Pens and Paper

Every year, millions of visitors to the National Archives Museum marvel at the beautifully handwritten original Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights; their cursive script headings and content are symbolically sacred.

If you want to be a historian, you have to know how to read cursive. The beauty of handwritten words on paper and parchment is evident throughout the 10 billion pages of textual records held in trust by the National Archives, including the 12 million maps, charts, and architectural and engineering drawings. Archivists and researchers decipher penned words on immigration applications, military records, historic presidential speeches, and even meeting doodles and notes on once-classified information.

The National Archives Store's offerings of pen and paper gift items celebrate this beautiful power of signatures and the written word. Purchases from the National Archives Store generate financial and creative support for National Archives exhibitions, public programs, and educational initiatives, introducing America’s records to people around the U.S. and the world.