The Museum of South Texas History joined the global movement, #GivingTuesday, in 2016. The goal was to raise funds for the Try On History Project which would help purchase reproduction clothing items such as dresses, skirts, boots, hats and more for the museum’s reproduction clothing collection. The effort to raised $1,00 and it was accomplished with the help of the community and museum donors.

In October 2017, a reproduction outfit that was purchased and used for an educational outreach at the East Foundation grounds in Willacy County.  More than 1,000 IDEA students were able to enjoy a living history presentation that sparked imagination. A month later, the museum participated in the annual #GivingTuesday campaign again. The $1,500 goal was short but every bit counts and visitors from across the country made contributions totaling to $143.24 — still enough to purchase a pair of boots and shirt.

Every donation counts. Your donations will last a lifetime. Please make plans to donate to the Try On History Project in November of 2018. Thank you.

For more details about the #GivingTuesday movement, visit the #GivingTuesday website (www.givingtuesday.org) and the #GivingTuesday hashtag on social media.

Associate Education Officer Joseph Fox presents to more than 1,000 IDEA students at an educational outreach in Willacy County hosted by the East Foundation in October 2017. Fox is wearing a reproduction outfit purchased by the Try On History Project funds.


Jennifer Saxton, an assistant professor and costume designer/costume stop manager at the University of Texas – Rio Grande Valley, with the help of her students created sunbonnets for the museum’s reproduction clothing collection. Below is a visual journey on how it all happened.

UTRGV/Museum of South Texas History Collaboration

For research, the museum provided photographs including this one of carrot workers in Edinburg, Texas (1939, Russell Lee, Library of Congress).

Students at UTRGV drafted the bonnets using Elizabeth Stewart Clark’s instructions.

The fabrics were purchased from Reproduction Fabrics (http://www.reproductionfabrics.com). The fabrics represent the 1830s, the 1860s, the 1930s, as well as some undated late 19th century prints.

The UTRGV students created the kits: seven adult-sized and 12 child-sized bonnets. According to Professor Saxton, “The file folders are going to be re-purposed as bonnet slats, or the rigid structure inside the bonnet, once it is no longer needed to organize the kits. The ball of fabric scraps from truing up the edges of the fabric before cutting will be used for either ties for fabric bundles or for making a rag rug. We don’t often get to do zero waste but this project may be close.”

And, the final products!

A big THANK YOU to the students at UTRGV and Professor Saxton for providing their talents, dedication and time to create sunbonnets for the museum’s reproduction clothing collection. This project was funded the Try On History Project — your dollars at work! Thank you for bringing more interactive experiences to museum visitors.

Back view of the adult sun bonnet.

Side view of the adult sun bonnet.

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Giving Tuesday


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