[video + slides] The Declaration of Independence: Which Version is This, and Why Does it Matter?

There is no singular authoritative version of the Declaration of Independence. Most Americans and many historians consider “the” Declaration of Independence to be the engrossed and signed parchment at our National Archives. The image that comes to mind when most people think of the Declaration is actually the William J. Stone facsimile of that signed parchment. But this image is just one thread in a rich tapestry of broadside, newspaper, book, and manuscript versions of the Declaration of Independence produced since July 4, 1776. In this session, we answer the questions: when you see a copy of the Declaration of Independence, how do you know what version it is? And, why does that matter?

Emily Sneff , Research Manager of the Declaration Resources Project at Harvard University. @declarationres and declaration.fas.harvard.edu.

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