A national treasure debuts at the Museum of the American Revolution

John McDevitt
June 27, 2018 - 4:18 pm
Just in time for Fourth of July weekend, a rare copy of the Declaration of Independence will be on display at the Museum of the American Revolution.

John McDevitt | KYW Newsradio

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Just in time for Fourth of July weekend, a rare copy of the Declaration of Independence will be on display at the Museum of the American Revolution, with additional events surrounding the relic.

The declaration — one of the first printed versions of it — will be on display until November. It's on loan from the American Philosophical Society.

"This is a large broadside, so we would think of it like a poster that you would see," said Scott Stephenson, vice president of collections, exhibitions and programming, "and it was printed on parchment so it's the only copy that has survived on parchment. It may have been the only one that was ever  produced."

That is still a bit of a mystery, actually.  

"It came down through the papers of a Philadelphian, David Rittenhouse, the famous inventor and scientist and Revolutionary leader," Stephenson continued. "Its size makes one think it may have been intended to be read in public."