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Ways to Experience The National Archives Museum
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All reviews magna carta declaration of independence important documents original documents public vaults founding fathers on display timed entry american history rights rotunda faded security amendments exhibits foundation citizens
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Reviewed August 26, 2019 via mobile

- You will feel a little “National Treasuresque” in here
- About 30 minutes before closing, they close some areas early. So be sure to arrive about 1-2 hours prior to ensure you can view the documents.
- There is a mural in the Bill of Rights, Declaration of Independence, Constitution room that matches a painting downstairs when you first walk in, after security.
- Will you be pushing your way or “cutting” in front of people to view the documents... yes
- No photography inside
- Documents are faded and lighting is dim because the items are ancient, weren’t treated well in the beginning and need to be preserved.
- The Staff near the documents weren’t the friendliest and weren’t keen on answering questions. Even to Americans, not just foreigners.

Date of experience: August 2019
2  Thank peach_tacos
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 21, 2019

Favorite museum in DC. Magna Carta, Bill of Rights, Declaration of Independence. Totally worth it, the wait is not bad at all, the guards keep it moving. No Pictures!!!

Date of experience: August 2019
2  Thank iuhas5
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 18, 2019 via mobile

This is the sort of place you could spend hours In if you like searching through old documents. For those who have a less academic outlook just seeing the actual Declaration of Independence, Bill of Rights and the original constitution makes this visit well worth while. To be up close to documents that have shaped history is a fascinating experience and well worth a visit

Date of experience: August 2019
2  Thank Robert G
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 17, 2019

The three most important founding documents are located in this one space; you have to visit and see them. The timed-entry tickets will suffice, as they limit the number of visitors in the rotunda at one time. It will still be crowded, but you will get your turn up close and personal with each document. Reminder: it is a "viewing" not a "reading." If you try to stand there and read the entire document they will ask you to move along. Be kind to the other guests; view, soak it in, look for those signatures and great lines/passages, then move to the next. The morning guided tour is the best was to get the most of this site.

Date of experience: August 2019
4  Thank Traveling_The_World3
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 16, 2019

It is cool to see old copies of our important national documents and that’s all there is to it. The constitution, declaration, and bill of rights are in the second floor rotunda so go straight there. The text is not legible. Barely noticeable in places. An over 700 years old copy of the Magna Carta is first thing when you get through security on ground floor and is surprisingly good condition for its age. The rest of the exhibits have some interesting preserved documents but nothing compared to the big three in the rotunda. For tourists with a tight schedule, I would skip the Archives or only go if you see a short line. You can reserve a time for $1. The staff give very explicit instructions. They are nice but not to be trifled with. Don’t take your phone out and sneak a picture. Just don’t. It’s a jerk move. Not sure this is a museum kids will appreciate as much as the Smithsonians. An hour is more than enough time if you want to see everything. If line is short then hustle through to rotunda, check out the big three, and be out the door in 20 minutes.

Date of experience: August 2019
3  Thank Turner S
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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