Ohio's Constitutions coming home to Statehouse
September 19, 2018

The Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board (CSRAB) and the Capitol Square Foundation (CSF) in partnership with the Ohio History Connection, are excited to announce plans for the Ohio Constitution Exhibit to be housed in the Statehouse Museum. The exhibit will feature both the 1802 and 1851 Ohio constitutions on permanent public display at the Ohio Statehouse. Working together, this public private partnership has produced an exhibit that is the first of its kind in the United States. Utilizing the original documents in conjunction with visitor-interactive displays, the exhibit will answer the questions, what is the Ohio constitution, what does it do and how does it impact Ohioans in the 21st century?

"Our Foundation and the CSRAB have been dedicated to enriching the experience of all who visit the Statehouse. Bringing the Ohio Constitution to the Museum for permanent display realizes a dream we have worked toward for more than a decade," said Charles R. Moses, CSF chairman. “This exhibit would not be possible without the collaboration and support provided by Ohio History Connection. Through conservation work and historical research, History Connection staff have contributed valuable content that all visitors will enjoy.”

“We are excited to make these historic documents more accessible for all Ohioans,” says Megan Wood, Ohio History Connection Director of Museum and Library Services. “In collaboration with our great partners at the Ohio Statehouse and CSRAB, we can connect visitors to the story of our state’s founding, helping them discover more of Ohio’s rich history.”

The Ohio Statehouse has incorporated several avenues of engagement for visitors to navigate as they visit the exhibit. The experience begins with pages from the original 1802 and 1851 Ohio constitutions. Archival, climate controlled display cases will house the constitutions on site and will allow museum staff to rotate pages in the exhibit in compliance with OHC archival guidelines. Supporting the documents are interactives focused on “Rights,” “Responsibilities” and “Constitution Stories.” The three experiences support the documents in answering the questions— what is the Ohio constitution, what does it do and how does it impact Ohioans in the 21st century?

“The Ohio Statehouse is grateful for the partnership with CSF and Ohio History Connection. This exhibit will educate Ohio students and visitors about the importance of these founding documents and how these documents impact their lives—the Statehouse is where Ohio civics and government come to life,” said Laura Battocletti, executive director of CSRAB. In addition to the new constitution exhibit, CSRAB and CSF foundation will update current museum displays and interior finishes. The current timeline has the Ohio Constitution Exhibit opening in late November of 2018.

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