Welcome to our Online Collections Database!

The Museum of South Texas History opened its doors in 1967. The Museum’s mission is to preserve and to present the borderland heritage of South Texas and northeastern Mexico. The Margaret H. McAllen Memorial Archives (MHMMA) plays an important role in carrying out that mission. The mission of the 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.

Examples of materials contained in the archives include historical documents, books, newspapers, and photographs. Materials are available for in-person research, but the Museum would like to be able to share them with a wider audience as well.

The Archives has extensive holdings and only a small sample will be shared online. This site will be used to highlight specific items related to other activities and events happening at the museum. This online collection is currently a work in progress. Check back often to see the progress as the website is updated and new materials are added.

If you have any questions or would like additional information, please contact the Museum at 956-363-6911.

Hurricane Beulah
In 1967, South Texas and Northeastern Mexico suffered the consequences of Hurricane Beulah. The massive hurricane made landfall near the mouth of the Rio Grande on Sept. 20, 1967 and came to be regarded as the third largest hurricane of the 20th century, spawning a record 115 tornadoes and measuring over 600 miles in diameter. Massive flooding occurred throughout the region, and many Mexican citizens fled to safety in the U.S. The MHMMA contains a number of photos and documents showing how the hurricane affected the area, and a sample of those are contained within this collection.

Citrus Collection
The warm climate of the Rio Grande Valley makes it an ideal location for citrus agriculture and cultivation. Commercial citrus production started a century ago, and now citrus farming in the valley has allowed Texas to become the nation’s third largest citrus-producer. In the early 1920s, companies would sponsor land excursions for those in the north to visit the valley and invest in the early days of the citrus industry. Through hurricanes, freezes, and droughts, the industry has continued to survive and has come to define part of the region’s history.

Tips for Searching

Keyword Search

The Keyword Search button allows you to perform a general search across multiple fields for any catalog records online. Keyword searches use OR as the default connector between words (e.g. a search for Hanley Ranch will return records associated with Hanley OR Ranch). If you want to find records where both keywords are found, type in AND between the two words. To search for a specific phrase, be sure to put the phrase within quotes (e.g. "Rocky Pine Ranch"). You can also use the asterisk (*) as a wildcard (e.g. a search for histor* would come up with records containing history, histories, historical, etc.). Searches are not case sensitive.

Advanced Search

The Advanced Search button can help you be more specific with your search. You can search for a word or phrase within a particular search category or use multiple categories to further narrow down your search results. For example, searching White in the People field will bring up any records associated with a member of the White family, without having to sift through black & white photographs. You can also search People and Creator records through Advanced Search. Phrase searching with quotes and use of wildcards (*) are available in Advanced Search.

Random Images

The Random Images button is a great way to just browse the collection. Each Random Images page displays a random assortment of images from the records online. If something piques your interest, click the thumbnail to view a larger version of the image.

Catalog Searches (Archives / Photos / Libraries / Objects)

The catalog buttons can also help narrow down your search, by only searching with a selected catalog. If you only want to search for Photos, click the Photos button and type in your keyword(s) or phrase. You can also browse records within that catalog without performing a search. Phrase searching, wildcards (*) as well as AND/OR statements are available when performing catalog searches.