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February 25, 2011

Women’s History Month Program Features 21st-century Reprinting of the Declaration of Independence

A modern printer, Mindy Belloff, describes how she re-created a document originally produced by an 18th-century counterpart, Mary Katharine Goddard, during the lecture, “The Declaration of Independence Printed by a Woman in 1777 and 2009.” The program is at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 5 in the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum’s Hennage Auditorium.

On July 4, 1776, Congress authorized the first printing of the Declaration of Independence by John Dunlap. On Jan. 18, 1777, Congress commissioned Goddard, postmistress of Baltimore and printer of a weekly newspaper, to print a copy of the Declaration for each of the 13 colonies. Until now there was no reprinting of the Goddard broadside.

To honor Goddard and the nation’s founding fathers, Belloff reproduced Goddard’s elegant two-column design in 2009. She hand-set more than 7,500 characters and letterpress printed the copies one at a time on special paper. She also will discuss challenges faced by Goddard as an 18th-century businesswoman. Belloff teaches the history of printing at several New York universities.

The DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum exhibition, “Declarations of Independence,” features five copies of the famous document printed in anticipation of the 50th anniversary of the signing.

This program is offered in conjunction with Colonial Williamsburg’s Women History Month programs throughout March in the Historic Area and the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg. The L. Kay Wilkinson Endowment for Women’s Studies helps underwrite Colonial Williamsburg programs such as Women’s History Month.

A Colonial Williamsburg admissions ticket, museum pass or Good Neighbor Card provides access to this lecture.

Programs and exhibitions at The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation’s DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum are supported by the DeWitt Wallace Endowment Fund.

The Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg include the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum and the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum. The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum is home to the nation’s premier collection of American folk art, with more than 5,000 folk art objects made during the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. The DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum exhibits the best in British and American decorative arts from 1670–1830.

The Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg are located at the intersection of Francis and South Henry Streets in Williamsburg, Va., and are entered through the Public Hospital of 1773. Museum hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday through March 13. On March 14, museum hours will be 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. For museum program information, telephone (757) 220-7724.

The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is the not-for-profit educational and cultural organization that preserves and operates the restored 18th-century Revolutionary capital of Virginia as a town-sized living history museum, telling the inspirational stories of our nation’s founding men and women. Williamsburg is located in Virginia’s Tidewater region, 20 minutes from Newport News, within an hour’s drive of Richmond and Norfolk, and 150 miles south of Washington, D.C., off Interstate 64. For more information about Colonial Williamsburg, call 1-800-HISTORY or visit Colonial Williamsburg’s website at

Media Contact:
Penna Rogers
(757) 220-7121