The Museum of Art & History at the McPherson Center

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Educator Resources

Boy painting

The Museum offers a wide range of educational resources that enable teachers to enhance their students’ learning at the Museum and in the classroom. Our History Trunks and Costume Kits are the perfect complement to any classroom curriculum! There is a $10 charge for checking out history trunks and costume kits.

History Trunks and Costume Kits

Bring MAH into your classroom with our thematic Trunks and Costume Kits! These materials enable students of all grade levels to experience history and artifacts found at MAH. Costume Kits are ideal for school plays, pioneer days, and much more.


History Trunks contain real and reproduced historic artifacts to make local history come alive. Follow the curricula or integrate the items into your existing lesson plans. 

Native American Lifestyle Tools, utensils, baskets, games and information about Native Americans of the Monterey Bay Region. Very popular in the Fall!

Old Schoolhouse Show your students what classroom life was like a hundred years ago with historic photos and school books, rule books, slates, and an early 1900s school bell.

Chinese American History Tea set, six abacuses, brush painting samples, books, slides, and much more.

Turn of the Century Home Life  Stereopticon and stereo views, books, games, a sewing basket, clothing, clothesline, soap, and washtub help bring to life what life was like at home over a hundred years ago.


COSTUME KITS                                                                                                                                  

Ideal for school plays, pioneer days, and much more!

Pioneer Costume Kit Includes enough gingham skirts, bonnets, suspends and bandanas for an entire Pioneer class picture! This kit is VERY popular, especially in the Spring. Reserve early!

Californio Costume Kit Re-encact life in Alta California with black skirts, mantillas, breeches and vests.


Trunks are available for weekly check out. Call the Youth Programs Department at (831) 429-1964 x 7020 or to schedule to bring a thematic trunk to your classroom.

Please note: Pick-up is on Sundays between 11:00am and 4:00 pm; returns are not later than the following Sunday between 11:00am and 4:00pm.

To check out a trunk please reserve at least four weeks in advance. 



  • Anonymous

    Valencia Elementary (Aptos) has three third grade classes who would like to come to the History Focused School Tours.u00a0 We each have 30 students.u00a0 Friday is our best day.u00a0 We would need to finish by 1:00 p.m. Could we schedule all three tours on one day (back to back)?u00a0 Teachers are:u00a0 Rick Lober, Liz Wise, and Jan Swanson.u00a0 (I plan to set up the field trips for all three classes.)u00a0 Please get back to me.u00a0 Thanks, Jan Swanson

  • Jeff Caplan

    Art and History Trunks are a great way to inspire Language Development in Elementary Schools.

    My fourth grade class borrowed a trunk for California History, on the Old School House. I asked each group of three students to pick an item, and then try to get us to “buy it”….even if they didn’t know what it was! Everyone was excited, and worked hard to use their language skills to convince us we couldn’t live without the mystery item. I took notes and designed future structured language lessons to improve their skills.