The Book of Secrets, Back Home Again

Ben Gates and Riley Poole peruse the Book of Secrets

Ben Gates and Riley Poole peruse the Book of Secrets

Time was, the most common question we would get at the Library of Congress was, “Where are all the books?” (The answer is here.)

But a new question has begun to rival that query in frequency: “Where is the ‘Book of Secrets’?”

Well, for the next month, at least, you can find it at the Library of Congress’s Thomas Jefferson Building.

The December 2007 movie “National Treasure: Book of Secrets” has been written about here before. The heroes of the smash Walt Disney Pictures sequel came to the real Library of Congress in search of the movie’s title tome, en route to big treasure. The book (as far as even some of us in the government know, at least) is fictitious, but the prop “Book of Secrets” has proven an object of fascination. It is richly detailed and contains calligraphic reproductions of the handwriting of every president from Washington to Clinton, as well as conspiracy-related ephemera of all kinds.

The “Book of Secrets,” along with the prop “John Wilkes Booth’s diary” (a movie version of an actual historical object) are part of a special display at the Library through Sept. 27. The display features not only the props, but also images from scenes shot at the Library, along with a looping video of two bonus features from the movie’s DVD: a behind-the-scenes look at the Library itself, along with the making of the “Book of Secrets” prop.

Just don’t ask us what’s on page 47!

3 Comments

  1. tina
    January 2, 2009 at 5:01 pm

    ok,i see that you will never answer our curiosity about page 47,but i would really appreciate whether you could tell me about this holly book.
    like what is written there,by who,when, or just to show a copy of it in internet
    I will wait your answer obnoxiously
    hope you won’t fudge

  2. Matt Raymond
    January 5, 2009 at 12:00 pm

    Not that I am promoting it, but the two-disc DVD or Blu-ray, in addition to having a wonderful featurette behind-the-scenes at the Library of Congress, also has an interesting bonus feature on the crafting of the “Book of Secrets” itself.

    It is indeed intricate and fascinating. They have included entries in the handwriting style of every president from Washington to Clinton. It is also chockful of various ephemera relating to supposed “secrets” or conspiracies in our history — UFOs, Area 51, the Kennedy assassination, etc.

    Some people think such a book actually exists. While we probably wouldn’t know even if that were the case, the book itself was a prop for a movie.

  3. Thomas
    July 2, 2009 at 2:24 am

    Well, the Government does keep secrets, like area 51, the Book of Secrets, and everything conspiracy related to the Skull and Bones and Freemasonry. But they will never enlighten the American people who have the right to know what happens in our own country and pay the governments salary. They want us to be in the dark, but it never hurts to ask why, and hope for and honest answer to some of the most frequently ask questions. Im afraid we will never know the truth, but the knowlegde of witheld secrets is widely known, can someone atleast scrap the tip of the iceberg for us??

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