Back to Top
  • Monday - Friday: 9:00 am-4:30 pm
  • Saturdays: 10:00 am-4:30 pm
  • Sundays and Holidays: Noon-4:30 pm
  • Closed Thanksgiving Day and Christmas

Museums collect objects for many reasons and only a small percentage of a collection can ever be on display to the public at any given time. As a result, the majority of objects are out of sight and unseen in climate controlled storage areas being preserved. This exhibition features the collections of two state museums located in Tallahassee, Florida – the Museum of Florida History and the Florida Historic Capitol Museum – and reveals some of their unseen objects. You are invited “behind the scenes” to see how museums collect, process, and take care of their collections for future generations.

Featured Items

Colorful Voter Vest

Poll Worker Vest, ca 1992-2000

Florida Historic Capitol Museum, Donated

Jan Gordon wore this vest made by her stepsister when she worked with the Pinellas County Elections Office as a poll worker in the 1990s. She added pins designed and distributed by the County Poll Worker Department for each election.

The vest was offered to the Museum after the donor recognized that the pins and the special vest might be of interest to a museum of political history. She shared: “I am not a believer of throwing things away if I think an item of mine might be of use to someone else.”

Production Clapper With Musical Moon Tile

Clapper Invitation, April 15, 1986

Florida Historic Capitol Museum

Representative Bill Clark received this invitation for a legislative lobbying event hosted by the Florida Cable Television Association held at The Musical Moon with guest Dionne Warwick.

As the state museum of political history, some of the objects donated from legislators reflect a significant moment in their careers. This one-of-a-kind $100,000 party seems to have been one of those moments. Only nine legislators of the 160-member body missed this event, which was hailed as one of the most talked about events of the 1986 Session.

Haitian Beaded Bottle

Haitian Bead Decanter, ca. 1990

Courtesy of the Museum of Florida History

This decorated decanter depicts Santa Barbara Africana, the Black Madonna, who in the blended religion of Haitian Voudon, is the protector deity associated with lower-class women and mothers. Never-before displayed in Florida, the decanter represented the state’s Haitian American population as part of an exhibition at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia.

Round Frame with Hair

Framed Hair Wreath Picture, ca. 1865–85

Courtesy of the Museum of Florida History

In the past, hair was a visceral and personal memento of a loved one. Before photography, people often handcrafted jewelry, art, and keepsakes made from the hair of friends and family members.