USC Libraries Special Collections is collecting posters, hats, and memorabilia from the Jan. 21 women's march, labeled the largest protest in American history.
Marches across the nation and around the world brought participants together to advocate for women's issues and against many of the policies of President Donald Trump. The Women's March on Washington estimated that nearly 5 million people marched outside of Washington.
Michaela Ullmann, a Special Collections librarian, said that the goal of USC Libraries' women's march collection is to accurately archive this significant event in American history.
"We have a very strong focus on collecting Los Angeles history, California history, regional history," Ullmann said. "So documenting the biggest march in L.A.'s history is part of our goal or responsibility."
Ullmann is tasked with collecting the submissions and said that the department has received packages of mementos, as well as letters telling stories and the significance of the artifacts being submitted.
"What we didn't necessarily expect are all the testimonials that come in the emails. People are reaching out, they are not just saying 'oh here's my poster,'" said Ullmann. "Many of them are telling stories of why they are doing it. One father wrote and said, 'My wife and my daughter created these, and we want to make sure they're preserved.' They're sending pictures as well."
Susan Luftschein, the head of Special Collections, said she hopes artifacts from the collection will go on display in the near future.
"We have started having conversations with people about some kind of display, but where that would be we don't know," Luftschein said. "We'd like to have a display but it's still a little early in the process."
Special Collections has collected hundreds of artifacts, and its tweet requesting donations went viral after being retweeted by organizations like the Huffington Post and the New Yorker.
USC freshman Daphne Armstrong was attended the march in Los Angeles and decided to donate her poster to the women's march archives.
"I think it's really cool that the Special Collections Library cares enough to make a special collection for this cause," Armstrong said. "They're preserving the memory that's embodied by these signs and it just gives our effort that much more validity. It will be super cool for our future generations to come see."