Campus & Community

Century-old tortilla chip in a Harvard collection

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A beetle necklace, Mark Twain’s microscope, a 19th-century slate bearing “messages” from the spirit world, and a 100-year-old Mexican tortilla — given more than 350 years, you can collect some bizarre and fascinating items.

Harvard has been collecting things for a long time, probably beginning with the donation of a library by its namesake, John Harvard, upon his death in 1638. Since then, the university has amassed more than 50 collections, not including libraries…

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