George Washington's first inaugural address, 1789

American Originals: Treasures from the National Archives
Deed of Gift, Statue of Liberty, 1884 The Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, 1862

October 5, 2001 to January 5, 2002
The New York Public Library
Humanities and Social Sciences Library
D. Samuel and Jeane H. Gottesman Exhibition Hall
Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street

The New York Public Library is the first venue on the nationwide tour of this critically acclaimed exhibition of documentary treasures from the National Archives. American Originals features some of the repository's most significant and compelling documents and provides a rare opportunity to view American history in the making, from the earliest days of the Revolution through the 20th century.

The exhibition features such milestone documents as the Louisiana Purchase Treaty, Thomas Edison's patent application for the first practical incandescent light bulb, and President John F. Kennedy's hand-written notes for his inaugural address. A special highlight is a four-day display of the Emancipation Proclamation (see below). The preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, signed by Lincoln on September 22, 1862, will be on view throughout the entire run of the exhibition. Admission is free.

View the website produced by the
National Archives of American Originals.

Thomas Edison's patent drawing for an improvement in electric lamps, 1880

Presidential statement in the event astronauts were stranded on the Moon, 1969

This exhibition has been organized by the National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C., and The Foundation for the National Archives.

Support for this exhibition at The New York Public Library has been provided by The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.

Corporate support in New York has been provided by
Bank of America
Support for The New York Public Library's Exhibitions Program has been provided by Pinewood Foundation and by Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III.

This web page is made possible by Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III and the Bertha and Isaac Liberman Foundation, Inc. in memory of Ruth and Seymour Klein.

  Special Exhibition of the Emancipation Proclamation
Monday, Thursday—Saturday 10a.m.—6p.m.

Tuesday—Wednesday. 11a.m.—7:30p.m.

Closed Sundays* and for
Columbus Day, October 8
Veterans Day, November 12
Thanksgiving Day, November 22
Christmas Day, December 25
New Year’s Day, January 1

*On one Sunday only, November 18, the exhibition will be on view 11a.m.— 5p.m.
The Emancipation Proclamation, 1863
The Emancipation Proclamation, signed by President Abraham Lincoln, will be on view for the following four days:

Friday, November 16, 10a.m.—6p.m.
Saturday, November 17, 10a.m.—6p.m.
Monday, November 19, 10a.m.—6p.m.
Sunday, November 18, 11a.m.—5p.m.

The New York Public Library/Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History Lectures

Every day at 12:30 and 2:30p.m.

For groups of ten or more
call 212.930.0501.

Related Exhibition

Presidential statement in the event astronauts were stranded on the Moon, 1969

Gordon Wood
: "The Americanization of Benjamin Franklin"

October 23 at 6p.m.

Eric Foner:
"The Civil War and the Transformation of American Freedom"
November 13 at 6p.m.

Kenneth Jackson: "Immigrant Metropolis: New York as America's Empire City"
January 15 at 6p.m

The Public’s Treasures: Americana from The New York Public Library

September 7, 2001—January 26, 2002

Humanities and Social Sciences Library
Edna Barnes Salomon Room
Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street

For more information on American Originals, consult the press release. To learn more about current and upcoming exhibitions and programs at The New York Public Library, visit the Library’s Events and Exhibitions page.

General William Tecumseh Sherman, 1865

Click on details for full images

This series is co-sponsored by The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. For further information about this series, visit the Public Education Program website or call 212.930.0855.

Companion Volume

American Originals (128 pp., National Archives Trust Fund Board and the University of Washington Press, 2001) by Stacey Bredhoff, with an introduction by historian Douglas Brinkley and more than 100 full-color illustrations, is available for a limited time at The Library Shop.
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