Cabinet of Curiosity at Cazenovia Public Library – Cazenovia, New York - Atlas Obscura

Cabinet of Curiosity at Cazenovia Public Library

Cazenovia, New York

A mummy and sarcophagus are part of the many wonders in this library's collection. 

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Tucked away in the Cazenovia Public Library is a cabinet of curiosities and a collection hearkening back to the eclectic collection habits of the 19th century. Beautifully presented and preserved, the library’s website describes its collection as “our community’s attic.”

Visitors can explore exhibits including the WonderCabinet, Exploring Egypt, and Treasures from the Attic, along with natural history and local history collections.  

Perhaps the star of the show, however, is Hen: a roughly 2,000-year-old mummy from Egypt who has been on display—along with his sarcophagus—at the library for over a hundred years. As with much of the collection, Hen’s trip to central New York was spurred by the 1894 9-month tour completed by library benefactor Robert James Hubbard and his son. During this trip they purchased and collected a number of items currently on display beside Hen.

Despite leaning into its history as a cabinet of curiosities, the collection is presented in a manner befitting the 21st century, including an electronic touch-screen presentation following Hubbard’s trip down the Nile. The state-of-the-art exhibits, which both present history and are, in themselves, a visual history of past-collection and presentation practices, make this collection a must-see. And feel free to check out a book while you’re there!

Know Before You Go

Parking is located directly behind the library and is easy to find, and the librarians will help you locate the collection wing. 

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July 28, 2022

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