My favorite part of any museum trip is making it into the gift shop — not because I like buying things, but because I can finally put my hands on something again! Too often, our learning experiences in museums are distant and ethereal. By exploring in space and with our hands, we’ll work together through what collections can be outside the glass and beyond the snow globe.

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Outside the gift shop, museums, libraries, and other kinds of collections invite appreciation more often than participation. What can people do to make these collections their own—to lure them into the public, beyond the granite walls and bronze doors of storied institutions?

With the tools of social media, mobile devices, markers, and construction paper, how can we get objects in different places talking to one another—and to address issues of vital interest to audiences beyond the ones these collections typically serve?

“Enter Through the Gift Shop” is a weekend exploration of archives, collections, museums, libraries, and the strange things you can do to them. No experience in collections is needed - we'll be working at all layers of abstraction and knowledge. Having each component present means a fuller experience for everyone, so please don't hesitate to come!

Together, we will meet some people doing interesting things, visit some interesting collections, and then design some things of our own.

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