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Montgomery College Excalibur

The Student News Site of Montgomery College

Montgomery College Excalibur

The Student News Site of Montgomery College

Montgomery College Excalibur

MC Excalibur’s Trip to the Library of Congress.

On Nov. 3, students from MC Excalibur at Takoma Park Montgomery College embarked on an educational excursion to the Library of Congress, recognized as the largest library globally and a preeminent research institution for the U.S. Congress.

The Library of Congress houses an extensive collection of historic documents, rare books, cultural artifacts, general collections, international collections, and special format collections.

Old Newspapers, the Library of Congress has preserved newspapers that had been published more than 300 years ago. (Photo credit, Diego Larin)

During the visit, each student had the unique opportunity to immerse themselves in the narratives of prominent leaders by reviewing manuscripts, seeking a deeper understanding of historical matters. Helen Fuller, a photographer for the newspaper, would not stop looking over her research so much so that she opted to miss the team lunch.

“I was impressed by both the building and the content of it. I couldn’t believe I had been missing out on this my whole life.” Simret Aleligne, MC Excalibur photographer stated.  

This excursion provided students with the chance to learn about influential figures within their specific areas of interest.

A print of Shirley Chisholm the first African American woman to be elected for Congress. The print’s purpose is to get people to gather for a President Rally, she was also the first African American woman democrat nominee to run for president. (Photo credit, Diego Larin)

The manuscript division we went to was in the Madison building. It houses papers of individuals such as Bayard Rustin, nicknamed “Mr. March-On-Washington” by A. Philip Randolph, Roy Wilkins, one of the most prominent leaders of the civil rights movement; President George Washington; and more. 

Loretta Deaver, Reference Librarian, from the Manuscript Division, and Erin Sidwell, Reference Librarian, from the Newspaper Division, served as guides, providing insights on navigating the vast archives. Their expertise extended to the use of Finding Aids, which describe the content and arrangement of materials in a collection. For those eager to explore these aids, valuable tips can be found at Finding Aid Search Tips.

The Library of Congress is accessible to Montgomery College students. To gain entry, students must present a government-issued photo identification card, such as a driver’s license, passport, or state non-driver’s ID, to obtain a reader card. This card grants them access to the manuscript and newspaper divisions. This opportunity allowed students to engage with primary source materials, enhancing their understanding of historical events and figures. 

Aleligne reflected on the experience, noting, “This journey reemphasized something I already knew but forgot to acknowledge—the fact that there is so much we don’t know, and it’s all right at our fingertips without us even realizing it. I’m glad I got the chance to discover this treasure trove of information.”  



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About the Contributors
Justin Smith
Justin Smith, Social Media Manager
Authentic, Charismatic, and Personable are a few words to describe his personality. Justin is a 26-year-old Leo with lots of energy and always aims to express positivity. He is a Communication Studies major, seeking to graduate with his Associate of Arts degree in Spring 2024. He was born and raised in Hollywood, Florida, and I have a love for the beach. Justin is passionate about academic excellence, cultivating a psychologically safe space while affirming individuals. Outside of this, he am a very multi-faceted artist. He is a published fashion model who loves singing, dancing, and acting.
Diego Larin
Diego Larin, Photo Editor
Diego Larin joined The Excalibur as a photographer in the fall of 2022. He is a current Psychology major, pre-law based. He is planning to transfer to a four-year college after completing 2 years at MC. He is exploring other forms of photography besides portrait, landscape, nature, and lifestyle. He is inclined to apply to law school after acquiring a bachelor's degree in Psychology.

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    Jermia RichardsonDec 9, 2023 at 11:30 am

    I’m a Floridian,and was so intrigued by the author’s way of words that I’m very interested in making Washington my next trip!