Cincinnati Museum Center fossils, polar bear and mummy on the move

Curate My Community exhibits open at Mount St. Joseph University, Children’s Theatre, Kenton County, Boone County and Hamilton County libraries

CINCINNATI – The next time you head to the library to check out a book you can also check out some of Cincinnati Museum Center ‘s artifacts and specimens. Cincinnati Museum Center is bringing exhibits to Mount St. Joseph University, The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati, Kenton County Public Library, Boone County Public Library and the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County Main Branch as part of Curate My Community.

DunkleosteusAmongst the Museum Center collection items moving to new locations as part of Curate My Community are the giant prehistoric fish Dunkleosteus, the In the Dark exhibit, 4-year-old Egyptian child mummy Umi and the polar bear. Mount St. Joseph University, the Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati, Kenton County Public Library, Boone County Public Library and the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County join Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport as Curate My Community locations, part of Cincinnati Museum Center’s initiative to bring artifacts and scientific specimens to a neighborhood near you.

With the temporary closure of the Cincinnati History Museum and Museum of Natural History & Science to facilitate extensive repairs and restoration to Union Terminal, Cincinnati Museum Center is bringing those museums to you. Iconic pieces of Cincinnati’s natural and manmade history, and staples of Cincinnati childhoods, will continue to educate and delight visitors, albeit in new locations. As our home undergoes its restoration, Cincinnati Museum Center’s mission will continue with gusto.

“For the past 25 years, Cincinnati Museum Center has been a place where people can come to be inspired, to fuel their curiosity and to learn more about the world around them and the people who came before them,” says Elizabeth Pierce, president and CEO of Cincinnati Museum Center. “By partnering with like-minded institutions that help people to pursue knowledge and encourage curiosity, we can share our collections with new audiences and inspire new lifelong learners.”

Fossils ranging from 60 million to 380 million years old will be on display with more modern scientific specimens at locations throughout the Greater Cincinnati area, including:

Mount St. Joseph University
The 380 million year old Dunkleosteus, noted for its armored head and its incredible jaw strength more than twice that of a T-Rex, will trade in the seas of the Late Devonian period for the Seton Center. Beginning in August, Umi, the Egyptian child mummy dating back almost 1800 years, will be on display along with its other exhibit components in the Archbishop Alter Library. Umi will be surrounded by familiar faces at Mount St. Joseph. Professors Gene Kritsky, Ph.D., and Elizabeth Murray, Ph.D., were involved in helping reveal more about Umi’s background and making sense of the items buried with the child.

Kenton County Public Library
The Dunkleosteus is not the only prehistoric fish moving into the community. The Kenton County Public Library will host a collection of eight prehistoric fish fossils, including the Xiphactinus and Ichthyosaur, marine predators from the late Cretaceous period, over 60 million years ago. Also part of the display is a large Coelacanth skeleton from the late Devonian period that still has two surviving species in world oceans.

Boone County Public Library
Visitors to the Boone County Public Library can visit In the Dark , an exhibit that allows them to explore the mysterious creatures that inhabit the darkness of caves and the depths of the sea and the nocturnal animals you might find in your own backyard. In the Dark was designed and built by Cincinnati Museum Center and features interactive displays and dioramas that recreate the sea floor and the stalactite and stalagmite formations found in caves.

Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County
Cincinnati Museum Center’s polar bear, the background of so many photos as far back as its days in the Museum of Natural History on Gilbert Avenue, will now welcome visitors to the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County downtown. The polar bear, Earth’s largest land predator, will be joined by a large predator from the Jurassic period. The Allosaurus, a fearsome carnivore that walked on its hind legs and had two short forelimbs, sat atop the food chain over 150 million years ago and has been a favorite amongst visitors to Cincinnati Museum Center’s Dino Hall.

The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati
An Allosaurus and bear will soon roam the lobby of the Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati as well. An American black bear will be joined by an Allosaurus model that presents the fully-fleshed out dinosaur as it may have appeared 150 million years ago. The large objects will be hard to miss but are sure to provide fun photo ops for theatregoers. The black bear and Allosaurus are scheduled to be installed in the winter of 2016-2017. Other objects will pop up at the Children’s Theatre in the coming months.

Curate My Community can now be found at five different sites in the Greater Cincinnati area, with more locations set to be announced in the coming months. Stay tuned to find out where your favorite artifact or scientific specimen is going, or visit for more information.