Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Online Constitution Hub Beta to Launch September 17

/PRNewswire/ -- The Constitutional Sources Project, a DC-based non-profit, announces the beta launch of its redesigned online library of constitutional sources, ConSource.org, set for September 16, 2010, the day before Constitution Day. The beta launch coincides with an announcement that Overstock.com and Chairman and CEO Patrick Byrne will support future development of ConSource by matching every dollar raised before December 31, 2010 up to $100,000.

The redesigned ConSource beta to be launched September 16 showcases central features of what will soon be the premier online constitutional history hub, providing access to source documents, guides, and teacher and student resources for researching, understanding, and discussing the history of the Constitution and its Amendments. Over the next six months, additional development made possible by new donations and the Overstock matching grant will bring advanced features to the new ConSource, such as community-driven document digitization and annotation, as well as tools that will enable and incentivize document owners and archives to make their collections available to the public.

The beta launch will be held at the Library of Congress' Montpelier Room beginning at 6:00 p.m., celebrated with the announcement of a high school essay-writing competition and speeches by two former United States solicitors general, Walter Dellinger and Paul Clement, discussing constitutional legal history in front of a live audience of 100 and a broadcast audience of 15 law schools. The event will be broadcast on www.ConSource.org at 6:00 p.m. EDT.

Dr. Byrne's generous pledge was inspired by his passion for freedom and technology. "I am pro-freedom and therefore pro-ConSource." said Byrne. "Creating a way for all to understand and relive the history of the Constitution will revitalize the roots of liberty we all cherish." In creating this challenge grant for ConSource, Byrne follows in the footsteps of one of his favorite Founders, Benjamin Franklin, who was possibly the first to utilize matching donations as a way to stimulate contributions for a hospital he helped build in Philadelphia.

Funds raised this year in connection with Byrne's challenge will build upon the beta site launched September 16, dramatically expanding the ConSource library by allowing any institution or user in possession of Founding-era documents to upload and have them digitized by ConSource users.

Coming from Byrne, who has led Overstock.com to become a profitable, highly trafficked online retailer, this match will allow ConSource to lead the way in providing free access to the first-hand records of constitutional history.

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