Exhibit Theme

Ensuring the Public’s Right to Know

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A Bill Entitled “An act to provide...
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A Bill Entitled “An act to provide for the safe keeping of the Acts, Records, and Seal of the United States,” signed into law September 15, 1789

Only months after convening, the First Congress made the secretary of state responsible for the safekeeping of and access to the government’s official records. Congress transferred this authority to the National Archives when it was established in 1934.

Records of the U.S. Senate, National Archives and Records Administration