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Legacies: Collecting America's History at the Smithsonian, by Steven Lubar and Kathleen M. Kendrick

What is it worth?

In a way, all museums are treasure houses, places where valuable things are guarded and preserved. But what makes something a treasure? People invest different kinds of value in artifacts—aesthetic, historical, personal, spiritual. Value is, after all, in the eye of the beholder, and the treasures we Americans have placed in the National Museum of American History reveal a great deal about who we are, as individuals and as a nation. What kinds of treasures has the Smithsonian collected, and why? How has the meaning of treasure changed over time? What makes something worth treasuring?

Artistic Treasures Collections Monetary Value Old and New Treasures Personal Treasures Relics

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