All posts by Kristin Hagaman

About Kristin Hagaman

Graduate Assistant, Special Collections & Archives Florida State University Libraries

FSU Special Collections & Archives Presents: The Great Rare Books Bake Off Dessert Week

Welcome to the final week of the FSU Special Collections & Archives Great Rare Books Bake Off! We saved the best for last, this week we will be sharing and attempting dessert recipes from our collection. Please visit our introduction post to find out how you can participate.

An excellent source of inspiration for desserts and other sweet is Luncheon & dinner sweets: including the art of ice making by Charles Herman Senn (1920’s)

This book, once a part of the FSU Hospitality program reference library, features a variety of recipes for sweets and specialty ice desserts.

Another excellent resource for archival dessert recipes outside of FSU Special Collections & Archives is Cooking in the Archives, a blog that shares historic recipes that have been updated with modern measurements and baking instructions.

All about cookery: a collection of practical recipes arranged in alphabetical order By Isabella Beeton (1890)

Pumpkin Pie: To every quart of strained pumpkin allow 6 eggs, 1/4 lb butter, 1/2 pint of sweet milk, 3/4 lb of white sugar, 1 Tbsp brandy, 1 gill (1 cup) sherry or madeira. To every quart of pumpkin add the ingredients listed above, beating the eggs til thick and light, and stirring the butter and sugar to a cream, when well mixed bake in a puff-paste 1 1/2 hour.

Snow Cake (a genuine Scotch recipe): 1lb arrowroot, 1/2 lb of pounded white sugar, 1/2 pound of butter, the whites of 6 eggs, flavoring to taste of essence of almond, vanilla, or lemon. Beat the butter to a cream, stir in the sugar and arrowroot gradually, at the same time beating the mixture. Whisk the whites of the eggs to a stiff froth, add them to the other ingredients, and beat well for 20 minutes. Put in flavoring; pour the cake into a buttered mold or tin and bake in a moderate oven for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

The queen-like closet, or, Rich cabinet By Hannah Wooley (1675)

Sugar Cakes: Take a pound of sugar with 4 ounces of flour, mix well with one pound of butter that has been washed in rosewater; beat 4 egg yolks with 4 spoonfuls of rosewater steeped with nutmeg and cinnamon; then add enough cream to make a stiff paste; knead and roll into thin cakes, prick them and bake on baking sheets, there is no need to butter the sheets.

Recipe for “A Premium Fruit Cake” by Mrs. Sarah Hopkins, May 18, 1874; November 1903, Box: 2, Folder: 09. Pine Hill Plantation Papers, 01-MSS 0-204. FSU Special Collections & Archives.

“Premium” Fruit Cake: 1 lb flour, 1 lb brown sugar, 14 oz butter, 10 eggs, 3 (Tbsp/ounce/lb unsure) seeded raisins, 3 (Tbsp/ounce/lb unsure) currants, 1 (Tbsp/ounce/lb unsure) citron, 1 wineglassful of brandy, 1 wineglassful of wine, 1 wineglassful of sweet milk, 1 tsp of soda, 1 Tbsp molasses, 1 Tbsp cinnamon, 1 tsp cloves, 1/4 tsp nutmeg. Brown the flour; dissolve the soda in the milk, add the brandy and wine to it in order to make it curdle; beat the yolks and sugar together, then the butter, then the egg whites, add the flour, then the milk brandy and molasses; flour the raisins and add a handful of fruit from each plate at a time; butter your pan and bake 3 hours or longer in a slow oven. This makes 1 large cake or 2 small ones.

Snow Cake Recipe Attempt

I tried the recipe for Snow Cake from All about cookery: a collection of practical recipes arranged in alphabetical order by Isabella Beeton (1890). I was curious because this cake recipe uses arrowroot instead of flour so it is gluten free. I followed the recipe with just a few modifications for a modern kitchen. I used a stand mixer to mix all the ingredients and therefore didn’t need to mix for nearly as long as suggested in the recipe. The batter was very thick and had more of an icing-like consistency. I had to put it in dollops in the pan and then spread them out. I baked my cake in a moderate 350 degree oven for about 50 minutes.

Once the cake had cooled a bit I inverted it onto a plate. The whole cake had a golden brown color but a bit stuck to the bottom of the pan. There were no serving suggestions so I tried the cake as-is.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I found the cake to be very dense but it could be improved with icing or the addition of fruit -Kristin Hagaman

Join us for a wrap up post for the Great Rare Books Bake Off on November 30th!

FSU Special Collections & Archives Presents: The Great Rare Books Bake Off Main Course and Sides Week

Welcome to the third week of the FSU Special Collections & Archives Great Rare Books Bake Off! This week we will be discussing oven temperatures and sharing main course and side dish recipes from our collection. Please visit our introduction post to find out how you can participate.

The way oven temperatures have been described in recipes has changed drastically over time. A range of temperatures are required for different types of food and very few of the recipes in our collection specify exact temperatures. Instead, they might use terms such as “quick oven” or “slow oven,” and cooks had to estimate the temperature of their oven by how long they could hold their hands in the oven before it was too hot to bear. Converting a historic recipe for a modern kitchen may require some trial and error to find the temperature that will cook your food just right. Oven temperature conversion charts are also available online to help guide your efforts.

Yorkshire pudding is a British side dish that isn’t what most people would consider a traditional “pudding.” Instead, it is more like an airy bread roll that can be served filled with meat and vegetables or as a side for a traditional British Sunday roast. What is now known as Yorkshire pudding was once called Dripping Pudding, but was renamed by Hannah Glasse in her book The Art of Cookery made Plain and Easy in 1747. FSU Special Collections & Archives has a 1751 edition of the book. The recipe for Yorkshire pudding is shown below.

The Art of Cookery made Plain and Easy By Hannah Glasse (1751)

Yorkshire pudding: Take a Quart of Milk, four Eggs, and a little Salt, make it up into a thick Batter with Flour, like a Pancake Batter. You must have a good Piece of Meat at the Fire, take a Stew-pan and put some Dripping in, set it on the Fire, when it boils, pour in your Pudding, let it bake on the Fire till you think it is nigh enough, then turn a Plate upside-down in the Dripping-pan, that the Dripping may not be blacked; set your Stew-pan on it under your Meat, and let the Dripping drop on the Pudding, and the Heat of the Fire come to it, to make it of a fine brown. When your Meat is done and set to Table, drain all the Fat from your Pudding, and set it on the Fire again to dry a little; then Hide it as dry as you can into a Dish, melt some Butter, and pour into a Cup, and set in the Middle of the Pudding. It is an exceeding good Pudding, the Gravy of the Meat eats well with it.

The Great Majestic range cook book by Majestic Manufacturing Co. (1910-1919)

Sweet Potato Custard: 1 pint of milk, 3 eggs, 1/2 cup sugar; beat yolks until light, add milk and sugar; press steamed potatoes through a sieve and stir into custard until it is thick; season with cinnamon and a Tbsp of butter. Bake in an under-crust; make a meringue of the whites and spread over the top and return to the oven and brown. Irish potatoes may be used in the same way.

English Roast Turkey: Stuff with bread crumbs (not using the crusts) rubbed fine; moisted with butter and 2 eggs, seasoned with salt, pepper, parsley, sage, thyme or sweet marjoram; sew up, skewer and place to roast in a rack within a dripping pan; spread with bits of butter, turn and baste frequently with butter, pepper, salt, and water; a few minutes before it is done glaze with the white of an egg; dish the turkey, pour off most of the fat, add the chopped giblets and the water in which they were boiled; thicken with flour and butter rubbed together, stir in the dripping pan, let boil thoroughly and serve in a gravy boat.

The Country kitchen: the farmer recipe book. (1911)

Scalloped potatoes: Pare and slice the potatoes; let stand in cold water 1 hour; take a pudding dish, put in 1 layer of potatoes; sprinkle with salt and pepper; add some small lumps of butter, then dredge a little flour over; another layer of potatoes, etc., until dish is as full as you wish; then pour sweet milk over, enough to cover the whole; bake in a moderate oven until potatoes are done.

Spinach: Wash and pick 1/2 peck young spinach; wilt by pouring boiling hot water over it; drain in colander; chop fine with small onion; put a lump of butter the size of a hickory nut and 1 Tbsp flour into hot pan; when brown add spinach and a cup of water; season to taste; cook until tender.

Yorkshire Pudding Recipe Attempt

I was excited to try the recipe for Yorkshire pudding from The Art of Cookery made Plain and Easy by Hannah Glasse (1751). I have had Yorkshire pudding with a Sunday roast in England so I was curious to see if my attempt would taste anything like the authentic pudding I had eaten.

I made some changes to the amounts of ingredients from the original recipe. I used 4 eggs but decreased the amount of milk from a quart to 2 cups. No exact amount of flour was given so I added until my batter resembled a thinner pancake batter, about 1 cup of flour. Since I didn’t have any drippings or an open fire available, I settled for a thin coating of cooking oil on a cast iron pan heated in the oven. For obvious reasons no oven temperature was given in the original recipe so I consulted several other modern Yorkshire pudding recipes online and settled for a 450 degree oven. Once the pan was preheated and the oil was hot I poured the batter into the sizzling pan.

Most modern Yorkshire Pudding recipes recommend not opening the oven once the pan is in because the pudding can deflate and fall. I kept my oven light on and checked the pudding every few minutes. I took it out once the sides were puffed and the pudding was golden brown, about 20 minutes. I made the pudding on a Sunday evening that we were having steak for dinner so we had a sort of Americanized version of a Sunday roast supper.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I’m happy with my first attempt! The edges were airy and fluffy but the center was too dense. The recipes was easy and quick, I would just tweak the ingredient amounts next time -Kristin Hagaman

We saved the best for last! Join us November 24th for the final week of the Great Rare Books Bake Off – dessert week!

FSU Special Collections & Archives Presents: The Great Rare Books Bake Off Appetizer Week

Welcome to the second week of the FSU Special Collections & Archives Great Rare Books Bake Off! This week we will be sharing and attempting appetizer recipes from our collection and also discussing historic measurements. Please visit our introduction post to find out how you can participate.

When reading through older recipes or cookbooks some of the units used for measurement can be confusing. What is a gill? What is the difference between a teacup and a coffee cup? Butter the size of an egg? Measurements were often based on items people commonly had on hand, such as an egg or a teacup, because standard measuring cups and measuring spoons hadn’t come into widespread use yet.

Sometimes the issue is as simple as converting from metric to US customary measurements; many online conversion charts are available.

This blog has a handy printable vintage measurement conversion card that helps if you find a recipe that calls for a gill (1/2 cup), a tumbler (1 cup), a teacup (1/2-3/4 cup), a knob (2 Tbsp), or many more measurements that you may find confusing.

Table of weights and measures, The country kitchen: the farmer recipe book,

Some recipes that were once widely popular, such as aspic, have since fallen out of favor. Aspic, a savory gelatin/jelly, was once a staple of many households up through the mid-20th century. Traditionally aspic was made by boiling animal bones to produce a gelatinized broth. The gelatin would be placed in a mold with meats, vegetables, and/or eggs. Meats were also sometimes encased in aspic to prolong shelf life and prevent spoiling. Check out my attempt at making aspic later in this post!

All about cookery: a collection of practical recipes arranged in alphabetical order By Isabella Beeton (1890)

Quick aspic jelly: 1.5 oz gelatin, 2 quarts any kind of stock, 1 carrot, 1 turnip, 1 shallot, 3 or 4 cloves, 3 or 4 peppercorns, 1 lemon, 1 Tbsp vinegar, bouquet of herbs, 1 egg white. Put all in a stewpan and whisk over the fire until boiling, let boil, settle for 1/4 hours, then strain.

Aspic jelly moulded with vegetables: 1 pint aspic jelly, any cold boiled vegetables, such as asparagus tops, green peas, carrots, turnips, or beetroot in dice, cucumber, 2 hardboiled eggs. Coat a wetted mould with melted jelly, and when cold arrange in it some of the vegetables, with due regard to color and contrast, then add more jelly and when cool some more vegetables, with the hard-boiled egg cut in slices, and so on until the mould is full.

Luncheon & dinner sweets: including the art of ice making by Charles Herman Senn (1920’s)

Fruit salad: 4 oz loaf sugar, 1 1/2 gills water, mixed fresh ripe fruits, such as grapes, pears, apricots, pine, etc., flavorings of maraschino, Kirsch, or vanilla, lemon juice. Boil the sugar and water for about 15 minutes, until it is of a syrup-like consistency. Prepare the fruit and cut it into convenient size pieces and place it in a basin. When the syrup is cool, add the flavoring and a few drops of lemon juice; pour over the prepared fruit and leave in a cool place. When cold pour into a glass or silver bowl and decorate to taste and serve. Note-preserved, bottled, or tinned fruits may also be used for this salad, when the syrup from the fruits should be used in making the syrup.

The Country kitchen: the farmer recipe book. (1911)

Deviled eggs: Boil the eggs 15 minutes; when cold cut in two; take out the yolks and pulverize; add salt, pepper, butter and mustard to taste; then add enough vinegar to mix moist and pack back into the whites.

Aspic Recipe Attempt

I have had a morbid curiosity with aspic since first hearing about it from a family friend, so I was very excited to give it a try. I used the recipes from All about cookery: a collection of practical recipes arranged in alphabetical order by Isabella Beeton (1890) to make a quick aspic jelly and then used it to make a mould with vegetables. I mixed all of the ingredients together, boiled and strained them, then put it in the refrigerator to cool. I was worried I did something wrong because my mixture was very liquidy and had a VERY strong animal smell. After a few hours the mixture had completely solidified into an opaque jelly.

Once the “Quick aspic jelly” was complete, I moved on to the moulding. I covered the bottom of a bowl with melted jelly and began building upwards by alternating jelly with chopped cold chicken and then a final layer of peas. Once all the layers were complete I covered the bowl and let everything set in the refrigerator overnight. In the morning I ran a sharp knife around the edge of the bowl, placed a plate over the top, and inverted both. After a few minutes the moulded jelly down came free of the bowl and settled onto the plate. I realized afterwards that I used beef broth instead of the stock called for in the recipe, which may be why my aspic turned out cloudy instead of clear. It still has the visual effect of traditional aspic though!

Rating: 1 out of 5.

I couldn’t actually bring myself to try it, the smell was just too gross. It was fun as an art project/science experiment though! I can check it off my bucket list -Kristin Hagaman

Join us November 16th as we share main course and side dish recipes!

FSU Special Collections & Archives Presents: The Great Rare Books Bake Off Cocktail/Mocktail Week

Welcome to the first week of the FSU Special Collections & Archives Great Rare Books Bake Off! This week we will be sharing and attempting cocktail and mocktail recipes from our collection. Please visit our introduction post to find out how you can participate.

Many of the beverage recipes found in our cookbooks make large amounts to serve at parties or social gatherings, but can be scaled down to make 1 or 2 drinks. A recipe for negus (a wine-based beverage) from The book of household management by Isabella Beeton (1861) is recommended to be served to children at parties!

While there is a strong emphasis on alcoholic drinks in many recipes, we encourage trying the recipes without alcohol to convert it to a mocktail. Flavored seltzers, tonic water, or sparkling apple juice can be used to replace the alcohol for a festive beverage. Recipes for flavored vinegars and lemonades are available in several of the books, the vinegars are served with water over ice.

Housekeeping in the blue grass: A new and practical cookbook: containing nearly a thousand recipes …By the Presbyterian Church Missionary Society of Paris Kentucky (1879)

Champagne Punch: One bottle of champagne, one half tumblerful (1/2 cup) of sugar, one wine-glassful (1/4 cup) of rum, and one half-dozen lemons.

Whisky Punch: One gallon whisky, six tumblerfuls of sugar and one half-dozen lemons.

Blackberry Vinegar (a temperance drink): One gallon of fresh berries, washed and picked; pour over them a half gallon of good cider vinegar; let stand twenty-four hours; then strain. To each pint of juice add 3/4 of a pound of sugar; boil half an hour and skim carefully. When cold, bottle, and cork lightly. When used, pour the depth of an inch in the glass; fill with water, pounded ice, and season with nutmeg.

Egg Nog: Six eggs, beaten separately; one pound of sugar; two pints of rich cream, one pint of whisky, one half pint of Jamaica rum; beat the yolks well; mix sugar and whisky together; whip the cream; add whites of eggs, and cream last. It is best made over night.

The book of household management By Isabella Beeton (1861)

Lemonade: The rind of 2 lemons, the juice of 3 large or 4 small ones, 1/2 pound sugar, 1 quart boiling water. Rub some of the sugar, in lumps, on two of the lemons until they have imbibed all the oil from them, and put it with the remainder of the sugar into a jug; add the lemon-juice, and pour over the whole a quart of boiling water. When the sugar is dissolved, strain the lemonade through a fine sieve; when cool it will be ready for use.

Negus: To every pint of port wine allow 1 quart of boiling water, 1/4 pound of sugar, 1 lemon, nutmeg to taste. Put the wine into a jug, rub some lumps of sugar (equal to 1/4 lb) on the lemon-rind until all the yellow part of the skin is absorbed, then squeeze the juice, and strain it. Add the sugar and lemon-juice to the port wine, with the grated nutmeg; pour over it the boiling water, cover the jug, and when it has cooled a little it can be drunk.

All about cookery: a collection of practical recipes arranged in alphabetical order By Isabella Beeton (1890)

Shandy Gaff: Ingredients for pint mug. 1/2 pint of good bitter ale, 1/2 pint or a bottle of ginger beer; if liked, a dash of liqueur, ice. Put lumps of ice in a tankard, and pour the ale and ginger beer over, adding a little liqueur, if liked.

Punch (cold): Ingredients for bowl for 12 people. 1 bottle of rum, 2 glasses (2 cups) of orange liqueur, 1 bottle of champagne, 1/4 lb sugar, 1 large lemon, 1/2 pint of water, ice. Boil sugar, lemon rind, and water. When cool add rum, champagne, and lemon juice. Serve over over with lemon rind removed.

Punch (hot): 1/2 pint rum, 1/2 pint brandy, 1/4 lb sugar, 1 large lemon, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, 1 pint boiling water. Rub the sugar over the lemon until it has absorbed all the yellow part of the skin, then put the sugar into a punch bowl; add the lemon-juice and mix well. Pour boiling water into bowl, mixing well. Add rum, brandy, and nutmeg, mixing thoroughly. Punch is ready to serve when all ingredients are thoroughly incorporated.

Cheers! Our next recipe recommendations post will be November 9th, with the start of appetizer week!

American Archives Month 2020 Recap

FSU Special Collections & Archives celebrated American Archives Month throughout the month of October by hosting events and sharing interesting items from our collection.

We kicked off the month with a takeover of FSU Libraries social media on October 7th for “Ask an Archivist Day.” FSU SCA staff answered questions on Instagram about how to organize and store family items, what the oldest item in our collection is, questions about FSU’s history, how to become an archivist, and more! The entire takeover is available as a highlight titled “Ask Archivists” on the FSU Libraries Instagram. On Twitter, staff engaged with other institutions participating in #AskAnArchivist by sharing interesting items from our collection and talking about what we do. All of the threads are available on the FSU Libraries Twitter page.

Here on the blog we shared a variety of posts related to our archival work in special collections.

Slides from “Archive of Me” by Kacee R.

Thanks for celebrating American Archives Month 2020 with everyone at

FSU Special Collections & Archives!

FSU Special Collections & Archives Presents: The Great Rare Books Bake Off

With the holiday season fast approaching, the FSU Special Collections & Archives division is challenging the FSU community (and beyond!) to try a recipe from our collection of rare books, manuscripts, and heritage materials. The FSU Special Collections & Archives Great Rare Books Bake Off will take place the entire month of November and consist of weekly themes correlating to different courses of a meal. Throughout the month, SCA staff are inviting the community to try the recipes and post their results to social media utilizing the hashtags #thegreatrarebooksbakeoff and #fsuspecialcollections.


FSU Special Collections & Archives has drawn inspiration from the inaugural Great Rare Books Bake Off of July 2020 originated by the special collections libraries and archives of Monash University and Penn State University.

How to participate:

  1. Choose a recipe from our selections posted weekly
  2. Attempt the recipe
  3. Take a picture and post it to Instagram or Twitter using the hashtags #thegreatrarebooksbakeoff and #fsuspecialcollections

Recipes from the collection will be posted Monday each week. SCA staff will post their successes (or failures) as well as highlight posts shared on social media.

Cooking resources available in FSU Special Collections & Archives

A portion of the SCA cookbook collection is available in the Cookbooks and Herbals collection in the FSU digital library. An interest in cookbooks and household management is a legacy from FSU’s earliest years as a women’s college. The oldest book in our cookbook collection is from 1622 Venice.

A sample of cookbooks available in the digital library

  1. All about cookery: a collection of practical recipes arranged in alphabetical order By Isabella Beeton (1890)
  2. The queen-like closet, or, Rich cabinet By Hannah Wooley (1675)
  3. The book of household management By Isabella Beeton (1861)
  4. A collection of recipes for the use of special diet kitchens in military hospitals By Annie Wittenmyer (1864)
  5. Housekeeping in the blue grass: A new and practical cookbook: containing nearly a thousand recipes …By the Presbyterian Church Missionary Society of Paris Kentucky (1879)
  6. The art of cookery made plain and easy By Hannah Glasse (1751)

Hand-copied recipes, as well as menus and other ephemera from social gatherings, events, and restaurants can be found in the scrapbook collection of FSU Heritage & University Archives.

Lemon Tart

In honor of the recipes shared for the bake off between Penn State and Monash University, I tried Penn State’s recipe for a lemon tart. The recipe is originally from a handwritten cookbook of British recipes compiled between 1770 and 1846.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This recipe is delicious! The crust is flaky and the filling is tart and not overly sweet. -Kristin Hagaman

Our next post will be November 2nd, sharing recipes for cocktails and mocktails. We look forward to cooking with you!

New Ancient Texts Research Guide

“What are the oldest books you have?” is a common question posed to Special Collections & Archives staff at Strozier Library. In fact, the oldest materials in the collection are not books at all but cuneiform tablets ranging in date from 2350 to 1788 BCE (4370-3808 years old). These cuneiform tablets, along with papyrus fragments and ostraka comprise the ancient texts collection in Special Collections & Archives.

In an effort to enhance remote research opportunities for students to engage with the oldest materials housed in Strozier Library, a research guide to Ancient Texts at FSU Libraries has been created by Special Collections & Archives staff.

Ancient Texts Research Guide

The Ancient Texts at FSU Libraries research guide provides links to finding aids with collections information, high-resolution photos of the objects in the digital library, and links to articles or books about the collections.

Research guides can be accessed through the tile, “Research Guides,” on the library’s main page. Special Collections & Archives currently has 11 research guides published that share information and resources on specific collections or subjects that can be accessed remotely.

While direct access to physical collections is unavailable at this time due to Covid-19, we hope to resume in-person research when it is safe to do so, and Special Collections & Archives is still available to assist you remotely with research and instruction. Please get in touch with us via email at: For a full list of our remote services, please visit our services page.

Earth Day 50th Anniversary

Today, April 22 2020, is the 50th anniversary of the first celebration of Earth Day. The first Earth Day in 1970 was a major mobilizing event of inestimable historical significance. The event was such a success because it came at the right time as awareness of human effects on the balance of nature was growing. Rachel Carson’s 1962 best-selling book, Silent Spring, laid the groundwork for a growing concern over man’s negative impact on the environment. 1969 was a year rife with high-profile environmental disasters; there was a major oil spill off the coast of southern California and Ohio’s Cuyahoga river caught fire. At the end of the year, concern for the environment rivaled concern for the Vietnam War.

Senator Gaylord Nelson (Wisconsin) announced his intentions for an Earth Day event six months prior to April 1970, which was enough time for the excitement to spread and for countless groups to become involved. A wide range of participants helped to organize Earth Day events and the offerings varied from speeches, teach-ins, movies, workshops, and more. The event inspired lifelong environmentalists and lead to the formation of many new environmental groups, lobbies, and services.

Florida State University participated in the first Earth day with a series of events on Landis Green including speeches, information booths, music, and movies. The theme was “Do Not Ask For Whom the Bell Tolls, It Tolls For Thee.”

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Both photos from the April 22, 1970 edition of the Florida Flambeau. Available digitally at

The immediate effects of Earth Day were significant: the founding of the Environmental Protection Agency, the passing of the Clean Air Act, and the National Environmental Policy Act. The power of Earth Day extends beyond the day itself, the momentum gained by the event leant credibility to events that followed and engendered a generation of activists.

The twentieth anniversary celebration of Earth Day in 1990 united people in countries on all seven continents in unprecedented numbers to voice their concerns for environmental issues. Whereas the 1970 celebration was a grassroots effort, the 1990 celebration was run like a political campaign with advisors and consultants and a budget 15 times larger than the original event. The worldwide turnout for Earth Day 1990 was double what the organizers expected, the event united the most participants ever concerned about a single cause. The greatest success of Earth Day 1990 was the worldwide participation and attention it brought to the environmental issues plaguing the entire world. Environmental troubles were no longer simply viewed as the problem of white Americans but as a growing global concern.

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Florida State University Libraries Special Collections & Archives and FSU Sustainable Campus are celebrating the 50th anniversary of Earth Day with the launch of a digital exhibit, Earth Day 50: Environmental Activism at FSU and Beyond. This exhibit was originally curated to be installed as a physical exhibit in Strozier library, but installation was postponed due to covid-19. Changing to a digital platform allows the story of Earth Day and environmental activism at FSU to continue to be shared. Please visit learn more about the celebration of Earth Day at FSU, in Florida, and beyond.


Cahn, Robert, and Patricia Cahn. “Did Earth Day Change the World?” Environment 32, no. 7 (September 1990): 16–20.

Rome, A. “The Genius of Earth Day.” Environmental History 15, no. 2 (2010): 194–205. doi:10.1093/envhis/emq036.

Earth Day Exhibit Goes Digital

As mentioned in a previous post, the current exhibit in the Special Collections & Archives Exhibit room was uninstalled in preparation for installing a new exhibit, “Earth Day 50”. Unfortunately, Strozier Library and FSU campus closures have forced us to explore different platforms for sharing exhibits that can be viewed safely from home.

Maybe you have had to change directions on an intended presentation or exhibit as well? Here in Special Collections & Archives, we have chosen to continue with our exhibit plans by going digital and using Omeka to share the items intended for our physical exhibit.

Omeka is a free open-source web publishing platform that allows users to create and share digital collections. Special Collections & Archives maintains a research guide with helpful tips and tutorials for getting started with Omeka if you are interested in going digital as well.


Be on the lookout for a post announcing the opening of the digital exhibit, Earth Day 50, very soon!

New Exhibit Coming Soon!

March 13, 2020 will be the last day to view the current exhibit in the Special Collections & Archives Exhibit room,  “A Century of Mystery and Intrigue”.


Our new exhibit, “Earth Day 50”, will be opening in April to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first Earth Day: April 22, 1970. “Earth Day 50” is a collaborative effort between FSU Sustainable Campus and Special Collections & Archives. The goal of the exhibit is to illustrate the role that prominent figures in FSU and Florida history have played in the environmental movement and highlight environmental activism here at Florida State University in the past 50 years.

Earth Day Activities
Schedule of Events at Florida State University for the first Earth Day, April 22, 1970. Florida Flambeau, April 22, 1970

Keep an eye out for more information about the opening of the new exhibit, as well as events and activities in celebration of Earth Day on campus.