Tourists to be banned from taking photos at National Archives

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WASHINGTON – Tourists will soon be banned from taking photographs or video at the National Archives main exhibit hall to help protect the Declaration of Independence, U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights.

A rule posted in Monday’s Federal Register will take effect Feb. 24.

About a million visitors pass through the exhibit each year. While there’s already a ban on flash photography, archives officials say visitors still shoot about 50,000 flashes of light at the historic documents each year.

That light and ultraviolet radiation can damage the documents and cause the ink to fade.

The archives expects the ban on photography to improve the flow of visitor traffic.

The National Archives gift shop will continue to sell copies of the historic documents.