Exploring Human Origins: What Does It Mean To Be Human?


Tompkins County Public Library is excited to bring the Smithsonian’s national traveling exhibition for libraries to our community.  Exploring Human Origins: What Does It Mean To Be Human? will be on display in the Avenue of the Friends from November 23 through Thursday December 22, 2016. This exhibit provides a fascinating glimpse into the complex field of human evolution research, and TCPL is proud to be one of only 19 libraries throughout the US to host this exhibit.

The exhibition seeks to shed light on what we know about human origins and how we know it. It welcomes different religious and cultural perspectives on evolution and seeks to foster positive dialogue and a respectful exploration of the science.

The exhibit delves into milestones on our evolutionary journey through interactive kiosks, hands-on displays and videos, and is complemented by displays of artifacts in the library exhibit cases on loan from Cornell University Department of Anthropology, Cornell University Library, Primitive Pursuits, local arts organizations, as well as the art exhibit On Being Human, featuring the work of ten local artists. Special opening programs including presentations and discussions led by Smithsonian Scientists, will take place Tuesday, November 29 through Sunday, December 4.

Guest lectures and family programs will be held at TCPL and other locations in Ithaca including the Discovery Trail during December.

Schools are invited to contact the Youth Services Department to arrange field trips.

The Exploring Human Origins exhibit was organized by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History in collaboration with the American Library Association.  This project was made possible through a grant from the John Templeton Foundation and support from the Peter Buck Human Origins Fund.  Additional local grant support has been made possible by TCPL Foundation, New York State Council for the Humanities Action Grant, Tompkins County Tourism Program, Paleontological Research Institution and the Discovery Trail.