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State Archives commemorates 225th anniversary with Bill of Rights pop-up exhibit

Columbia, S.C. – On December 15, 1791, ten amendments were added to the Constitution to be known as the Bill of Rights. To commemorate this historic event, the pop-up exhibit, The Bill of Rights and You!, will be on display in the lobby of the Archives and History Center during the months of January and February. The exhibit was made possible by a partnership of the National Archives Traveling Exhibit Service and the South Carolina Humanities. Only fifteen locations throughout South Carolina will feature this exhibit.

In 1789 the people requested the protection of individual rights, which resulted in a joint resolution to the United States Congress to amend the United States Constitution. The Bill of Rights was intended, and continues to this day, to protect the rights of individuals including freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and the freedom to freely practice religion.

Fourteen copies were made of the joint resolution, and thirteen were delivered to the original states. Of those thirteen states, South Carolina is one of eight to still possess their original copy. The joint resolution was sent by President George Washington to Governor Charles Pinckney on October 2, 1789 and was delivered to the General Assembly in January 1790. The document, whose location was unknown for many decades, was kept in poor storage conditions under the State House until its discovery in the early 20th century and was turned over to the South Carolina Historical Commission (now SCDAH). In 1991, the South Carolina Department of Archives and History sent the document to the Northeast Document Conservation Center in Andover, Massachusetts for extensive conservation.

SCDAH is honored to serve as a host for the exhibit. The Archives and History Center is open Tuesday through Saturday from 8:30am to 5:00pm. SCDAH also offers tours of the collection to groups and individuals. If you are interested in scheduling a tour, please email info@scdah.sc.gov or call 803-896-0339.

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