The Gettysburg Address:

Issues Related to Display and Preservation

RCED-94-12: Published: Jan 26, 1994. Publicly Released: Jan 26, 1994.

Contact:

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the risks of exhibiting a draft of the Gettysburg Address at the Gettysburg National Military Park, focusing on: (1) whether the National Park Service can meet the Library of Congress' exhibition and preservation requirements; and (2) the estimated cost of exhibiting the document at the park compared to the cost of constructing a facility at the Library of Congress.

GAO found that: (1) the risks of exhibiting two drafts of the document are related to the environment, facility safety and security, document handling, and accelerated degradation caused by exposure to light; (2) these risks will exist wherever the drafts are exhibited; (3) Library of Congress officials believe that the Park Service has met, and often exceeds, existing exhibition and preservation requirements; (4) the Park Service's ability to meet future preservation requirements is contingent on sufficient funding; (5) the Library of Congress and the Park Service have established specific environmental parameters to protect the drafts from damage that include the appropriate temperature, humidity, and illumination levels for exhibition; and (6) the estimated cost to exhibit the documents could not be determined, since the current facility exists solely to exhibit the drafts and a new facility at the Library would exhibit all the Library's national treasures.

Jul 29, 2014

Jun 6, 2014

May 14, 2014

May 9, 2014

Feb 6, 2014

Jan 22, 2014

Jan 15, 2014

Sep 18, 2013

Aug 26, 2013

Looking for more? Browse all our products here