This article offers a critical and personal reflection on the role of curiosity, fragments, and play in creating meaningful encounters with archives in the college classroom. Drawing on play theory, poetics, media studies, and pedagogical theory, the essay reimagines archival collections as formal and material playgrounds open to spontaneous experimentation. Through reflections on the finding aid, logistical media, Curious George, and other subjects, the essay finds in the archive an elemental play that can be harnessed to create a radically spontaneous pedagogy organized around student curiosity. By cultivating the curiosity inherent to archival play, teachers can actively shape the playful dividend that arrives when students enter the archive and begin to search, find, and discover meaningful patterns in the fragments of history.

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