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Library of Congress, ABA Create Traveling Magna Carta Exhibit, Part I

The Law Library of Congress and the American Bar Association (A.B.A.) have joined forces to commemorate the 800th anniversary of the barons having compelled King John to seal Magna Carta (Great Charter) in 1215 with a traveling exhibit. Magna Carta: Enduring Legacy, 1215-2015 will debut at the A.B.A. Annual Meeting in Boston on Friday, August 8, 2014, the Library of Congress (L.O.C.) announced on Wednesday, July 16, 2014. As I mentioned earlier this month, the L.O.C. will display the exhibition “Magna Carta: Muse and Mentor,” featuring Lincoln Cathedral’s copy of Magna Carta in November 6, 2014 to January 19, 2015.

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. As many as 16 freestanding banners will depict images of the materials and tell the story of Magna Carta and its catalyst role in promoting the rule of law. 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… 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…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. The 75 items will be drawn from the collections of the Law Library of Congress and from the following custodial divisions at the Library: Prints and Photographs; Rare Book and Special Collections; Music; Manuscript; Geography and Map; and Serial and Government Publications…

The A.B.A. stated, “Beginning November 28, 2014, the Library of Congress will host one of the four original 1215 exemplifications of Magna Carta and plans are underway to develop a major exhibition for 2014-2015 in celebration of the 800th anniversary of the sealing of Magna Carta. The exhibit will present precious medieval manuscripts, printed books, pamphlets and other priceless documents from the collections of the Library of Congress that tell the story of the heritage of Magna Carta. It will trace the path of Magna Carta’s influence from King John and the Barons at Runnymede Meadow in 1215 through the rise of English political liberty and the American founding to current events in the unfolding story of the rule of law throughout the world. The Library will host a substantive symposium, a black tie gala, and other events to highlight the exhibit.”

In order to raise awareness about the Magna Carta and its enduring legacy, the American Bar Association Standing Committee on the Law Library of Congress will partner with the Law Library of Congress to develop a high-quality traveling exhibit to complement the Library’s exhibit. The ABA-LLC Magna Carta Traveling Exhibit (“traveling exhibit”) will feature spectacular images from the Library’s exhibit along with supporting text printed on freestanding banners that will tell the story of Magna Carta and its catalyst role in promoting the rule of law. The exhibit will also feature a companion video. The traveling exhibit will be curated by the Law Library of Congress with the goal being to make it interesting and accessible to a wide range of people, including judges, lawyers, educators, students, and laypeople.

The exhibit will be launched at the 2014 ABA Annual Meeting in Boston, Massachusetts. Immediately following the launch, the exhibit will be sent across the country to dozens of law schools, courthouses, public libraries and other venues through 2015 and beyond, ensuring significant exposure and viewership.

The American Bar Association will hold events in London June 11-14, 2015 in celebration of the anniversary…

There are two identical displays for Magna Carta: Enduring Legacy, 1215-2015 that are going on tour. The following are the confirmed dates and places. The A.B.A. will announce other venues and dates as they are confirmed.

The A.B.A. Standing Committee on the Law Library of Congress will host it at the A.B.A. EXPO, A.B.A. Annual Meeting (August 8-10, 2014) being held at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston. The Indiana State Bar Association will host it at the Indiana Statehouse from Monday, September 29, 2014 to Friday, October 10, 2014. The University of Michigan Law School will host it at the University of Michigan Law School Law Library from Wednesday, October 1, 2014 to Tuesday, October 21, 2014 in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

The A.B.A. Standing Committee on the Law Library of Congress will host it at the A.B.A. Midyear Meeting (February 6-8, 2015) in Houston. The State Bar of Georgia will host it at the Georgia Bar Center in the spring.

The Utah State Bar will host it April 3-20, 2015 in Salt Lake City. The A.B.A. Section of International Law will host it at the Section Spring Meeting (April 29-May 2, 2015) to be held at the Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.

The A.B.A. Tort Trial and Insurance Practice will host it Section Spring Meeting (April 29-May 3, 2015), to be held at the Ritz-Carlton Philadelphia. The A.B.A. Standing Committee on the Law Library of Congress will host it at the A.B.A. London Sessions (June 11-14, 2015) to be held in London.

The A.B.A. Standing Committee on the Law Library of Congress will host it at the A.B.A. Annual Meeting (July 31-August 2, 2015) in Chicago. The Brooklyn Law School will host it from Monday, September 14, 2015 to Thursday, September 28, 2015.

The A.B.A. Standing Committee on the Law Library of Congress will host it at the A.B.A. Midyear Meeting (February 5-7, 2016) in San Diego. Bar associations, law schools, and communities that would like to host the traveling exhibit Magna Carta: Enduring Legacy, 1215-2015 at academic libraries, law libraries, public libraries, museums, courthouses, etc. should e-mail Elissa Lichtenstein at elissa.lichtenstein [at] americanbar.org.

With nearly 400,000 members, the A.B.A. is one of the largest voluntary professional membership organizations in the world. It states, “As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law.”

Established in 1832, the Law Library of Congress has a mission to make its resources available to members of Congress, the Supreme Court, the Executive Branch of the U.S. Government, and foreign judicial systems. With approximately 2,650,000 volumes and over 5,000,000 items in various formats, the Law Library of Congress contains the world’s largest collection of law books and other resources from all countries and provides online databases and guides to legal information worldwide through its Web site.

The Library of Congress holds more than 158,000,000 items in various languages, disciplines and formats. The Library serves the U.S. Congress and the federation both on-site in its reading rooms on Capitol Hill and through its award-winning Web site.