With Independence Day approaching, Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea is inviting the public to view all four of Rhode Island’s copies of the Declaration of Independence, including one of the 13 original signed copies, as well as one of the 13 original drafts of the Bill of Rights. 

The documents will be on public display Friday, July 2, from 10 am to 2 pm at the State Archives at 33 Broad Street in Providence. State Archivist Ashley Selima will provide a brief presentation on the documents and their preservation beginning at 12:30 p.m.

Rhode Island’s copies of the Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights are normally stored out of view in the State Archives’ climate-controlled vault for preservation purposes. During this public viewing, photography and videography of the documents will be allowed without a flash or additional lighting.

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The State Archives are free and open to the public. Masks and a temperature check are required to enter the building, as visitors will not be asked their vaccination status. Off-street parking is available. Please contact the State Archives with additional questions at 401-222-2353 orstatearchives@sos.ri.gov.

WHAT: A rare chance to view Rhode Island’s original signed copy of the Declaration of Independence and original copy of the Bill of Rights, each one of only 13 in existence. The event is free and open to the public.

WHERE:The State Archives at 33 Broad Street in Providence.

WHEN:Friday, July 2, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.