‘Documents That Shaped America’ at Indiana Historical Society

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Historical Society’s newest exhibit, “Documents That Shaped America,” opened last week at the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center, located at 450 W. Ohio St. in downtown Indianapolis.

America’s founding was influenced by many different writers, philosophers, politicians and leaders. The display showcases many significant historical written works on display in the Rapp Family Exhibitions Gallery.

The new exhibit features an impressive collection of early editions of some of the most important manuscripts in American history, including a first edition printing (1788) of the U.S. Constitution (one of five known copies), a first edition of the Gettysburg Address, and an early edition of Life & Times of Frederick Douglass (1893). It also features texts that helped build the major foundational pieces of Western democratic philosophy, such as a 1350 edition of the Magna Carta.

In addition to seeing items included in the exhibit display, visitors will also have the opportunity to touch history through exploring additional items from The Remnant Trust collection through a supervised experience in either the Rapp Gallery or the historical society’s William Henry Smith Memorial Library.

These items come from the collection of The Remnant Trust, which uses its collection to promote conversations on topics such as liberty and human dignity. The collection contains historic manuscripts, books and publications that encompass subjects such as religion, philosophy, politics, mathematics, science and economics. In addition to the current exhibit, the historical society has partnered with The Remnant Trust to house the 1,557 items in the collection and provide public access to these important items.

“To have amassed a collection like this and bring it here to Indianapolis is just phenomenal,” said Jody Blankenship, historical society president and chief executive officer. “You would have to go to cities all over the country and around the world to see these materials, and now, through our partnership with The Remnant Trust, you can see them at the Indiana Historical Society.”

“Documents That Shaped America” will run through Jan. 14. It is co-presented by the Ruth Lilly Philanthropic Foundation, John and Carolyn Mutz, and Care Institute Group, Inc. It is supported by Stan and Sandy Hurt and the Pierre F. & Enid Goodrich Foundation, with contributions from Lewis Bakeries and the Nicholas H. Noyes, Jr., Memorial Foundation, Inc.

Information: (317) 232-1882 or visit indianahistory.org.