Published on Wednesday, 30 November -0001 00:00
Congressman Collin Peterson announced that a Library of Congress traveling exhibition will be stopping at the Willmar Fire Hall, 515 2nd St. SW, Friday, Nov. 12, and Saturday, Nov. 13. The exhibit is open to the public at no charge from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday.
"Gateway to Knowledge," traveling in a specially-fitted 18-wheel tractor-trailer, was launched from the site of the National Book Festival on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Sept. 25, and is expected to visit up to 60 sites in states across the Midwest and South over the next year. The exhibit includes facsimiles of many top treasures and information about millions of resources in its unparalleled collections.
"This is a great opportunity for the residents of Willmar and the surrounding area," said Peterson. "The Library of Congress holds many priceless treasures from our country's history and this is a very special opportunity to see them in Willmar. I hope people will take advantage of this special exhibit."
The Truck, staffed and driven by two historians, well versed in the Library and its collections, expands to twice its road width. Visitors enter from a central staircase to find several areas of museum-style exhibits including a welcoming multi-media display, computer terminals displaying Library of Congress websites, and sites pertaining to U.S. collections and exhibitions. The "Gateway to Knowledge" exhibition also outlines the history of the Library, including Thomas Jefferson's role in providing his personal book collection to the nation following the burning of the U.S. Capitol in 1814.
The traveling exhibit includes facsimiles of such treasures as a rough draft of the Declaration of Independence, in Thomas Jefferson's hand with edits by Benjamin Franklin and John Adams; the 1455 Gutenberg Bible; the 1507 Waldseemuller Map (the first document to use the word "America"); original 1962 drawings for the comic book that introduced Spiderman to the world; and Walt Whitman's poem "Leaves of Grass."
Founded in 1800, the Library of Congress is the nation's oldest federal cultural institution. The Library seeks to further human creativity and wisdom by providing access to knowledge through its collections, programs and exhibitions.