Visit the Declaration of Independence at U.Va. on July 4

June 25, 2007 -- Celebrate the nation's independence with a new, air-conditioned Fourth of July tradition — viewing the subversive document that launched a revolution: the Declaration of Independence.

For the second year, 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 known surviving copies of the Declaration 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.

"Declaring Independence: Creating and Re-creating America's Document" will be open to the public on Wednesday, July 4, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Docents will be available throughout the day for guided tours. Groups of 10 or more should call ahead (434) 982-4548 for reservations. Admission is free.

Visitors also have an opportunity to celebrate Virginia history with the other exhibits at the library. Virginia Visions examines 400 years of Virginians and how they envisioned themselves and the commonwealth. "The Flowerdew Hundred: Unearthing Virginia's History" exhibit displays archaeological finds from Mary and David Harrison's historic Virginia estate.

The exhibits - all free and open to the public - are located at the U.Va. Library's 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.

Limited free parking is available on University Avenue; additional parking is available in the public garage on Emmet Street.

Library hours:

Information on the Harrison Institute:
Information on Special Collections:

To download a copy of this release and images to go with your story, go to the library's pressroom: