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NMAAHC Collections

The National Museum of African American History and Culture is busy creating its foundational collections. These collections will contribute to the museum's research, exhibitions, and programs and be a part of the museum's opening exhibitions in the new building. Our purpose is to collect and preserve artifacts, documents, and art that reflect the history and development of the African American experience in its many aspects. Subjects will include the era of slavery, the period of Reconstruction, the Harlem Renaissance, and the civil rights movement. The museum's foundational collections will be representative, featuring items from all regions of the United States. Artifacts and artwork that reflect the historical and cultural links of African Americans to the African Diaspora, such as in the Caribbean, Latin America, and Canada, will also be collected. Cultural material being collected by the museum includes works of art, historical artifacts, photographs, moving images, archival documents, electronic data, audio recordings, books and manuscripts.

Adult shackles, probably West Africa, pre-1863