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Two centuries of tourist tat in souvenir exhibition

10 August 2013 Last updated at 00:38 BST

This summer many of us will come home with a coveted souvenir from holiday.

These days, that usually means a plastic replica or even an object that has nothing to do with the place we've visited. But when the tradition of collecting keepsakes began, tourists often came away with the real thing - quite literally.

The National Museum of American History in Washington has put together an exhibition of items which include pieces of international landmarks, relics and even locks of hair of important people. Jane O'Brien went to visit Souvenir Nation.

Filmed and edited by the BBC's Ron Skeans