The Constitution, the Declaration of Independence and other founding documents will be the subjects of a free lecture at the Williamstown Historical Museum on Saturday, Oct. 20, at 11 a.m.
Robert L. Volz, custodian of Williams College’s Chapin Library, will ask "What If? Questions for America" posed by the documents, original printings of which are owned by the library. He also will discuss the documents’ particular relevance in an election year and highlight the library’s ultra-rare printed set of 17 proposed amendments to the Constitution as passed by the first House of Representatives in August 1789.
A native of Milwaukee, Volz came to Williams 35 years ago from the University of Rochester’s Department of Rare Books, Manuscripts and Archives. He had held similar posts at Bowdoin College and Northwestern University. Volz earned degrees from Marquette University and the University of Wisconsin.
In addition to the Constitution and Declaration of Independence, the Chapin Library’s collection also includes the earliest official British reply to the Declaration and George Washington’s copy of the Federalist Papers given to him by their authors, James Madison and Alexander Hamilton.
The museum was founded in 1941 and is located in the Milne Public Library. The museum conserves and protects historic items related to Williamstown’s past.
The WHM has more than 200 contributing members. It is free and open to the public Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. or by appointment arranged by calling (413) 458-2160.
Additional information is available on the museum’s website www.williamstownhistory.com.