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Courtesy Dr. Gary Milan Collection

After the Dunlap broadside was printed, a handwritten version of the Declaration of independence was prepared for the signatures of members of the Second Continental Congress. Between August 2, 1776 and January 19, 1977, this "official" copy was signed by most of the representatives, beginning with John Hancock as president of the congress. The original document eventually was entrusted for safekeeping to the National Archives in Washington, D.C. Even before that, between 1820 and 1823, William Stone prepared facsimiles of the Declaration, including the signatures, for sale to the public. these were on parchment, while a later press run, assumed to have taken place in 1847, was printed on paper. In both instances Stone reproductions have become scarce and represent the interest in the Declaration of Independence by many people over generations.