Curators from the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History are collecting items from Wednesday’s protest and siege on the U.S. Capitol for its political and military history division.
The museum, which is under the umbrella of the Smithsonian Institution, said Friday that it is looking to archive protest signs, banners, and posters from the “Stop the Steal” rally and the riots that took place at the U.S. Capitol, the New York Times reported.
“As an institution, we are committed to understanding how Americans make change,” the museum’s director, Anthea M. Hartig, said in a statement, adding that “this election season has offered remarkable instances of the pain and possibility involved in that process of reckoning with the past and shaping the future.”
Hartig added that the items collected would “help future generations remember and contextualize January 6 and its aftermath.”
Efforts to acquire the items have been limited to the National Mall while Capitol Hill authorities are carrying out cleanup efforts and helping federal authorities investigate the riots.
But curators expect that they will be able to acquire items from inside the Capitol in the near future after working with the curator for the Architect of the Capitol, congressional offices, and government agencies.
Museum curators launched a similar collecting spree over the summer during the height of the Black Lives Matter protests and riots, acquiring signs and banners to document that moment in history.
In this request for contributions, curators are asking people to send a photo and a brief description of the object to 2020ElectionCollection@si.edu.