52 for 150: What’s So Special About Your Library’s Chinese Snuff Bottle Collection?

It’s week 46 of our Kansas sesquicentennial video series and also National Drug Facts Week, so we thought it would be interesting to take a closer look at our Chinese snuff bottle collection.

Snuff is a smokeless tobacco containing nicotine made of ground tobacco leaves. It is inhaled—or “snuffed”—through the nose. The Chinese believed that snuff possessed medicinal qualities and was an effective cure to dispel colds, cure migraine, sinus and tooth pain, relieve throat trouble, cause sweats, counter asthma, constipation, headaches, stomach disorders, and many other illnesses.


About 52 for 150

Every object has a story, and stories build history. To celebrate 150 years of Kansas statehood we’re featuring 52 objects (or collections of related objects)—something new each week throughout the year—from the Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library’s 130-year-old special, and permanent collections, that represent our collective state history and cultural diversity.

Our collections are available for teachers, students, researchers and general interest, and we hope this online video program will provide insight into what’s so “special” about Special Collections. Your library’s commitment to collecting art and preserving local history makes it possible for users today and in the future to have immediate access to invaluable research material and cultural artifacts.

To make an appointment to see our Chinese snuff bottle collection, or get help finding books and videos related to this topic, call or stop by the Sabatini Gallery (785-580-4515). We’re located on your right just beyond the Library rotunda entrance.

Heather Kearns

I've been the Sabatini Gallery's associate curator since 2004 and social media coordinator since 2008. My passion is helping people “get“ art, and by that I mean creating an environment both in-house and online which fosters a greater understanding, confidence, and sense of enjoyment from the art experience. Art should be easy to access and available to everyone. I take helping people very seriously.