The Special Collections and archives center is hosting a traveling exhibit from the Idaho State Historical Society from Oct. 15 to Nov. 15, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
The exhibit has handmade artifacts, replicas of artifacts and information about Lewis and Clark’s expedition. The exhibit includes the Nez Perce Indian culture and their role in Idaho’s history.
“When students come to the exhibit, they actually get to pick , touch, handle and have a close- experience with the items in the exhibit,” said Laurie Francis, the manager of Special Collections.
Adam Luke, BYU-Idaho’s archivist, said that because students can touch the items, they will have a different experience at this exhibit than they would at others.
Nathanael Haggard, a junior studying history education, said he likes the hands-on experience because it helps him interact and connect with the past, and it helps cement the learning experience and make the history likable and relatable.
“Seeing the artifacts helps me better appreciate and understand the lives and experiences of Lewis and Clark and makes them more real to me,” Haggard said.
Francis said this exhibit is as close as people are able to get to the past without leaving Rexburg while still experiencing what Lewis and Clark had and what daily life would have been like for them.
“The exhibit helps open our eyes not only to Lewis and Clark and the Nez Perce people, but also to other explorers that came through the Idaho territory,” said Karen Duvall, a senior studying humanities.
Francis said students should come to see and learn because Lewis and Clark came through the Idaho region, and their experiences are a big piece of Idaho’s history.
She said that learning about Lewis and Clark’s discoveries in the west can be insightful and interesting.
Duvall said that Lewis and Clark spent 93 days in the Idaho winter weather in 1805.
“As students at BYU-I, we know how cold it can get in the winter months, so we can relate to some of what they went through,” Duvall said.
Francis said the special collection exhibit also has journals and voice recordings.
“The special collection houses materials that we feel would be important to campus or the community. We felt that this exhibit would be a great one to bring because our students learn about Lewis and Clark in classes, and it’s just an interesting part of our history,” Francis said.
Francis said she feels that many students don’t know about the special collection in the library or the traveling exhibit, so they cannot use its resources.
“It’s a good idea for students to come and get a better understanding because I think we take a lot of things for granted — and [while] doing research on some of these objects, I came to realize that these items meant a lot to Lewis and Clark,” Duvall said.
Francis said students can walk in anytime, just for a few minutes on the way to class, to see what the special collection has. She said students might find it interesting and learn more about Idaho’s state history and the history of Lewis and Clark and the Nez Perce tribe.
“There is a lot of stuff going on behind the window,” Francis said. “It’s kind of like a treasure trove.”