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How the Declaration of Independence Was Printed—and Protected


The 1776 “engrossed” copy of the Declaration of Independence—sometimes referred to as the “official” or “signed parchment” version—stands on display in the rotunda of the National Archives Museum, providing inspiration to those who, like Abraham Lincoln, view it as “a rebuke and a stumbling-block…to tyranny and oppression.”

Sealed in a gold-plated titanium frame, with bulletproof glass and cutting-edge safeguards against light and moisture, it remains under constant surveillance by armed guards and security cameras. Every night, it is lowered into a vault (along with the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, considered the other essential founding documents of the United States). Arguably no other texts in the world receive the same level of protection.





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