Order Code 98-68 C
Updated August 19, 2004
CRS Report for Congress
Received through the CRS Web
The Constitution of the United States,
the Bill of Rights, and the Declaration of
Independence: A Guide to Obtaining Copies
Information Research Specialist
Information Research Division
The texts of the Constitution of the United States and the Declaration of
Independence are widely available. They can be found in the United States Government
Manual, encyclopedias, almanacs, and many reference books — works readily available
in many school, public, and research libraries, and on the Internet. This report identifies
how to locate these documents in various formats from sources such as the U.S.
Government Printing Office, the National Archives and Records Administration, the
Historical Documents Company, the Library of Congress National Library Service for
the Blind and Physically Handicapped, and the Law Library of Congress. It lists Internet
addresses where applicable. This report will be updated yearly.
Copies of the Constitution of the United States and the Declaration of Independence
are available from many sources, including the Internet. This report provides information
on selected sources, both governmental and private, and is not intended to be allinclusive. Except where the item is a facsimile of the original document or where
otherwise specified, texts of the Constitution listed in this report include its amendments,
the first 10 of which constitute the Bill of Rights.
Vince Briggeman provided research assistance for this report.
Texts Available on the Internet
Library of Congress. The full texts of many historical American documents,
such as the Constitution of the United States, the Bill of Rights, and the Declaration of
Independence, are now available on the Internet at many sites. The Library of Congress’s
THOMAS website provides links to these three documents and to other American
historical documents at [http://thomas.loc.gov/home/histdoxmainpg.html].
Congressional Research Service ˜ The Library of Congress
National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). The full texts of
the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Declaration of Independence are available as
“Charters of Freedom” on NARA’s website at [http://www.archives.gov/national_
archives_experience/charters/charters.html], and as “100 Milestone Documents,” part of
the cooperative effort among National History Day, the USA Freedom Corps, and NARA,
National Constitution Center. The center, created by P.L. 100-433, the
Constitution Heritage Act of 1988, is independent, nonpartisan, and nonprofit. It is
located on the Independence Mall in Philadelphia. Visitors to the National Constitution
Center receive copies of a pocket-sized edition of the Constitution with their admission.
More information on the center, which opened on July 4, 2003, is available at the center’s
website at [http://www.constitutioncenter.org] or by writing to the center at 525 Arch
Street, Independence Mall, Philadelphia, PA 19106. The full text of the Constitution is
also available on the National Constitution Center’s website at the Internet address below.
U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO). The following titles are available
from the GPO. They can be purchased by telephone, (202) 512-1800, or by fax, (202)
512-2250, using VISA, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, or debit cards. They
can also be ordered by mail; written, prepaid orders should be addressed to
Superintendent of Documents, P.O. Box 371954, Pittsburgh, PA 15250-7954. Mail
orders must include a check, money order, government purchase order, or credit card
information. Stock numbers, prices, and available Web addresses are provided below.
Constitution of the United States of America and Declaration of Independence
H. Doc. 108-96. Pocket edition.
Stock no.: 052-071-01393-8; $2.75 domestic, $3.85 foreign
Constitution of the United States of America, Analysis and Interpretation
S.Doc. 103-6. Analyzes and interprets the Constitution, with annotations of
Supreme Court cases decided to June 29, 1992.
Stock no.: 052-071-01157-9; $163.00 domestic, $228.20 foreign
Constitution of the United States of America, Analysis and Interpretation, 2000
S.Doc. 106-27. Supplements S.Doc. 103-6. Analysis of Supreme Court cases
decided to June 28, 2000. New edition forthcoming. Out of stock.
Constitution of the United States of America as Amended: Unratified Amendments,
H. Doc. 108-95
Stock no.: 052-071-01394-6, $7 domestic, $9.80 foreign
Texts Available from the National Archives and Records
NARA sells many items related to U.S. historical documents. The following
selected items are available, prepaid, from the National Archives Trust Fund by writing
NWCC2 Department W, P.O. Box 100793, Atlanta, GA 30384-0793; by calling (866)
272-6272 or (301) 837-2000; or by faxing a request to (301) 837-0483. Checks, money
orders, or major credit cards are accepted. For shipping and handling expenses, add $3
to orders of $5-$50; $5 to orders of $50.01-$100; and 5% of the merchandise total to
orders greater than $100. “Charters of Freedom,” a catalog listing the following
documents, as well as others, can be ordered by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling
the numbers above. All of the items below can be found on NARA’s website at
The Constitution of the United States of America
4¼ x 7 inches, 31 pp., pocket-sized, 1999
#200041 — softcover only — $1
Poster Reproductions of the Charters of Freedom
Charters of Freedom Reproductions, a three-document set (comprised of posters
#6311, #6312, and #6313), 6 pp., 37½ x 24¼ inches, #6310, $19.50
Constitution of the United States, 4 pp., #6311, $10
Declaration of Independence, #6312, $7.50
Bill of Rights, #6313, $7.50
Constitution of the United States, #6315, 1 p., $7.50
A More Perfect Union: The Creation of the U.S. Constitution. Milestone Documents
in the National Archives
8½ x 11 inches, 36 pp., 11 illustrations, 1986
#200105 — softcover only — $3.50
Declaration of Independence: The Adventures of a Document.
Documents in the National Archives
8½ x 11 inches, 43 pp., 12 illustrations, 1976
#200004 — softcover only — $3.50
The Bill of Rights. Milestone Documents in the National Archives
8½ x 11 inches, 27 pp., 21 illustrations, 1986
#200102 — softcover only — $3.50
Texts from Historical Documents Company
The Historical Documents Company sells facsimile copies of documents on antiqued
paper made to look like parchment. They offer their items only in bulk, starting with a
minimum of 36 copies at $.65 each for the following small documents.
Declaration of Independence 1776
facsimile, 14 x 16 inches, #544
Constitution of the United States 1787
condensed on one sheet, 12½ x 19 inches, #537
Bill of Rights 1789
with explanatory text, 14 x 16 inches, #512
The company also offers a four-sheet set of the Constitution (#200, $2.05, minimum
12 sets), which is closer to the document’s original size and is more legible. Also
available is a three-sheet set of the Three Documents of Freedom (#901, $2.15,
minimum 12 sets), consisting of the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, and
the Bill of Rights. Documents may be ordered from the Historical Documents Company,
2555 Orthodox Street, Philadelphia, PA 19137, tel. (888) 700-7265 toll-free or (215) 5334500, fax (215) 533-9319. A website with pictures of some of the documents is available
at [http://histdocs.com], but online ordering is not yet offered.
Texts of the Constitution of the United States in Braille, on
Cassette, and in Large Print
The following information was provided by the National Library Service for the
Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS) of the Library of Congress:
To borrow the U.S. Constitution or books about the Constitution in braille or
recorded formats, contact the library serving blind and physically handicapped readers in
your state. To obtain the address and telephone number of the library in your area, write,
call, or fax the NLS Reference Section or visit its large-print website.
National Library Service for the
Blind and Physically Handicapped
Library of Congress
Washington, DC 20542-4969
Tel. (800) 424-8567
or (202) 707-9275
Fax: (202) 707-0712
To purchase copies of the U.S. Constitution in special formats, contact the following
Sources for Braille
American Printing House for the Blind
1839 Frankfort Avenue
P.O. Box 6085
Louisville, KY 40206-0085
Tel. (800) 223-1839
or (502) 895-2405
Fax: (502) 899-2274
The Constitution of the United States as Amended through July 1971,
1974. Order #5-25790-00, $71.
National Braille Press
88 Saint Stephen Street
Boston, MA 02115-4302
Tel. (888) 965-8965
Fax: (617) 437-0456
The Constitution of the United States of America and The Declaration of
Independence. Free upon request.
Source for Cassettes (standard speed)
Knowledge Products Inc.
3212 West End Avenue, 5th Floor
Nashville, TN 37203
Tel. (800) 876-4332
Fax: (615) 742-3270
The United States Constitution is a series of eight audio cassettes, narrated
by Walter Cronkite, and contains the following four titles: The Constitutional
Convention, The Ratification Debates, The Text of the United States
Constitution, and The Bill of Rights and Additional Amendments. The series is
$59.50, or the components may be purchased for $17.95 each.
Sources for Large Print
Library Reproduction Service
Attn: Large Print Department
14214 South Figueroa Street
Los Angeles, CA 90061
Tel. (800) 255-5002
Fax: (310) 354-2601
The Constitution of the United States, 18-point type, $19.95.
Texts of the Constitution of the United States in Various Foreign
The Law Library of Congress in the Library of Congress has translated the
Constitution of the United States and its amendments into Spanish, French, German,
Swedish, Armenian, and Dutch. Copies may be requested by writing to the Director of
Legal Research, Law Library of Congress, 101 Independence Avenue, SE, Washington,
DC 20540-3210, calling (202) 707-5080, or e-mailing email@example.com.
The National Constitution Center provides access to a Spanish translation of the
Constitution, at [http://www.constitutioncenter.org/explore/TheU.S.Constitution/index
.shtml], from its “Explore the Constitution” page.