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Visitors to see the original Emancipation Proclamation at the Tennessee State Museum in February can either walk in and wait, or pay a minimum fee for a timed reservation in advance. As of February 11, all timed reservations have been sold.
Timed reservations are sold out, but a limited number of walk-in tickets will be available each day.
The Emancipation Proclamation will be on view in conjunction with the Discovering the Civil War exhibition from Washington D.C.’s National Archives. The document, which is making its only south- eastern U.S. stop in Nashville, will only be on view here for 72 hours which is being spread over seven days. The document will go on view to the public Tuesday, Feb. 12, and close Monday, Feb. 18. After that date, a facsimile of the document will be in the exhibit.
Hours for viewing the original Emancipation Proclamation are Tuesday, Feb. 12, through Friday, Feb. 15, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Saturday, Feb. 16, through Monday, Feb. 18, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. The museum will open early during the week to allow more school groups to tour the exhibit and then close later at night on all seven days. The museum is also open Monday, Feb. 18, even though it is a state holiday.
“The National Archives are very strict about controlling the amount of light which is shown on the document. We have 72 hours of viewing, no more, so we are trying to accommodate as many visitors as possible during this time,” Ms. Riggins-Ezzell explained.
Walk-ins will be given a walk-in timed pass when they enter the museum. This way, visitors can walk through the museum until it is time to get in line. Additionally, this allows the museum to know when it is at capacity for walk-ins.
The exhibit will continue at the museum through September 1, 2013. Many of the other items on display have never been publicly exhibited. Highlights include the original copy of the 13th Amendment abolishing slavery along with South Carolina’s 1860 declaration of secession. This popular traveling exhibit is free to the public, and the State Museum will be the last stop before these historic documents return to Washington D.C.