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Collecting American Elections, A Smithsonian Affiliations Virtual Scholar Talk

Tuesday, Oct. 27, 8 p.m. via Zoom

Image: Kennedy-Nixon debate chairs, 1960, National Museum of American History

Presenters: Lisa Kathleen Graddy, Jon Grinspan, and Claire Jerry, Division of Political and Military History, National Museum of American History. Register here!

The biggest moment in our American democracy? When voters head to the polls to exercise their rights to appoint new leadership. During this panel discussion, three curators—whose mandate is to collect, record, and preserve objects that capture the presidential election every four years—will discuss the years of experience they bring to gathering and curating objects and documents from presidential campaigns for the national collection. The scholars, and their difficult choices, will introduce a unique perspective to how Americans elect leaders, how they have had to adapt to this year’s unprecedented virtual campaign events, and what changes we may see in a post-COVID future. A moderated conversation will allow audience members to ask questions and contribute thoughts.

Smithsonian Affiliations Virtual Scholar Talks are presented, at no charge, by Smithsonian Affiliations, in collaboration with the National Museum of African American History and Culture and other Smithsonian Affiliate organizations across the country.