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NEW YORK— Museums and cultural institutions around the country are starting an initiative called “collect the moment.” The idea is to encourage the public to preserve objects, photos, and videos that speak to this prominent time in our history.

Whether it be a face mask or a poster you made for a protest, Dr. Anthea M. Hartig, the Elizabeth MacMillan Director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, said these items capture unique moments and could someday be artifacts in the museum world.