Exploring Human Origins

Exploring Human Origins

Based on a popular Smithsonian exhibition, Exploring Human Origins seeks to engage a wide spectrum of audiences in the complex field of human evolution research.

Through panels, interactive kiosks, hands-on displays, and videos, Exploring Human Origins invites audiences to explore milestones in the evolutionary journey of becoming human — from walking upright, creating technology and eating new foods, to brain enlargement and the development of symbolic language and complex societies — milestones that define the unique position of humans in the history of life..

The exhibition is offered by ALA’s Public Programs Office in collaboration with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History Human Origins Program. It is made possible through the support of a grant from the John Templeton Foundation and support from the Peter Buck Human Origins Fund.

The traveling exhibition is based on the Smithsonian’s What Does It Mean to Be Human?, which opened in 2010; over 20 million people have visited the Hall of Human Origins exhibition since its opening. 

Applications for Exploring Human Origins were accepted through November 19, 2014. Nineteen selected public libraries will host the 40-panel, 1,200-square-foot exhibition for four weeks each between April 2015 and April 2017. In addition to the traveling exhibition and all shipping costs, selected sites will receive a $500 programming support grant; presentation of three or four programs by members of the Human Origins Program and its Broader Social Impacts Committee; and a variety of educational materials and support.