PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Rare documents showing early drafts of the U.S. Constitution are on display in a permanent exhibit opening today at the National Constitution Center.

“This is the skeletal version of what would become the Constitution.”

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Constitution Center President Jeffrey Rosen led reporters on a tour of a new exhibit showing early drafts of the Constitution, including original handwritten 1787 drafts by Pennsylvania delegate James Wilson.

Jeffrey Rosen
(credit: Mike DeNardo)

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Rosen points out that those early versions had no preamble, propose a six-year presidential term, and a Supreme Court appointed by the Senate.

“We can trace the evolution of the very first draft of the Constitution into the final version, and the evolution of the first draft of the Bill of Rights into the final version all in this amazing gallery.”

An interactive touchscreen allows visitors to track the changes in language.

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The documents are from the collection of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.