Cincinnati Museum Center’s Curate My Community Program

If you’ve been lamenting the Museum Center closings — rest assured you can still visit your favorite dinosaurs! The Cincinnati Museum Center’s Curate My Community Program is bringing beloved favorites with the community.

Cincinnati Museum Center is sharing exhibits with 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 the Curate My Community program. Among the items moving to new locations are the giant prehistoric fish Dunkleosteus, the In the Dark exhibit, 4-year-old Egyptian child mummy Umi and the infamous polar bear.


With the temporary closure of the Cincinnati History Museum and Museum of Natural History & Science to facilitate extensive repairs and restoration to Union Terminal, the Cincinnati Museum Center is bringing those museums to the community through the Curate My Community program. 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.

For the 411 on the Museum Center renos, see Cincinnati Parent’s Guide to the Museum Center Renovations

“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,” said 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.”

Here’s the scoop on where to find what:

Mount St. Joseph University: Dunkleosteus

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: Xiphactinus and Ichthyosaur

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: In the Dark

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: The Polar Bear and Allosaurus

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: Black Bear and (another) Allosaurus


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 2016-17.

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. For more on where your favorite artifact is going, visit the Museum Center’s website.

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