Exploring the World’s Constitutions Onsite and Online
The National Constitution Center is proud to partner with the Constitute Project and Google Ideas to provide exciting new tools to the Center’s onsite and online visitors that show how constitutions are written globally – and how they can be revised.
New Exhibit! Constitute: Exploring the World’s Constitutions
At the Center, visitors will find a new exhibit called, Constitute: Exploring the World’s Constitutions. Constitute is a powerful research tool for constitutional drafters around the world. Experts have gathered and indexed the text of every country’s current constitution onto one website that is easily searchable.
Now, drafters, students, or any interested user can browse a wide variety of topics to compare and analyze constitutional texts.
In the exhibit, visitors can use tablets to explore the Constitute website. For a guided experience, they can follow the directions at each station. Anyone with Internet access can also go to constituteproject.org for full access to this acclaimed website.
You can read more about the Constitute Project on its website at constituteproject.org.
New Interactive! Constitutional Rights: Origins and Travels
Another exciting interactive project available to onsite and online visitors is Constitutional Rights: Origins and Travels.
Within the Center, two large screens are available where visitors can experience the origin and spread of the U.S. Bill of Rights around the world. One screen is located within the new George H.W. Bush Gallery, in the Constituting Liberty: From the Declaration to the Bill of Rights exhibition, which is currently displaying one of 12 surviving original copies of the Bill of Rights. The other screen is located in the main exhibition gallery, in the new Google Constitute space.
This interactive explores two fundamental questions. First, how did the U.S. Founders craft their version of fundamental rights? Using “Writing Rights,” visitors can read the Revolutionary-era state constitutions and other documents that inspired the final amendments and then follow the linguistic twists and turns of each of the proposals.
Second, how do rights in the U.S. Constitution compare with those in other constitutions around the world? “Rights Around the World” identifies 32 distinct rights in the U.S. Constitution. Visitors can compare the textual protection of these rights in the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights to the text of the same rights in the constitutions of the 194 countries around the world.
An online version of this interactive is available at: constitutionalrights.constitutioncenter.org/
New Collaborative Workspace! Drafting Lab
Now open at the Center, and available for use by private reservation, is a physical collaboration space called Drafting Lab: Writing the World’s Constitutions. In the Drafting Lab, international visitors and school groups are able to research and discuss constitutional ideas at the Center and online, using Constitute and Constitutional Rights: Origins and Travels.
Google Ideas is a co-sponsor of the Drafting Lab, and its conference facilities include the latest Google video and collaborative technology.
The Constitute exhibit project is a joint venture between the National Constitution Center and researchers at the University of Texas at Austin. The graphics employ global historical data from the Comparative Constitutions Project and its related site, Constitute, an online tool for constitutional drafting. Infographic design was provided by the Texas Advanced Computer Center and Tiffany Farrant-Gonzalez with web development by Webii.
Support for the Comparative Constitutions Project comes from the National Science Foundation with additional funding from Google Ideas to the University of Texas at Austin. Funding for the Drafting Lab is provided in conjunction with Google Ideas.