THING TO DO

Find the Unusual "s" in the Documents

Detail of the Declaration of Independence beginning with the words "When in the Course of human events..."
Those aren't typos.  The alphabet has changed.

NPS photo

How well do you know the 18th century alphabet?
At the time of the American Revolution, there were two ways of writing the letter "s." In addition to the rounded "s" that we know today, there was a long "s." This letter resembled a lower case "f." It consisted of an upright with just part of a cross bar. Find one in the documents, and then look for when it appears in a word. You'll find the long "s" in the beginning of a word or in the middle of a word, but not at the end of a word and not capitalized. The rounded "s" is used in the upper case, and at the ends of words.
Details
The exhibit is self-guided.  Spend as much or as little time as you'd like in the exhibit area.
Pets are not allowed inside public buildings, unless a designated assistive animal.
Entrance fees may apply, see Fees & Passes information.
The Great Essentials exhibit is located in the West Wing of Independence Hall, on Chestnut Street between 5th and 6th Streets. Entrance is through a security screening area on Chestnut Street, just west of 5th Street. After passing through security, walk past Independence Hall to the next small brick building. Enter through the south door
Entrance to the exhibit is on a first-come, first-served basis.  No tickets or reservations are necessary.
Check the Operating Hours web page for up-to-date building hours.
Accessibility Information
The Great Essentials Exhibit in the West Wing is wheelchair accessible through the south door.  Service animals are permitted in the building.  Keep in mind that light levels are kept low in the exhibit area to protect the documents.

Last updated: June 29, 2018