New Archival Collections

Thomas William HofferThomas William Hoffer Papers (172 linear feet).
The Thomas William Hoffer Papers consists of a wide variety of his personal and professional materials. From 1972 until his retirement in 1996, Hoffer was a professor in the Department of Communications at Florida State University. He was particularly interested in mass media, photojournalism, and documentary film. He also taught classes in documentary film making prior the establishment of the FSU Film School.

When he retired in 1996, Hoffer became the founding publisher of The Franklin Chronicle, a local newspaper distributed in Franklin, Gulf, and Wakulla counties. He died in Tallahassee on December 9, 2006.

The collection offers researchers particular insights into film studies at FSU before the establishment of the university’s film school. There are also recordings of speakers at various events and meetings of the Franklin County Commission on such topics as aquaculture and other environmental issues that impacted the growth of Franklin County, FL.  Among the more interesting parts of the collection are the research materials Hoffer used for his Master’s of Arts Thesis about his great-uncle Norman Baker, a traveling salesman and radio broadcaster, regarded as unorthodox by the American Medical Association.  Baker promoted his cures at public meetings and his radio station.

The Papers were acquired as a gift from Gary Heald and Richard Alan Nelson, Hoffer’s estate executors. The Hoffer Trust provided funding for student processors and archival supplies, and it took well over a year to process. An online finding aid to the Hoffer Papers can be found at

Reubin AskewReubin Askew Papers (17 linear feet).
The Papers of Reubin O’Donovan Askew, Florida’s 37th Governor, include materials related to his service in the Florida House of Representatives, Florida State Senate, and as Governor of Florida in the late 20th Century.

Included in the collection are campaign files, correspondence, newspaper articles, and copies of speeches. Additionally, there are records documenting his 1988 Presidential bid, as well as other materials relating to his life after his service as a Florida public official. The collection includes the personal papers of his wife, Donna Lou Harper Askew.

Robyn Bertram, an OPS student at Pepper, processed the collection and said “it was fascinating to learn about his important role in the Civil Rights movement in Florida, in particular, his efforts in the fight for Florida school desegregation in Florida really stood out in this collection.” An online finding aid to the collection can be found at

Funding for processing the papers and for archival supplies was provided by former Governor Askew. Selected speeches and recordings will soon be digitized by the   Digital Library Center and Special Collections staff at the Pepper Library.

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