At Museum of American Finance, Challenge of Cataloging History in Real Time

Leena Akhtar is fielding more questions about the Great Depression than ever.

As exhibits and archives manager at the Museum of American Finance, Ms. Akhtar curates the displays, such as frozen pork belly that illustrates "Commodities" or rococo cash registers that mesmerize the teenage girls. The mission of the Smithsonian-affiliated teaching museum is, in part, to educate the public about capitalism. But September's events presented the museum with a new challenge: Document the current financial turmoil.

Admissions are up roughly 10 percent since the summer, according to Linda Rapacki, the director of visitor services. (The museum closed last fall for a move; it reopened in its new location at 48 Wall Street in January.) Tour groups are booked almost solidly through the fall and winter.  read more »

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