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Library of Congress exhibit coming to Staunton

There will be a special ribbon cutting ceremony on Tuesday, Aug. 2 at 10 a.m. at Gypsy Hill Park in Staunton to welcome the Library of Congress Gateway to Knowledge Traveling Exhibition to Staunton. The ceremony is hosted by the Staunton Public Library and will include Staunton Mayor Lacy King, State Del. Dickie Bell and Richard Adams on trumpet.

The exhibit is housed in a customized 90-foot-long 18-wheeler that expands to 30 feet wide and features facsimiles of selected treasures from the Library of Congress. The truck will be parked near Lake Tams in Gypsy Hill Park. The exhibit is free and will be open to the public Tuesday, Aug. 2 and Wednesday, Aug. 3 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The Gateway to Knowledge tour is inspiring new generations to learn and is cultivating new and young patrons for the Library of Congress and, by extension, libraries across the country. The exhibit includes programming especially for teachers and students, providing relevant and engaging learning experiences for lifelong learners.

The exhibition contains high-quality facsimiles of items such as the 1507 Waldseemüller Map (the first document to use the word “America”), the 1455 Gutenberg Bible, the rough draft of the Declaration of Independence in Thomas Jefferson’s hand with edits by Benjamin Franklin, and the 1962 drawings for the comic book that introduced Spider-Man to the world.

Since its launch in September at the National Book Festival in Washington, DC, the “Gateway to Knowledge” tour has been seen by over 55,000 visitors in over 70 communities in 26 states across the Midwest, South and East Coast. The truck is staffed and driven by docents well-versed in the Library and its collections and visits schools, libraries, community centers and other public venues.

Founded in 1800, the Library of Congress is the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution. The Library seeks to spark imagination and creativity and to further human understanding and wisdom by providing access to knowledge through its magnificent collections, programs and exhibitions. The Library serves the U.S. Congress and the nation both on-site in its reading rooms on Capitol Hill and through its award-winning website at

The exhibit and its national tour are made possible by the generous support of the Rapoport family. Bernie and Audre Rapoport are founding members of the James Madison Council, the Library’s private-sector advisory group.

This 1,000-square-foot mobile gallery travels to smaller and rural communities across America—areas that may not be aware of their ability to access the wealth of information in this publicly funded institution. MRA experiential tours & equipment is proud to have been selected, through a vendor review process, to work with the Library of Congress in developing and managing this historic experiential touring exhibit.

augusta free press
augusta free press