Archives of the United States of America

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Archives of the United States of America ( 640x480 )
The National Archives Building is situated in downtown Washington, DC. It contains the permanent exhibit of the Constitution, Bill of Rights, and the Declaration of Independence. It houses textual and microfilm records relating to genealogy, American Indians, pre-World War II military and naval-maritime matters, the New Deal, the District of Columbia, the Federal courts, and Congress.

The building is divided into several parts. The part in which it is recommended to start in after entering the building is William G. McGowan Theater. It is the new 290-seattheatre. By day, it continuously shows a short signature film about the National Archives and twice daily shows a film about the Charters of Freedom. At night, the McGowan Theater becomes the Capital region's most important outlet for documentary film.

Probably the most famous part of the building is Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom, where for the first time, millions of people are able to simultaneously view all four pages of the Constitution, Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights. There are two other exhibit parts. The first one to mentioned is Lawrence F. O’Brien Gallery – changing exhibit gallery. The second one is the Public Vaults permanent exhibit gallery. At any given time it displays about 1,100 records-originals or facsimiles of documents, photographs, maps, drawings, film or audio clips, allowing you to see the raw materials of our American democracy. Besides galleries there is also the Archive shop and the Learning centre.

All the researches that want to enter the building need to show a photo ID and must be at least 14 years old. Admission is free. Reservations are not needed but recommended. Without reservations, it can take up to one hour or more to enter the building through the general public entry. Opening hours differ according to the time of the year.
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