Students, faculty, and alumni! Heritage & University Archives is collecting stories and experiences from the FSU community during COVID-19.
University life during a pandemic will be studied by future scholars. During this pandemic, we have received requests surrounding the 1918 Flu Pandemic. Unfortunately, not many documents describing these experiences survive in the archive.
To create a rich record of life in these unique times we are asking the FSU Community to contribute their thoughts, experiences, plans, and photographs to the archive.
How did COVID-19 affect your summer? Tell us about your plans for fall. How did COVID-19 change your plans for classes? Upload photographs of your dorm rooms or your work from home set ups.
If you’d like to see examples of what people have already contributed, please see the collection on Diginole.
We are saddened to hear of the passing of Katherine “Kitty” Blood Hoffman. Hoffman has had a relationship with Florida State University and its predecessor institutions since the 1930s. She was a student, a professor, and an administrator during her time with the University and continued to be active after her retirement.
Katherine Blood Hoffman began attending Florida State College for Women in the 1930s, and graduated in 1936 with a degree in bacteriology. During her time at FSCW, Hoffman became president of the College Government Association and became a member of several student organizations, including Phi Beta Kappa, Esteren, and Mortar Board.
Hoffman graduated from Columbia University in 1938 with a master’s degree. She began working as faculty at Florida State College for Women in 1940 and became a professor of chemistry in 1973. From 1967 to 1970 Hoffman served as the Dean of Women for Florida State University. She also served as the president of the Faculty Senate from 1980 to 1982. She retired from teaching in 1984 and the Katherine B. Hoffman Teaching Laboratory was dedicated in her honor. In 2007, she was presented with an Honorary Doctorate of Science.
After retiring Hoffman served as a board member for the FSU Alumni Association and trustee for the FSU Foundation. She also serves as chairwoman of the Emeritus Alumni Society and co-chairwoman of FSU’s Sesquicentennial Celebration.
Hoffman and her husband established a major scholarship in chemistry, the $100,000 Katherine Blood Hoffman Endowed Scholarship in Chemistry. Hoffman also created the Katherine Blood Hoffman Endowed Lectureship in Environmental Chemistry Fund, the Hank and Prescott Hoffman Fund for Biological Research Conducted Toward Preserving the Wakulla River, the Katherine Blood Hoffman Symposia in the Liberal Arts Fund, the Katherine Blood Hoffman Scholarship Fund in Chemistry, and an Alumni Center Fund.
Katherine Hoffman paved the way for women in the sciences and set up many lasting initiatives to better science and the FSU community. She will be greatly missed.
Botany was one of the first hard science majors offered at the Florida State College for Women. It was established in 1916 with Alban Stewart as the professor at the time. The classes were made up of only a few students, up to 10 a semester, due to a lack of interest in the subject.
In 1929, a club was established under the name: Primitive and Botanical Order of Ronales. Membership to this club was only available to botany majors. The club started off with only 8 members, the total of women involved in the major at that time. The Primitive and Botanical Order of Ronales was founded by Dr. Hurman Kurz who was known for his studies of traditional Native American ways of identifying and distinguishing flora and fauna.
Dr. Kurz organized a yearly field trip to the Apalachicola area. This field trip was exclusively for the senior members of the Primitive and Botanical Order of Ronales. On this trip Dr. Kurz would teach the members how to identify the flora and fauna using Native American traditions.
Under Dr. Kurz, the botany department was able to have a laboratory/greenhouse dedicated to botany. There, students were able to conduct experiments such as growing seedless tomatoes, research, and gardening. They were also able to examine fossils that were either found by students or donated to the department.
During World War 2, more job specific classes were added to the class registry, allowing for students to be more prepared to enter into the workforce after college. These classes were usually centered around jobs that were in high demand and relevant to the war effort. In 1942, more botany courses were added to the register due to the Pure Seed Law Enactment of 1939. This federal enactment required seeds to be correctly identified, pure in composition, and properly packaged. Since more classes were added, it allowed for the botany major to grow in size.
As of 2020, Botany is still a major offered in the biological sciences department. It is now referred to as “the field of Plant Sciences”. This major “broadly includes the study of photosynthetic organisms, especially plants and algae. It prepares students to make important contributions to the world in the areas of agriculture, food security, natural resource management, sustainability, policy, and many others.”
This article was written by Aya Saludo, a student worker in Heritage & University Archives.
Florida State College for Women (FSCW) began a precursor to the current Nursing Program in 1936. A B.S. in Nursing was available through the School of Home Economics. Students in this program worked closely with local hospitals to receive the necessary nursing training, while also taking more traditionally liberal arts classes at FSCW.
In 1949, FSU created a separate College of Nursing, which was the second collegiate nursing program established in the state of Florida, and appointed Ms. Vivian M. Duxbury as Dean. The first class admitted in 1950 and was made up of 25 young women. The classes continued to be made up of small groups of primarily female students for many years, even though it was introduced after the university became coed in 1947. This was primarily due to the stereotype of nursing being a woman’s job and becoming a doctor was strictly for men. This meant that there were no male professors or doctors to teach the female students. Therefore, the college utilized women who had obtained their nursing degree from elsewhere or had experience/training from past wars to teach the women.
In 1958 Florida State’s nursing baccalaureate program became the first in Florida to receive national accreditation by the National League for Nursing. It was only 1 out of less than 100 in the entire nation to become accredited. This was a great accomplishment for FSU. Due to the newfound distinction of the nursing program, it was able to grow at a much faster rate than before. In 1975 the school of nursing was finally granted their own building on campus, Vivian M Duxbury Hall, and by 1976 1,871 students had graduated from the nursing program at FSU.
In 1985, the school of nursing was able to offer a masters program for students pursuing higher degrees in nursing. By 2006, the school of nursing officially changed its name from School of Nursing to College of Nursing.
The College of Nursing is constantly improving, adapting, and pursuing high reaching goals. It is now ranked among the top one hundred universities in the nation and one of the most selective majors at FSU with only 80 applicants accepted in the fall and over 300 applicants applying. In the end, the College of Nursing’s prestige continues to add to FSU’s reputation as one of the top twenty public universities in the nation.
Held in Heritage & University Archives, are the records and memorabilia of the College of Nursing. This collection consists of papers, ephemera, and photographs that document the history and activities of the college from its development in 1948 through 2014. Included are records from the deans, the graduate nursing program, various faculty committees, student organizations (Student Nurses Association and Sigma Theta Tau), and the Legacy Project, as well as materials created for special events such as pinning and graduation ceremonies, homecoming events, conferences, and presentations. A detailed inventory is located here.
This article was written by Jeffrey Henley, a graduate student who has been working with the Florida State University Historic Photograph Collection with Heritage & University Archives since September 2018.
The FSU Historic Photograph Collection in the Heritage & University Archives at Florida State University contains in excess of 250,000 images and negatives. The collection houses a number of different types of images produced from the late nineteenth century through approximately 2010. The majority of the images were produced in the 1950s and 1960s. The challenges to processing this collection generally center on the issue of its size and diversity of photographs. An issue with provenance exists due to the photographs having been collected without strict documentation. What is known, though, is the overwhelming majority of the photographs were produced by an entity within or associated with Florida State University. While the provenance of the collection is also a challenge, this issue is not at the forefront of dealing with the collection. Due to the way it had been collected over time as many different collections, it had not been organized as a coherent archival collection, but rather was kept in a variety of storage entities.
The collection was first processed to its current form in 2016. When I started to work on this collection in late September 2018, I spent a couple of weeks familiarizing myself with proper techniques for handling photographs and negatives, recognizing issues, and identifying proper storage. After that, I spent a fair amount of time learning the collection and becoming familiar with its organization. I found the collection organized into five series, each representing distinctive types of photographs and subjects. Even after working with the collection for almost eighteen months, I am still learning about the content. Once I had a grasp of how to work with the collection and what I was dealing with, the time came for me to pick up the processing of the collection where Dave Rodriguez left off in April 2018.
I began working with Series 5, which was a mixture of prints and negatives. While the contents of the remaining fourteen boxes were generally in alphabetical order by subject, they still needed to be checked to make sure they were correct and I also discovered many of the subjects had additional titles for clarification. These categories then had to be organized within sub-categories. I noticed many of the prints and negatives (not all) had additional markings to indicate some sort of numerical system that was being used by the photographer to organize them. Discovering this system made the task of putting matched prints and negatives together in the boxes. I do not know how many prints and negatives were in those fourteen boxes, however it took me about four and half to five months to reprocess them. The fourteen boxes actually expanded to fifteen boxes due to a number of prints and negatives being stuffed into storage envelopes. I rehoused each print, and occasional negative, in new storage envelopes. Series 5 was completed in late March 2019, however due to space and other pending projects, the boxes were left in place until such time I could come back to them and fully incorporate them into the collection both physically and in the finding aid. I spent the rest of the semester working on research requests and digitization projects for the Heritage & University Archives.
When I returned to Special Collections in the fall of 2019, Sandra Varry had me begin a project to assess the provenance of the collection. We knew the photographs that were already in the collection, along with those that had yet to be processed, came from a wide variety of sources, however there was no clear indication as to what sources had contributed to the entire collection. This project also included examining the provenance of the General Photograph Collection and the Alumni Association Miscellaneous Photograph Collection. The project was a precursor to the possible merging of these smaller collections into the larger FSU Historic Photograph Collection.
The Alumni Association Collection appeared to be a more unique collection than the General Photograph Collection. The decision was made to keep the Alumni Association Collection as its own entity, but Sandra decided the best course of action for the General Photograph Collection was to merge it into the Historic Photograph Collection. One issue that we had to take into consideration before moving forward was that roughly three-quarters of the photographs in the General Photograph Collection had been digitized and were part of the finding aid for the collection down to the item level.
Over the course of several weeks into October 2019, we had a number of meetings with other specialists in Special Collections to prepare to merge these collections. We received the best practices for tracking the digitized photographs as well as keeping track of updates that need to be made to the finding aid. After that, the next step was to go through the General Photograph Collection and make determinations as to where each photograph would go in the Historic Photograph Collection. This process took a bit longer than anticipated due to my misunderstanding of the numbering system used on the General Photograph Collection and the fact that I had missed over 100 photographs that were not digitized, but were still part of the collection. I then had to go back through and determine where those photographs would go. When that task was completed, it was time to begin laying out how many photographs would go into which folders and which boxes in the Historic Photograph Collection and layout a map of how the collection would look on the shelves and how much room would be needed to fit them all in, not to mention the 15 boxes that had been processed the previous spring. Creating the map of the collection took most of the rest of the fall semester.
Upon my return for the spring semester 2020, I reviewed the floor plan for the collection and received approval from Sandra to proceed with the actual merging of the collections. Over the course of the next six or seven weeks, I meticulously merged the General Photograph Collection into the Historic Photograph Collection, over 800 photographs, and accounted for each one on at least three different spreadsheets. One spreadsheet was reserved for tracking the digitized photographs, one was used to update the finding aid, and the other was a back up, in essence, to the finding aid tracker. Doing it this way slowed the process down significantly, however I thought the time was worth avoiding a serious mistake that could undo months of work.
By the second week in March 2020, the physical collection merger was complete. All that remained to be done was final review of the new finding aid and upload, turning over the new locations for the digitized photographs to the DLC team for review, and to print the new labels for the collection. It was all ready to go. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 crisis intervened. The final few steps of the process to complete the merger and reopen the collection will have to wait until the crisis abates and campus is open once again.
Considering how long students have been coming through the walls of our historic university, it goes without saying that we have a rich and varied history of extracurricular, student-run activities. At Florida State University, many of these long-standing traditions and activities were established during our time as an all women institution, between 1905 and 1947. Campus-wide extracurriculars were an extremely important part of student life during this time. Students felt taking part in events with peers built pride and appreciation for their alma mater. For this year’s Women’s History Month, we’ll be looking into the early years of recreation at Florida State College for Women (FSCW): how our peers of the past made friends, garnered school spirit, and just passed the time.
Two of the earliest student organizations were the Thalian Literary Society and the Minerva Club, founded and run by our female predecessors. These organizations were formed with the goal of “enabling the girls to speak more fluently in public,” but they did much more for the student body (Talisman, April 1906, Pg. 26). They were an expressive outlet for students and encourage peer-to-peer discourse and connection.
In 1906, just one year after our transition to a women’s college, the Thalian Society and Minerva Club began publishing the first college literary periodical in the state of Florida, The Talisman. (The Book Lover’s Guide to Florida, 1992) It served as a recreational avenue for students to express their thoughts and to learn about campus happenings. The Talisman went on to become the Florida Flambeau newspaper in 1915, still run entirely by women.
From the first five years of the establishment of FSCW, our women students were establishing recreational sports teams of all kinds. By 1906 our small campus had facilities for tennis, basketball, field-hockey, croquet, a swimming pool, and a full gymnasium! (Talisman, April 1906, Pg. 30)
Student organizations are a crucial part of university life and this has been the case at our university for over 100 years! The 1910 and 1911 yearbooks from FSCW show us that students were forming all sorts of clubs for a wide variety of interests and commonalities…
Scrapbooking was an extremely common practice between students at Florida State College for Women. Here at Heritage & University Archives, we have over 30 of these student-made scrapbooks and they give us endless insight as to how they chose to spend their free time.
Many of these records are available online at DigiNole. For more information about our University related collections, please contact Sandra Varry, the Heritage & University Archivist.
February is Black History month and for those interested in studying Black History at Florida State University, we thought we would highlight a few of our collection in Heritage & University Archives.
Perhaps the most obvious place to look, and one of our more informative collections on the topic, is our Black Student Union collection. This collection contains items from previous organizational campaigns, financial information, and a very large scrapbook. This collection has received several additions in the past couple of years, adding to this information, and will continue to grow.
The Florida State University Historic Photograph Collection and the Florida Flambeau/FSView Photograph Collections are some of Heritage & University Archive’s best resources for a visual history of the university. Among the photographs are images of Maxwell Courtney, FSU’s first African American graduate, and the Black Players Guild.
Lastly, an important group of records for any research on campus history, are the Presidential Files. This is several different collections covering several of FSU’s Presidents and include topics related to almost every aspect of the university. An extremely important file on John Boardman is present in the Doak Campbell Administration Files detailing events surrounding Boardman’s expulsion from FSU after inviting three African American students to a Christmas Party on campus. The entire file has been digitized and is available on Diginole.
For any questions or reference help regarding these collections, you can email the Heritage & University Archivist, Sandra Varry at email@example.com.
The Talisman was a student run publication that was active at Florida State College for Women (FSCW), FSU’s predecessor institution. The magazine was published quarterly by the Thalian Literary Society and the Minerva Club, the first two literary debate societies of FSCW. The first issue was published in 1906 and it ran until 1914, when it was turned into a weekly newspaper called the Florida Flambeau. As the students put it in the first ever issue of the Florida Flambeau in January 23rd, 1915, “Things happen so rapidly that once every three months makes a slow visitor.”
The Talisman was the first college literary periodical to be published in Florida. Each issue featured student writings, editorials, campus news, and updates on all departments, including music and athletics. It included spaces for student notes and campus directories. Not only did The Talisman provide an avenue through which students could express their thoughts, it also was a way for students and surrounding communities to be informed as to the happenings of our campus.
The Talisman now exists as a time capsule for us. The writings of these students paint a picture of what student life was like in those years. We can also trace the progress and growth of our university through these publications by reading the departmental news from those early years. The Talisman can be found in DigiNole with our other publications here. If you have any questions about this collection please contact the Heritage & University Archivist, Sandra Varry, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
With the passing of President Emeritus Talbot “Sandy” D’Alemberte we would like to take a moment to reflect on his life and his contributions. He has had considerable impact on Florida State, serving the university since 1984 and teaching through this past spring, as well as the political and legal fields.
D’Alemberte was a Tallahassee native, his childhood home was located just across the street from the capitol building. His grandfather attended the Seminary West of the Suwannee River and his mother attended Florida State College for Women, both predecessor institutions to Florida State University. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of the South and his Juris Doctor from the University of Florida.
D’Alemberte was well known in the law community for his work helping underserved populations and for his commitment to human rights. He served in the Florida House of Representatives from 1966 to 1972 and as President for the American Bar Association from 1991 until 1992. His work in the legal field won him numerous awards from the Florida Bar Foundation Medal of Honor in 1987 to the Florida Academy of Criminal Defense Lawyers Annual Criminal Justice award in 1993 to an Emmy from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for his work allowing in allowing electronic journalists access to court proceedings.
He served as the fourth dean of the Law School from 1984 to 1989 and President of the University from 1994 until 2003. He established a public pro bono requirement for FSU Law School students, a rarity at the time. He was instrumental in developing Florida State University’s College of Medicine which graduated its first class in 2001, and the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory was established during his tenure. He led a campus wide beautification project which resulted in the renovation of the College of Law’s Village Green and the Heritage Museum’s renovation. He was honored with his own commemorative window in the museum in 2017.
Visitation for family and friends will take place from 5 to 7 p.m. this evening in the D’Alemberte Rotunda at the FSU College of Law.
A memorial service will be held on Wednesday, June 5th at 2pm in Ruby Diamond Concert Hall. Both are open to the public. The Heritage Museum will remain open until 5pm on Wednesday to allow visitors to view D’Alemberte’s window.
Several unprocessed collections of D’Alemberte’s papers are housed in Heritage & University Archives and the Claude Pepper Library. Included are administrative files from his time as President of the University and his files from his time as Dean of the College of Law. For more information on our collections, please contact Heritage & University Archivist, Sandra Varry at email@example.com.
This post was written by Kacee Reguera, an undergraduate senior at FSU pursuing a Studio Art degree in Printmaking, Artist’s Books, and Photography. A love for art preservation and the history of our university led her to an internship with Heritage & University Archives at Special Collections.
During the summer of 2018, we received a collection of items belonging to Katherine W. Montgomery and her family. Katherine Montgomery attended Florida State College for Women from 1914 to 1918 and became heavily involved in athletics. She was on the varsity team of several sports, a member of the F-Club, and the sports editor for The Florida Flambeau. In 1920, she began teaching Physical Education at Florida State College for Women (FSCW) and spent over 30 years leading the Physical Education department. She developed curriculum for the intramural athletics program at FSCW, spearheaded the construction of a new gymnasium, and even published a book titled “Volleyball for Women”. Katherine Montgomery’s contributions to our university have proved timeless. We used this collection as an opportunity to commemorate her lasting effect on our university.
The collection contains items belonging to three generations of Montgomery family members. Katherine had two younger sisters that also attended FSCW during the 1920s. The collection includes diaries and scrapbooks belonging to each of them. These items brought to light how involved with FSCW the Montgomery family really was.
This collection was gathered over time by Edwin F. Montgomery, Katherine’s nephew. Many of the items in the collection are ephemera relating to Katherine’s passing. These items provide a much broader understanding of the impact Katherine had not only on her community, but also on individuals.
With the new items acquired from this collection and some from previously held collections, we curated an exhibit in the Norwood Reading Room at Strozier Library that forms a better understanding of Katherine’s values and ideals, as well as her contributions to Florida State College for Women and Florida State University. The exhibit features Katherine’s original mortarboard and tassel, excerpts from her diaries and notebooks, and awards she received.
The Norwood Reading Room is located on the second floor of Strozier Library and is open Monday-Thursday, 10am to 6pm and on Fridays 10am to 5:30pm. Please stop by to see the new exhibit!