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Declaration of Independence

Explore ways to learn more about the Declaration, including primary and secondary resources, and teaching tools.

Digital Resources

Many important documents related to the founding of our country have been digitized and are available to view online. The following sites provide excellent quality scans of primary materials related to the writing and signing of the Declaration of Independence and the founding of the American nation.

  • National Archives: Declaration of Independence
    The National Archives website contains high resolution scans of the handwritten declaration of Independence currently on display in the National Archives in Washington DC, as well as the Stone Engraving, Constitution, and Bill of Rights, all available for download.  The site also includes resources for educators and links to articles about the Declaration, its history, and its language.
  • Rotunda Founders Early Access Project
    The Rotunda Founders Early Access project is a free online resource that features thousands of primary documents from America’s founders. The papers are grouped both chronologically and by author, and contain letters and other papers written by important figures such as Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, James Madison, and George Washington.
  • Library of Congress Digital Collections
    This site contains a number of primary sources related to American history, including Documents from the Continental Congress and Constitutional Convention and a collection of Thomas Jefferson Papers.
  • Thomas Jefferson's Libraries
    A database of the books Thomas Jefferson owned, knew about, or recommended to others during his lifetime, including the 74 volumes that are currently in the Washington University Libraries holdings.