Library of Congress teams up with ABA

 The Library of Congress — which opens its on-site exhibition “Magna Carta: Muse and Mentor” in November — is joining the American Bar Association (ABA) in commemorating the 800th anniversary of the great charter by collaborating on a facsimile traveling exhibit, which will be launched Aug. 8 at the ABA Annual Meeting in Boston.


ABA’s “Magna Carta: Enduring Legacy 1215-2015” will feature facsimiles of Magna Carta-related rare documents and artifacts from the collections of the Library of Congress. The display will be supplemented by a video that further explains the documents and artifacts.     

For the next several years, the ABA exhibition will travel to public buildings such as courthouses, law schools, universities and public libraries. For further information about “Magna Carta: Enduring Legacy 1215-2015,” including a list of confirmed dates and locations, visit http://ambar.org/mctravelingexhibit/. The exhibition will be displayed at an ABA event in London, England, June 12-14, 2015, in conjunction with Magna Carta events held by the ABA.   

The ABA Standing Committee on the Law Library of Congress worked with the Law Library of Congress to develop the traveling exhibition. The Library provided facsimiles, curated the materials and developed the video, which is narrated by Nathan Dorn, the rare book curator of the Law Library.   

The exhibition celebrates the 800th anniversary of the sealing of Magna Carta in 1215, in a grassy English meadow at Runnymede, by the Thames, when barons coerced King John into granting a number of rights and liberties. These fundamental concepts of freedom and liberty have been accepted and refined through the centuries and were adapted by the Founding Fathers in creating the U. S. Constitution.

The Library of Congress exhibition “Magna Carta: Muse and Mentor” will run for 10 weeks, from Nov. 6, 2014 to Jan. 19, 2015, and will feature one of only four surviving copies of Magna Carta from 1215. This rare issue of the great charter will be the centerpiece of the Library’s exhibition, which will tell the story of the charter’s creation in England, reinterpretation through the centuries, and emergence as an enduring document of constitutional law in the United States.

The 1215 Lincoln Cathedral Magna Carta will be on loan from the Lincoln Cathedral in England.  The document is traveling first to the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, where it is on display until Sept. 1, and then to the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts from Sept. 6 through Nov. 2.  Its final stop in America will be the Library of Congress.

The Library’s 10-week exhibition will feature medieval manuscripts, published works, prints, photographs, maps, posters and annotated draft opinions by justices of the U.S. Supreme Court.

For downloadable images and further information about the Library’s exhibition, visit the online pressroom at www.loc.gov/pressroom/login.

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