National Museum of American History Sends Staffers to Collect Occupy Wall Street Objects

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By Steve Delahoyde Comment

You know you’ve made at least something of a mark in history when you spot employees of the Smithsonian‘s National Museum of American History rummaging around. Like at this spring’s massive protests in Wisconsin and during President Obama‘s inauguration, the museum has been sending out staffers to find historical-seeming things surrounding the Occupy Wall Street movements. While, per usual, this isn’t for any specific upcoming exhibition, but instead is a regular effort to fill their archives with items that tell the story of our times. So down thirty or forty years down the line, you may wind up seeing that sign you’d forgotten to pick back up at that protest so long ago in some sort of “Remember the ’10s”. Then you can go next door to the “Remember the ’20s” hall and see the items that were a part of the famous Jetpack Revolution. Here’s a bit:

Most recently, the Museum sent representatives to collect materials related to what has become known as the Occupy Wall Street protests and the various offshoots. This is part of the museum’s long tradition of documenting how Americans participate in the life of the nation. The Museum collects from contemporary events because many of these materials are ephemeral and if not collected immediately, are lost to the historical record.