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Archives and Manuscripts

Cheer for FloridaArchives and manuscripts comprise a significant number of the department's most heavily researched collections. The department is home to the University of Florida Archives and manuscript collections supporting each subject specialty of the department, most notably Florida and the Caribbean.

The University of Florida Archives was established in 1951 with the aim of preserving the university's most significant administrative records. Sixty years after the opening of the Archives, the Office of Archives and Records Management was formed, integrating the Archives with records management services. In addition to administrative history, the Archives documents the university's diverse student life, its achievements in inter-collegiate sports, and its contributions to applied and theoretical research. The Archives serves as a museum for campus memorabilia, as a library for university imprints, as an archive for sound, film, and video recordings, and as a repository for tens of thousands of historical images.


Chase brand labelFlorida manuscripts embrace every period of state history from the Seminole Wars to the present and every aspect of Florida's development from farming to real estate. The department has one of the nation's largest political archives containing the papers of Florida's most prominent political figures. Other Florida manuscript collections document African-American history and the civil rights struggles of the 1950s and 1960s, educational reform, and the state's battle to protect its natural environment. Among the many Florida collections are the records of the state's first major agribusiness, Chase & Company, the papers of African-American educator A. Quinn Jones, and the Senate papers of George Smathers and Bob Graham.


Caribbean manuscripts have been collected since the 1950s and several collections related to Cuban and Haitian history figure prominently in the department's holdings. The Jérémie Papers contain the records of thirty 18th century French notaries in Saint-Domingue. The Rochambeau Collection documents Haiti?s struggle for independence in the early 1800s. The largest and most significant archive is the Braga Brothers Collection containing the records of a leading Cuban sugar producer and exporter. Other collections document various aspects of Caribbean culture and history from colonial to modern times.

Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, author of The Yearling 

Literary manuscripts focus on Florida authors and include three of the state's most lauded novelists, Zora Neale Hurston, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, and John D. MacDonald, along with more recent writers such as Carl Hiaasen and James Haskins. Literary figures outside Florida are represented in the manuscripts of Irish short story writer Frank O'Connor and biographers Alden and Allene Hatch as well as smaller collections from a number of American and European authors.


The Popular Culture Collections include the manuscripts of several Florida-based personalities including playwright Cal Yeomans, dancers Ruth St. Denis and Ted Shawn, costume designer John David Ridge, and radio and television scriptwriter Preston Wood.


Architectural drawing detailThe Architecture Archives was formed in collaboration with the UF School of Architecture to preserve records pertaining to the architecture and architects of Florida and the Caribbean. The collections enhance our understanding and appreciation of the region?s architectural styles and themes and the contributions made by Florida architects and landscape architects. The Archives includes records of architectural firms and individual architects, drawings and plans, photographs, and ephemera. Initial collecting focused on such prominent modernist architects as William Morgan, Tim Seibert and John Ormsbee Simonds. Earlier Florida architecture is documented in the records of Carrère & Hastings? buildings in St. Augustine and the papers of preservationist Herschel Shepard.


Access to these and other diverse archival collections is provided by the alphabetically arranged Finding Aids to Manuscript and Archival Collections. In addition, you can search the finding aids in the department or browse certain collections that have been grouped under subject headings.


For further information on the Archives and Manuscripts collections, please contact: Special Collections Access Services.


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