Constitution Day: September 17, 2023

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Sept. 13, 2022, 9 a.m.
Celebrating Constitution Day at SU Libraries with a display of books and posters from September 15 through 18.
pocket book of constitution

Revised on September 12, 2023, Original post September 13, 2022.

by John Olson, Government and Geo-Information Librarian

On September 17, 1787, Congress passed the Constitution of the United States, so this year the Constitution is 235 years old. Did you know that Delaware was the first state to ratify the Constitution on December 7, 1787, and that on February 6, 1788, Massachusetts narrowly ratified it, but more importantly “recommended that a Bill of Rights be added to protect States from federal encroachment of individual liberties”? 1

We celebrate Constitution Day at SU Libraries with a display of books and posters along with other materials gathered from our collections that pertain to all aspects of our Constitution. There will be a table in the Learning Commons of Bird Library with free pocket Constitutions from September 15th through September 18th. Just look for the large poster of the U.S. Constitution next to the Information Desk. Feel free to pick one up for yourself and pick one up for a friend as well.

These small 34-page pocket Constitutions contain the original text of the document created by our founding fathers. Also available in an online pocket version. But! Did you know there are extensive annotated versions of the Constitution?

This extended print version The Constitution of the United States of America: Analysis and Interpretation contains almost 2800 pages of the current interpretations of all articles and amendments of the Constitution by the courts and how Congress has legislated to create laws pertaining to the articles and amendments. This print version is available in the Documents Collection (call # Y1.1/2:SERIAL 15456). There are also two excellent online versions that you can access. The first is U.S. Constitution Annotated from Cornell University’s Legal Information Institute. The second is from the Library of Congress, Constitution Annotated. Make sure to check out this thorough site and be sure to click on the “Browse Annotations” link at the top of the page. The Library of Congress’s site is updated each day when a new ruling is handed down by the courts.

Visit our display in-person in Bird Library or online with our Constitution Day Research Guide for many more links and for a list of book titles about the Constitution and about specific topics that pertain directly to amendments or articles of the Constitution. Also, take a look at the Constitution tab on the Gov Docs Research Guide for other Constitution related links.

1 U.S. Government Printing Office, The Constitution of the United States of America Analysis and Interpretation. XXIII.

Constitution title list

American sovereigns: the people and America's Constitutional tradition before the Civil War / Fritz, Christian. New York.: Cambridge University Press, c2008.

The Constitution as social design: gender and civic membership in the American constitutional order / Ritter, Gretchen. Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 2006. Call Number: HQ1236.5.U6 R57 2006

Freedom for the thought that we hate: a biography of the First Amendment / Lewis, Anthony. New York: Basic Books, c2007. Call Number: KF4770.L49 2007

Freedom of the press: a reference guide to the United States Constitution / Lidsky, Lyrissa Barnett. Westport, Conn.: Praeger, 2004. Call Number: KF4774.L53 2004

The United States Constitution: a graphic adaptation / Hennessey, Jonathan.
New York: Hill and Wang, 2008. Call Number: E303.H46 2008

How to read the Constitution and why / Kim Wehle. New York, NY: Harper, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, [2019]

Same-sex marriage and the Constitution / Evan Gerstmann. Cambridge, United Kingdom; New York, NY : Cambridge University Press, 2017.

Progressive challenges to the American constitution: a new republic / edited by Bradley C.S. Watson. Cambridge, United Kingdom; New York, NY : Cambridge University Press, 2017.

We have not a government: the Articles of Confederation and the road to the Constitution / George William van Cleve. Chicago : The University of Chicago Press, 2017.

The framers' coup: the making of the United States Constitution / Michael J. Klarman. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, [2016]

A companion to the United States Constitution and its amendments / John R. Vile. Santa Barbara, California: Praeger, an Imprint of ABC-CLIO, LLC, [2015]

What would Madison do?: the Father of the Constitution meets modern American politics / Benjamin Wittes and Pietro S. Nivola, editors. Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press, 2015.

Religious liberties for corporations?: Hobby Lobby, the Affordable Care Act, and the Constitution / David H. Gans; and Ilya Shapiro; with an introduction by Jeffrey Rosen. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014.

The workplace constitution from the New Deal to the New Right / Sophia Z. Lee. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 2014.

Women of the Constitution: wives of the signers / Janice E. McKenney. Lanham: Scarecrow Press, Inc., 2013.

Signing their rights away: the fame and misfortune of the men who signed the United States Constitution / by Denise Kiernan & Joseph D'Agnese. Philadelphia, PA: Quirk Book, c2011.

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