Friday, November 13, 2009

Library of Virginia Digital Documents
The story of Virginia is, in many ways, the story of our nation. From the country's beginnings as an English colony to the creation of the United States of America , Virginia—its land and its leaders—has been central to the nation's formation. All of our founding documents—the Declaration of Independence, the United States Constitution, and the Bill of Rights—are derived, in part, from the thoughts and pens of influential Virginians. Other Virginians—women, American Indians, and African Americans—pushed out the edges of this newly formed democracy, contributing, protesting, and using the system to win the rights they desired.

It is this remarkable legacy that the "Shaping the Constitution" Web portal highlights. The multilayered and ongoing story of our nation's founding is told through the resources that the creators of our Constitution used and prepared themselves. Many of the sources are presented online for the first time on this portal. Using primary source documents, "Shaping the Constitution" explores the contributions of Virginians of all stripes to the forming and perfecting of our nation. In addition to featuring high-quality digital images of some of the most significant documents in American history held by the Library of Virginia–including George Mason's draft of the Virginia Declaration of Rights, Virginia's copy of the Bill of Rights, and the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom–the "Shaping the Constitution" Web portal includes transcriptions, biographical profiles of several Founding Virginians,contextual essays about the challenges the Founders faced, and lesson plans. To see the site go on the Constitution go here or here to see the entire site.

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