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Constitution Day exhibit displays rare historical documents

Loyola press release - September 9, 2013

As part of Loyola University New Orleans’ Constitution Day celebration this month, the University Honors Program and the J. Edgar & Louise S. Monroe Library are partnering to display an exhibit of rare historical documents relating to the U.S. Constitution, including the first printing of the Constitution from an 18th-century magazine in Philadelphia. A Constitution Day reception is set for 6:30 p.m. Sept. 17 at the free, public exhibit located on the first floor of the Monroe Library.

The exhibit, “Reframing the Constitution: to Form A More Perfect Union,” will open Friday, Sept. 13 and run through Monday, Sept. 30 on the first floor of Loyola’s Monroe Library, which is ranked No. 19 among best college libraries in the nation by The Princeton Review. The weeklong exhibit also provides the opportunity for area school children to view documents that bring the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights to life.

"The University Honors Program’s exhibit highlights our Constitutional Amendments as living, ongoing examples of democracy at work," said Loyola Honors Program Director Naomi Yavneh Klos, Ph.D. "Our university strives to educate our students to be men and women for and with others. These documents remind each of us of our individual and collective power to effect social change."

In addition to the first printing of the Constitution from American Museum magazine printed in Philadelphia in 1787, the exhibit also features:

  • a two-page 1775 printing of Benjamin Franklin’s draft of what eventually became the Articles of Confederation—the document that governed the United States until the ratification of the current Constitution;
  • a colonial printing from 1774 of the Articles of Association, which named the colonial congress the Continental Congress and implemented a British trade boycott;
  • an early printing of the Bill of Rights; and
  • other historical manuscripts relating to the Bill of Rights, including documents on the abolition of slavery, institution of income tax, prohibition and women’s suffrage.

“I believe the high level of interest in this remarkable exhibit will yet again position the Monroe Library as a center of intellectual, social and spiritual life on campus,” said Michael P. Olson, Ph.D., dean of libraries at Loyola.

The exhibit will run seven days a week during library hours. For media interviews, please contact Mikel Pak, associate director of public affairs at Loyola.