Ocean County Library’s Toms River branch, 101 Washington St., will host a reception Saturday June 25 at 2 p.m. to mark the start of an eight-week series of programs and the display of a traveling exhibition entitled “Lewis and Clark and the Indian Country.”
The traveling exhibition tells the story of the explorers’ historic 1804–1806 expedition from a different point of view—that of the Indians who lived along their route.
During their journey to the Pacific coast and back, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark and crossed the traditional homelands of more than 50 Native American tribes. The exhibit examines this monumental encounter of cultures and examines the past and present effects of that encounter on the lives of the tribes which still live in the region.
“Lewis and Clark and the Indian Country” draws upon original documents in the rich Native American collections of the Newberry Library, of the Washington State Historical Society, the Minnesota Historical Society and other institutions. Photographs of handwritten documents, maps, paintings and drawings provide a colorful background for the story of the encounter.
“We are pleased to have been selected as a site for this exhibition,” said Carol Zsiga, Principal Librarian and Project Coordinator. “The story of the Lewis and Clark expedition is well known to most Americans, but the Native American perspective on their voyage is not as well known.”
“This great journey essentially opened American eyes to the West and encouraged national expansion, but also contributed to a dramatic change in the well-established cultures of the Indian tribes already living in the region,” she said.
Ocean County Library was one of only 23 libraries nationwide selected to host this exhibit.
Organized by the Newberry Library, Chicago and the American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office, “Lewis and Clark and the Indian Country” was made possible by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). Additional support came from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. A grant from the New Jersey Council for the Humanities provided program support. The Sara Lee Foundation is the lead corporate sponsor. Ruth C. Ruggles and the National Park Service also supported the exhibit.
The library is also sponsoring more than a dozen programs to enrich the exhibition including a viewing of the two-part film “Lewis & Clark: the Journey of the Corps of Discovery;” studies of the history and social life of the American Indians; the art and history of the Native American Flute; and the technology used by the Corps of Discovery. These programs are free and open to the public.
“This exhibit and our related programs explores how these two histories, that of the United States and that of Indian peoples along the expedition route, came together two hundred years ago and how they remain intertwined today,” said Susan Quinn, Director of Ocean County Library.
“Lewis and Clark and the Indian Country” will be on display at the library until August 19.
Ocean County Library has 21 locations and serves a population of more than 570,000 people.
For more information telephone the operator at(732)349-6200or(609)971-0514or visit its Web site http://www.theoceancountylibrary.org for more information.