This work examines Egyptian mummies as artifacts in pre - 1900 America - how they got here, what happened to them afterwards, and how they were perceived by the public and archaeologists. Collected newspaper accounts and other documents reveal the progression of American interest in mummies as curiosities, commodities, and cultural lessons. Numerous mummies which no longer exist are identified, and commentary on mummy coffins and discussion of methods of public exhibition are included.
S.J. Wolfe is a senior cataloger and serials specialist at the American Antiquarian Society. Over the past 20 years, she has been lecturing on ancient Egyptian culture and presenting mummy research at conferences such as the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing and New England Historical Association. She lives in Worcester, Massachusetts.