Viewing Plans for the Emancipation Proclamation Announced
NASHVILLE — December 4, 2012— 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, museum officials announced today.
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.
Because visitors to see the document at the Henry Ford Museum in Michigan stood in line for up to seven hours, TSM officials wanted to use a system in Tennessee whereby viewers could make timed reservations in advance. “This way, visitors from Memphis, Chattanooga, or Knoxville can make a reservation before driving all the way to Nashville,” Lois Riggins-Ezzell, museum executive director said.
Reservations can be made on the hour, quarter hour, and half past the hour, with the last 15 minutes of each hour given to walk-ins. Museum officials estimate that 300 people will be able to see the document each hour. However, time periods will be built in so that when no reservations are sold, lines can catch-up if they are running behind, or to let more people walk in if the line is running on time.
“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 have to make sure everyone who buys a reservation gets in to see it,” Ms. Riggins-Ezzell explained.
Reservations go on sale Monday, December 10, 2012, through TPAC Ticketing which has ticket windows on site in the same building as the museum. Visitors may obtain a reservation at the windows; going online to www.tpac.org; or by calling a local Nashville number (not toll-free) 615-782-4040. There will be a handling charge of $1.00 paid to TPAC Ticketing for each reservation. There is no admission charge to see the document.
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.
For more information on the Tennessee State Museum and the Discovering the Civil War exhibition, visit: tnmuseum.org or contact:
Community & Media Relations
Tennessee State Museum
Polk Center, 505 Deaderick Street
Nashville, TN 37243-1120