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New York City: National Archives set to open new exhibition space

September 17, 2012|By Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger
  • Albert Einstein's "declaration of intention" to immigrate to the United States, dated 1936, is among the items that will be on display at the National Archives' new space in Lower Manhattan.
Albert Einstein's "declaration of intention" to immigrate… (National Archives )

The National Archives in New York City is shifting its office and bringing a new exhibition space to Lower Manhattan this month.

The keeper of the Constitution and other vital U.S. documents will move into the historic Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House at 1 Bowling Green, a building it will share with the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian.

The new office opens to the public Friday and will provide a more museum-like setting than the agency's previous spot in Greenwich Village. An inaugural show in the building's rotunda titled "The World's Port: Through Documents of the National Archives" tells the story of the city's trade history through photos and documents.

An 1806 passport issued to sea captains bearing Thomas Jefferson's signature, a "record of conviction" in 1873 for suffragist Susan B. Anthony for committing the crime of voting, and a slave receipt for a woman and two children dated 1864 are among the items that will be on display.

Besides the rotunda exhibition, the building also will have a welcome center for visitors with changing documents on display; a research center for the public and scholars; a learning center for school groups; and public programs in the building's 300-seat theater and lecture halls. The research and education spaces are scheduled to open in late October on the building's third and fourth floors.

The agency has offices for document research around the country, including ones in Riverside and San Francisco. The New York City office keeps records of documents that originated in New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Info: National Archives and Records Administration, (866) 272-6272

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