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Detail of Declaration of Independence, 1776. National Archives

“I think the most important bill in our whole code is that for the diffusion of knowledge among the people. No other sure foundation can be devised for the preservation of freedom, and happiness.”

— President Thomas Jefferson, 1786

Exhibition Specifications

Participation Fee

$60,000 for 4-month booking including shipping


The traveling exhibition requires 4,000 to 4,500 square feet of dedicated gallery space.
Local content must be contributed by the host venue and will increase display space.


Five interactive touchscreen programs developed by the National Museum of American History with equipment provided.
Four video files on different aspects of American Democracy displayed on equipment provided by host venues.


17 historic artifacts from the National Museum of American History [cases provided].
More than 125 touchable, contemporary, and replica objects and ephemera [venues provide cases].
All objects travel with mounts- some have decks or display platforms for use in cases.

Political and campaign button collages. National Museum of American History, Smithsonian




Prorated shipping, included in fee


2019 to 2023


In addition to the traveling exhibition, SITES provides:

Education & Programming

American Democracy goes beyond the walls of museums to reach thousands of Americans through public programming. This exhibition is a springboard to a broad array of public and educational outreach opportunities across the country, reinforcing the importance of civics education. Working with our partners and venues, American Democracy opens up programming and educational opportunities such as:

Political and campaign button collages. National Museum of American History, Smithsonian

Registrarial Requirements

American Democracy has been designated High Security, and will be offered to those institutions able to meet the Smithsonian’s requirements. Key requirements are listed below.

For a complete list of requirements and additional information, please contact:
Ruth Trevarrow, Registrar, trevarrowr@si.edu 202.633.3177.

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