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Gateway to Knowledge Guest Post #3

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Rep. Frank Wolf and William "Jake" Jacobs, chief of interpretive programs at the Library of Congress, cut the ribbon on the Gateway to Knowledge traveling exhibition in Winchester, Va., the first venue for the tour outside of Washington, D.C. Also pictured at left are Josh Van Gelder, tour docent, and Kathy Ott, director of congressional relations for the Library of Congress.

This is the third 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.  She originally wrote this post yesterday:

You don’t have to twist my arm to get me heading for the beauty of the Shenandoah Valley, a perfect place to host our second tour stop.  While Josh and I have crossed paths with Winchester, VA on other tours we had yet to been able to make it a stop.  Luckily the Gateway to Knowledge made that happen and allowed us to share in the charm of this community.  When the staff of the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley opened the gates for us on Sunday evening I did not expect to be greeted by a herd of cows.  The stunning gardens within the museum grounds also contain pasture for a group of curious calves, mooing their welcomes and getting our little dog Pippi fired up.

The event kicked off Monday morning with Congressman Frank Wolf there to perform a ribbon cutting ceremony and welcome the first guests, the 8th grade class from James Wood Middle School.  Some folks are surprised to hear that Josh was a history teacher before we started traveling; needless to say we both truly enjoy having school groups visit.

On Tuesday we had 90 kids from John Keen Elementary School who made the walk over to join us.  They were all full of questions and seemed to enjoy the section about Spiderman most.  We had a blast joking around with them while they all waited for a break in the rain to walk back to school.  A very special treat in Winchester was the turnout from home school groups.  We were filled both days with some very curious kids and wonderful parents, a few even had work with lesson plans from before coming.

It’s a pretty amazing drive between Winchester and Cumberland [Maryland], I have to say the miles are rolling past today.


  1. Dear Mr. and Mrs. Van Gelder,

    Will you be traveling to South Carolina, and more specifically, to The Lowcountry?

    I look forward to visiting your exhibit in the next year or so.

    Kim Handy
    Gateway Seeker

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