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Curiosities: Rarities and Oddities
from the Collection

July 5 - October 26, 2013

The History Center in Tompkins County has been collecting objects from Tompkins County's past that represent the area’s unique history since the 1800s.

They will unveil unique, rare, and even bizarre objects from their permanent collection for this peculiar exhibition. Visitors will have an opportunity to see some of The History Center's rarest treasures - some of which have rarely been exhibited, and others that are just plain weird.

Learn why organizations collect and preserve historical objects and how The History Center uses their collection to educate the public on Tompkins County's past and present. Find out what makes The History Center's collection so unique, and take a guess at what some of the objects were once used for (don't worry, we'll tell you too). Visitors will also have the opportunity to “Adopt-an-Artifact,” allowing them to sponsor an object in The History Center's collection. Sponsors will continue to receive updates and information on their adopted object even after the exhibition closes, including any future exhibitions or conservation done to the artifact.

Inspiration for this exhibition came from the Salon-style exhibitions that were popular during the 19th century, and the Wünderkammerns, or cabinets of curiosities, of the 18th and 19th centuries. And, of course, inspiration came from perusing The History Center's curious object collection.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a series of engaging public programs aimed at increasing the public's interest and understanding of the value of collecting and preserving cherished objects. For example, there will be an appraisal day that features expert appraisers who will hold assessments at The History Center that will take place sometime during the exhibition.