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The Declarations Resource Project set out to build a database of all known editions of the Declaration of Independence as an informative and educational resource about the Declaration.The original Declaration of Independence, also known as “The Matlack Declaration” scribed by Timothy Matlack, is preserved and displayed at the National Archives Rotunda. Their discovery, however, is the only other known 24” x 30” parchment manuscript copy, besides the original held by the National Archives.

“One of the most notable features of the Sussex Declaration is the arrangement of signatures,” Allen said.Sneff said their sleuthing has located more than 500 versions of the Declaration, in formats such as broadsides, newspapers, manuscripts, and books—including 156 copies produced from 1776 to 1800 in the U. While looking through the digital collection from the West Sussex Records Office, available through the United Kingdom National Archives, Sneff stumbled across the “Manuscript copy, on parchment of Declaration in Congress of the 13 United States.” Sneff explained that she knew she found something unique based on the “manuscript on parchment” description, but she wasn’t sure it was anything more than a reproduction.“We tried not to get too excited at first, until we did a more thorough investigation,” Allen added.The team concluded that the parchment manuscript likely dates back to the 1780s and was produced in Philadelphia or New York, based on material evidence.It was actually Allen’s mother, Susan Allen, former associate director and chief librarian of the Getty Research Institute, who discovered holes in the corners of the document that were likely made from pre-industrial nails.

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