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News Release


New Exhibition at the Library and Archives of Canada
Launch Of On the Road An Exhibit Without Borders

OTTAWA, March 11, 2003 - "Borders between countries are most often decided by people in large rooms with no windows." This is the introduction to a new exhibition, which opens tomorrow at the Library and Archives of Canada that traces, through a collection of books, brochures and posters, the movements of Canadians and Americans across the border from the 17th through to the 20th century.

Organized in cooperation with the Embassy of the United States, the exhibition entitled On the Road is about Canadians and Americans who crossed the border over the years and wrote about it or left a printed record of their movements. It is also testimony to a history that links the people of Canada and the United States.

"This selective grouping of works, all from the Rare Book Collection at the National Library, will show visitors that the roads between our two countries are well travelled indeed," said Michel Brisebois, curator of the exhibit. "These movements in one way or another enriched each country."

On the Road displays close to 80 items and includes books written about gold prospectors in the Yukon and Alaska, a petition for the release of William Lyon MacKenzie printed in Rochester N.Y. in 1840 and signed by 286 Americans, guides for the franco-American population in the north-eastern states, an 1671 copy of the Jesuit Relations and even a copy of a newspaper written by and for American draft-dodgers in Canada.

"The Library and Archives of Canada is a world-class national resource that maintains and promotes Canada’s documentary heritage for all Canadians and for the world. As a professional librarian, I’m especially honoured that the U.S. was chosen to be the international partner in this year’s exhibition program of the Library and Archives," states Jan Cellucci, co-curator of the exhibit.

The title of the exhibition was inspired from Jack Kerouac’s work On the Road, the classic work written in 1957. Kerouac, born Jean-Louis Kérouac, was a second generation franco-American.

On the Road will be open until May 12, 2003 in Exhibition Room D at the Library and Archives of Canada, 395 Wellington Street in Ottawa. The exhibit is open every day from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Admission is free.

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Pauline Portelance, Media Relations Officer
Library and Archives of Canada