restricted access Junk Jaunt Geography: Buying and Selling America’s Cultural Past in Central Nebraska

This project builds on previous material culture research by providing a detailed examination of material diffusion at central Nebraska’s Junk Jaunt. What began in 2003 and is now in its 10th year, the Junk Jaunt annually attracts some 20,000 participants from across the United States and Canada. This article briefly defines material culture and reviews several traditional distribution methods—auctions, the Internet, and garage sales. It also introduces Nebraska’s Junk Jaunt as an example of the growing phenomenon of place-based antiques tourism as communities capitalize on local culture and sense of place. Junk Jaunt organizers provided multiple datasets including participant surveys, guest book registrations, vendor information, and sales of shopper guides. These data illustrate the immense drawing power of Nebraska’s perception as an authentic place, which is reflected in its material culture.