available throughout the day for guided tours. Groups of ten or more should call ahead (434-982-4548) for reservations. Admission is free.
The exhibit is located on the lower floor of the U.Va. Library’s newest facility, the Mary and David Harrison Institute for American History, Literature and Culture, and the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library. The building is on U.Va.’s Central Grounds, adjacent to Alderman and Clemons libraries and facing McCormick Road.
Other exhibits in the building will be open on July 4. “The Style of Power,” in the main floor gallery, shows items that influenced the young United States in its attempts to establish itself. “Flowerdew Hundred: Unearthing Virginia’s History” displays archaeological finds from the Harrisons’ historic Virginia estate. All exhibits are free and open to the public.
Limited free parking is available on University Avenue; additional parking is available in the public garage near Newcomb Hall off Route 29/Emmet Street.