Image of the Declaration of Independence being signed

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.

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 or

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.

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What'sUpNewp. 
Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Belmore graduated from Coventry High School and the Community College of Rhode Island. In addition to living in Newport for 10 years, he has lived in Portsmouth, Coventry, Providence, Smithfield, Burrillville, and East Greenwich.

Belmore currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals. He previously served on the Board of Lucy's Hearth and the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Newport County.

Belmore and his wife, Jen, currently live in Alexandria, Virginia, a move they made in 2021. Read more about that here -

Belmore visits Newport every couple of weeks to support the 12+ paid contributors What'sUpNewp has on the ground across Rhode Island, a place he called home for 39 years.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.

In 2020, Belmore was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.
Belmore can be contacted at and 401-662-1653.