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Home > Welcome to The Skeptiseum > A Brief History of the Skeptiseum

A Brief History of the Skeptiseum


The Skeptiseum evolved from the personal collection of science writer and investigator Joe Nickell who, in mid-1995, became Senior Research Fellow of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (CSI) -- located at the Center For Inquiry in Amherst, New York.  (CSI publishes Skeptical Inquirer magazine.)  Nickell's collecting continued and soon outgrew his office -- which had begun to resemble a curio shop, with Bigfoot track-casts, spirit trumpets, and snake-oil bottles.  It expanded into several display cases in the CFI Library reading room; still later, additional, larger cases were installed outside his office-lab area, along with storage cabinets.

In 2001, CSI opened a website under the name Nickell had begun to call his collection: The Skeptiseum, a contraction for Skeptical Museum (of the Paranormal and Pseudoscience).  This made it possible for people around the owrld to see and use the collection, which over the years has helped illustrate student papers, magazine articles, books, and television shows.  It has loaned displays to other museums and has been featured twice on the Travel Channel's Mysteries at the Museum program.