On Saturday, September 27, 2014, Rio Grande Valley residents participated in the Brownsville History Harvest at the Brownsville Public Library Central Branch.
More than seventy community members brought items from their family collections, including glass plate negatives from the Gilded Age, haunting photographs of the Mexican Revolution, maps of historic Fort Brown, and letters from World War II.
Eight scanning stations were set up around the community room, staffed by sponsoring organizations and volunteers from The University of Texas at Brownsville, Texas Southmost College, and Brownsville Independent School District who digitized hundreds of unique items along with collecting detailed documentation for each. The collection owners were able to take their original materials home, along with free digital copies. The sponsoring organizations created and retained a digital copy in accordance with the owner's approval.
The objective of the History Harvest is to create a community collection from the area's families documenting local, regional, and national history to be held at The University of Texas at Brownsville Library and made available for research, teaching, and educational exhibitions.
The Texas Archive of the Moving Image (TAMI) also participated in the History Harvest collecting Texas-based film and video for free digitization as part of their Texas Film Round-Up program. These materials are digitized in Austin and returned by mail to the owners, along with a digital copy.
Sponsoring local organizations include Brownsville Public Library, The University of Texas at Brownsville Library, Brownsville Historical Association, and Texas Southmost College.
View photos from the event, as well as some of the photographs and documents brought in by community members, in the slideshow below.