The Brenham Heritage Museum (BHM) is seeking vintage photographs and personal reminiscences from the people of Brenham and Washington County.

Top of the list for the museum is mining residents’ personal snapshot collections to preserve local images from times past. Even a family photo can show lost buildings and document how cherished events have changed over the decades. The snap of children at a parade, rodeo or even birthday party in the 1930s or 50’s or 70’s might tell a wonderful story of Washington County’s history.

The staff at BHM have scheduled the first scanning session for Saturday, April 18. A high resolution digital file can be made of an image without the photo itself ever leaving the possession of the owner. If a family plans to dispose of its old photo collection, the museum is also willing to accept the physical snapshots, but staff stresses that they are not looking to separate anyone from their photographs.

A release form will be provided so all who bring their old photos to a future session can be assured that they are only sharing, not relinquishing, their rights.

“While the museum’s old post office building is being totally redesigned, we want to keep making progress on our mission and continue serving the community in every way we can,” said Mike Vance, BHM content coordinator. “Old photographs are particularly crucial to preserving the historical record of a place. Unfortunately, with every passing year, more and more of those old family snapshots get lost or tossed into the trash. We at the museum want to preserve that history for future generations.”

Stories are important, too, and the museum is offering to teach locals how to properly gather these memories for themselves. The Brenham Heritage Museum will host an oral history workshop at 1:30 p.m. Sunday at the museum’s Bus Depot Building, 313 East Alamo Street.

According to the Heritage Society, attendees will learn the technique for getting the most out of interviews, proper interview etiquette, where to locate potential interview subjects and what forms are required so that oral history recordings can be shared.

“Oral histories are an important means of preserving the voices of our past and the Brenham Heritage Museum would like to enlist volunteers in gathering stories of Washington County,” said Natalie Lange, who is working closely with the project.

She added that there will also be an update provided on the Brenham Heritage Museum’s progress.

The workshop is free. Because space is limited, an RSVP is required.

For more information or to RSVP, email or call 979-551-3750.

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