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Magna Carta educational traveling exhibit arrives in San Diego

By Drew Jack

Magna Carta traveling exhibit

Magna Carta exhibit on display through March 18

The American Bar Association has joined with the Library of Congress and its Law Library to present a special traveling exhibit commemorating the 800th anniversary of the sealing of Magna Carta. Magna Carta: Enduring Legacy, 1215-2015 will be on display in San Diego at the Edward J. Schwartz Federal Building from February 8 through March 18, 2016.

Curated by the Library of Congress, the exhibit features 16 banners, 13 of which reflect spectacular images of Magna Carta and precious manuscripts, books and other documents from the Library of Congress’ rare book collections. The exhibit also incorporates a video, produced by the Library of Congress, showing the Law Librarian and the exhibit curator handling selected materials depicted in the exhibit and explaining their significance.

The exhibit was developed to raise awareness about Magna Carta’s significance. Magna Carta is the charter of liberties that England’s King John granted to his barons in 1215. In the centuries since its creation, Magna Carta has become one of the most enduring symbols of liberty and the rule of law. The document also had a profound effect on American colonists. The founders of the United States looked to it as a major influence in the creation of the Declaration of Independence, United States Constitution, and Bill of Rights.

“When we talk about Magna Carta today, we’re not celebrating antiquated relics of a time long past,” said Chief Justice of the United States John G. Roberts, Jr. “Instead we are referring to a small collection of provisions that express kernels of transcendent significance.”

The exhibit has been traveling for the past year and a half to public buildings such as courthouses, law schools, universities, state houses and public libraries around the United States. San Diego is the exhibit’s next-to-last stop.

With nearly 400,000 members, the American Bar Association is one of the largest voluntary professional membership organizations in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law.

The Law Library of Congress was established in 1832 with the mission to make its resources available to members of Congress, the Supreme Court, other branches of the U.S. government and the global legal community and to sustain and preserve a universal collection of law for future generations. With more than 5 million items in various formats, the Law Library of Congress contains the world’s largest collection of law books and other resources from all countries and provides online databases and guides to legal information worldwide through its website.

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