This is the second in a series of guest posts by Abigail Van Gelder, who with her husband, Josh, have set out across the country on the Library’s “Gateway to Knowledge” traveling exhibition. The rolling exhibit launched Sept. 25 at the National Book Festival:
As we roll down the road on our way to Winchester, VA to join the folks at the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley, I still can’t believe just yesterday [Sept. 25] we premiered the Gateway to Knowledge exhibit. The National Book Festival was quite an event to take part in and honestly a once in a lifetime experience. We were parking right in the center of the festival and welcomed almost 1,900 guests. I thank everyone who waited in line to come inside.
We did have some very special visitors throughout the day, most notably Emily and Abby Rapoport, our generous sponsors. Without their gift and passion, this project wouldn’t have been possible. I do hope to make them proud and share their vision as we go. Dr. James H. Billington also came by to participate in the ribbon cutting and offered a heartfelt thank you to the Library’s staff who were involved in the project. Something special for us was the exchange of encouraging words with many of docents who give tours in the Jefferson building. I couldn’t believe how many wanted to meet us and wish us luck.
I can’t thank everyone enough, for all of the MRA folks who gave up their weekend to join us, to all of the Library’s staff who have put in countless hours to make this happen and were there to see us open the doors and to the Rapoport Family for all the kind words. We have a great start for this tour.