An exhibit currently running at the main branch of the Wayne County Public Library in Wooster seeks to do just that.
The Lewis and Clark and the Indian Country exhibit is designed to give a fresh perspective on the encounters between the Lewis and Clark Expedition and the Native Americans and to trace the dramatic impact of those encounters during the centuries that followed.
Through photographs and text, visitors to the exhibit can trace the journey of the Corps of Discovery and learn more about the western United States as it existed at the turn of the 19th century, the relationships the Native Americans and the Lewis and Clark Expedition members forged amongst each other and see the impact those encounters had on the peoples who called the region home. The exhibit also includes information on the efforts of current day Native Americans to sustain their cultures.
Lewis and Clark and the Indian Country is a traveling exhibition organized by the Newberry Library in Chicago in partnership with the American Library Association and supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Wooster is one of only 23 libraries nationwide to host this unique exhibit.
In addition to the traveling exhibit, visitors will also have the opportunity to view pieces from the collection of the Wayne County Historical Society and other private collections dating from the period.
In conjunction with the exhibit, the library is sponsoring a series of special events.
To open the exhibit Nov. 6, the library welcomed the intrepid explorers themselves when Lewis and Clark presenters Tim Kreps and Al Thompson presented a program entitled Lewis and Clark: Their Own Words.
The special events continued Nov. 7 when the Case Western Reserve Historical Society presented Into the Woods, a program designed to teach elementary school children more about how the food, clothing and shelter varied between the early Ohio settlers and the eastern woodland Indians.
On Nov. 10 the library welcomed exhibit curator Frederick Hoxie, who discussed the effects of the expedition from the Native American’s perspective and introduced the themes of the exhibit.
Still to come is a presentation Nov. 14, at 7 p.m., in the library conference room by Randall Buchman, professor emeritus of history and archaeology at Defiance College, entitled We use! You Own?, which focuses on the adjustments that the native peoples made when Europeans intruded into their lands.
On Dec. 4, at 2 p.m., in the Wayne Center for the Arts auditorium, cartographer Ralph Ehrenberg will present Mapping the West, which looks at the preparations made and mapping techniques used by the expedition members to prepare maps along their journey.
The children’s department staff also has a number of special events just for children, including make it/take it craft projects Nov. 12, 19 and 26 and Dec. 3 and 10.
At 6 and 7:30 p.m. Nov. 15, representatives from The Wilderness Center will be on hand to teach young visitors about the bison, elk and other mammals that roamed the Ohio lands in the 1800s and what mammals are still found in Ohio today.
For more information on Lewis and Clark and the Indian Country and the special events that will take place during the exhibit’s run, contact the adult reference department at 330-262-0916, ext. 7140, or send an email to Reference@WCPL.info. Information can also be found on the Wayne County Public Library’s website at http://www.wcpl.info.
Published: November 8, 2011