It’s the Library of Congress on wheels in Metro Detroit.

A special Library of Congress traveling exhibition, mounted in a customized 18-wheel truck, is spending Wednesday at L’Anse Creuse Middle School North, 46201 Fairchild, in Macomb Township.  Hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The exhibit then moves to the Grosse Pointe Historical Society’s Provencal-Weir House, 376 Kercheval Ave, Grosse Pointe Farms.  Hours Friday will be 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.  On Saturday, Dec. 18, the hours will be from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The “Gateway to Knowledge” features high-quality replicas of many
of the Library’s top treasures and resources.  The exhibit will include programming especially for teachers and students.

Included are the history of the Library, including Thomas Jefferson’s role in re-establishing the Library, when he provided his personal book collection to the nation after the burning of the U.S. Capitol in 1814.

Replicas include 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 John Adams; the 1962 drawings for the comic book that introduced Spider-Man to the world; the handwritten manuscript to jazz pioneer Jelly Roll Morton’s “Frog-i-More Rag”; and Walt Whitman’s poem “Leaves of Grass.”

“As both a storehouse of world knowledge and primary resource for the U.S. Congress, the Library is energized by the prospects of the Abby and Emily Rapoport Traveling Exhibition playing an important role in sharing the national collection with the people to whom it belongs,” said Librarian of Congress James H. Billington.

The “Gateway to Knowledge” is expected to visit up to 60 sites across the Midwest and South over the next year.


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