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Archive & Artifact Collections

From mammoth bones to conjunto tunes, the Museum of South Texas History collects, preserves and exhibits material relating the distinctive history and heritage of the lower Rio Grande region, along with the adjoining regions of South Texas and Northeastern Mexico.

In order to support the Museum of South Texas History’s dedication to preserving and presenting the borderland heritage of South Texas and Northeastern Mexico, the mission of the Margaret H. McAllen Memorial Archives (MHMMA) is to contribute to the preservation and transmission of culture by identifying, collecting, protecting and making available distinctive archival materials of enduring historical value that document life in the borderland region.

Strengths of the collections include mid-twentieth century water conservation, early twentieth century ranch histories, the Mexican-American War, the Plan de San Diego, newspaper photographs and photo studio records and photographs. The MHMMA holds the largest collection of historical photographs within the lower Rio Grande Valley.

The museum’s three-dimensional holdings strongly reflect the region’s ranch tradition, which developed in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and the agricultural boom that began with the arrival of railroads and irrigation in the early twentieth century.

The museum’s armament and military holdings reflect the region’s frontier history and its important location during conflicts such as the Texas Revolution, Mexican War, Civil War, French intervention in Mexico and the Mexican Revolution. The region’s prehistory and Spanish colonial history are also represented in the collections.

Collections of late twentieth century and contemporary material document the borderland region’s growing, multifaceted economy and multicultural society.

The museum continues to acquire significant material from prehistoric, historic, and contemporary eras of South Texas and Northeastern Mexico. For more information about donating to the museum, see our Donation FAQ.