ESSE Purse Museum is a private institution, which means we rely on the support of our community and the loyalty and enthusiasm of our guests to keep our mission alive.

Become a Friend of ESSE

For $60 per year, Friends enjoy the following benefits:

  • Free admission for membership holder plus one guest
  • Standing invitation for membership holder plus one guest to ESSE-related openings and events
  • 10 percent discount in The Store at ESSE
  • Free shipping from ESSE’s online store
  • 10 percent discount on conference room rentals for parties, showers, luncheons, etc.

How to join:

  • In person: Fill out our short membership form and pay at the register to receive your “Friend of ESSE” card.
  • Online: Simply Fill out the form to the right. We will mail you your “Friend of ESSE” card to your shipping address.

ESSE contact: Devin Williams

Make a Donation

Monetary donations are the most straightforward way to support the museum and can be made in the following ways:

  • In person: Just mention that you’d like to make a donation at the register.
  • By mail:
    • Send a check to: 
      ESSE Purse Museum
      P.O. Box 165070
      Little Rock, AR 72216

ESSE contact: Devin Williams

Give to the Collection

Though our primary focus is on purses, the contents women carried matter because they are what make up the essence of a woman. Photographs, wallets, make-up accessories, hair accessories, gloves, glasses, card cases, notebooks, and any other special keepsakes make our exhibits shine. If you wish to donate anything that falls within this broad category, please feel free to reach us in the following ways:

  • By phone: 501-916-9022
  • By email: with the subject line “Collection Donation”
  • Or stop by!
  • Fill out the form to the right.

ESSE contact: Devin Williams

ESSE Purse Project

The ESSE Purse Project is our online exhibit created by YOU. The concept of this project is simple: We believe a woman’s essence shows through her purse and its contents.

You can join the Project by emailing a photo of your purse and its contents to with the subject line “ESSE Purse Project.” Include as much information about yourself as you care to reveal, but most participants include the following information:

  • Name
  • Age
  • Occupation
  • Any details about your bag and special contents that are important to you

Please also be sure to add ”I give The ESSE Purse Museum full permission to use this photo.” Photos should be as square as possible and, if shot with a cellphone, emailed “actual size.” If shot with a camera, please send them with a resolution of 300.

ESSE contact: Laura Hardy


Nancy Nolan photo/featuring “R.E.L. Wilson Plantation Photograph,” courtesy of the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies

  • Maximum allowed size: 50MB