Library events and resources for Sept. 17 Constitution and Citizenship Day

  • A photo of the U.S. Constitution with the words "We the people."
September 15, 2021

On September 17, 1787, the Founding Fathers signed the most significant document in American history—the United States Constitution. To mark the occasion, Yale University Library and the Lillian Goldman Law Library are co-hosting two events and offering a range of resources to celebrate Constitution and Citizenship Day which is recognized each year on September 17.

The United States Constitution first established the legislative, executive and judicial branches of government, recognized citizens’ individual liberties, and divided power between federal and state governments. This introduced the system of checks and balances that has become the cornerstone of American democracy.

Federal and educational institutions across the nation are required to commemorate the holiday. As a designated U.S. federal depository since 1859, Yale Library is highlighting its extensive collections which date from 1789 to the present. Subjects span congressional and executive branch documents, economics, international relations and diplomacy, labor, history, public policy and social issues, and statistical publications.

This year, the events address the theme of the Constitution as a living document, while asking the question, “How would you shape the Constitution?” Anyone is welcome to submit a response online before September 21.

Constitution and Citizenship Day events

  • September 17, 12 noon: A live reading of the Preamble. Register here (open to public)
  • September 21, 12:15-1:15 pm: Graduate student Constitution Day discussion. Register here. Graduate students are invited to discuss the Constitution through a disciplinary lens and to answer the question “What is the most important Constitutional right?” Each student will provide a five minute presentation followed by a Q&A session.

Constitution and Citizenship Day Resources