National Lewis & Clark exhibit will visit Ocean County Library

The Ocean County Library, 101 Washington St., Toms River, will host a reception on June 25 at 2 p.m. to mark the start of an eight-week series of programs and the display of a traveling exhibition titled “Lewis and Clark and the Indian Country.”

The traveling exhibition tells the story of the explorers’ historic 1804-06 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 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 who still live in the region, according to a press release.

“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 23 libraries nationwide selected to host the Lewis and Clark 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 theAmerican 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.

“Lewis and Clark and the Indian Country” will be on display at the library until Aug. 19. For more information, call 732- 349-6200 or 609-971-0514, or visit the website at