Category Archives: Heritage & University Archives

LGBTQ+ in Rare Books and Manuscripts: A Pride Month Project Becomes a Blog Series!

Hello! My name is Gino Romero.

Gino Photo
Photo of Gino Romero (They/Them, Elle/Ellx)

I am a queer non-binary artist, researcher, and the Rare Books Assistant in Special Collections and Archives. My research deals with queerness, highlighting the erasure of queer history, primarily focusing on people of color. As an undergrad, trying to do research in this topic with no formal training in research proved to be next to impossible. I leaned on my professors for resources, but these results were not so fruitful. Later that year, we went to Special Collections and Archives to look at artists’ books and before the class started, a librarian helped us look through the catalog and find topics we were interested in. I shouted out “LGBTQ+ History!”: no results. We tried just “LGBT”: no results! We tried dozens of configurations until we found results, but even then, it wasn’t guaranteed that they would actually be of use to my research. 

As a student, it was comforting to know that it wasn’t just me, that the institution was also struggling to find these histories. But as a researcher, I was frustrated beyond reason. I wondered why it’s so hard to find these histories. Now I work in Special Collections and Archives, and I wonder what my fellow coworkers and I can do to fix this? I began asking these questions to my colleagues and decided to make it into a project.

LGBT Search
Image – “0 matching items” for “LGBT” or “LGBTQ”

We often think that libraries are neutral, that they are solely a source of information for Rainbow Pull Quotepeople to come and formulate their own opinions on the matter. Librarians are human; personal biases always creep into the work, often to the detriment of marginalized populations. Libraries are sites of power, organizing, labeling, and delivering information in ways that affect cultural beliefs and understanding on institutional, national, and even global scales. It is important that we take the time to acknowledge that power and privilege, and that the discipline evolves out of (perhaps comfortable) old practices that contribute to systems of bigotry, oppression, and white supremacy

Librarians are tasked with the role of making information discoverable and available. They have the ability to place subject headings and search terms on materials, are involved in the acquisition of materials, and even contribute to what is taught in the classroom. These factors, among many others, put libraries in a unique position of power, as gatekeepers of information. 

The project – asking my colleagues to engage with queer histories in archives

For Pride month, I tasked my fellow coworkers with taking a moment to reflect on our role in the distribution and accessibility of information relating to LGBTQ+ history. I asked them to look into our catalogs in order to find materials, to experience what it’s like to be a queer researcher in our institution. The rules for the search were to prioritize the following: 

  • LGBTQ+ people of color
  • Materials outside of the Pride Student Union collection (These institutional records don’t represent intentional acquisition, and while valuable records of queer life on campus, don’t tell the story of underrepresentation on a larger scale.)
  • Stories that do not relate to LGBTQ+ struggles/hardships (Look for stories that highlight queer joy/culture!)

I asked my colleagues to submit a write up of their findings, describing why they chose that object, and what their experience was like in the shoes of a queer researcher. I will curate these submissions and blog about them on a biweekly basis, in hopes that this conversation will continue past Pride month and help create sustainable change.

I’m happy that this Pride Month work is turning into a blog series! In addition to sharing my colleagues’ findings, I hope to interview librarians and scholars who study representation in the archives. Be sure to check out the next post (hoping for a biweekly schedule), where I plan to include some of the discovered materials and describe the challenges my colleagues reported in their search process. 

In addition to this prompt, I also sent my colleagues some LGBTQ+ resources that I would like to share here as well:

Other institutions have been researching and working towards a solution for this issue as well. UNC has created a conscious editing initiative to repair and fix any harmful/outdated language in their catalog

Whether we follow the lead of other institutions or create a new program entirely just for FSU, it is important to take the time to acknowledge the power information holds and to make sure that we are doing our part to make it accurate, available, and equitable.

Digital FSCW: New collection of FSCW theses coming to Diginole

The Florida State College for Women, in addition to being the predecessor institution of modern-day FSU, was once one of the largest all-female centers of higher learning in the United States. From 1905 to 1947, thousands of young women from the American South attended and graduated from FSCW. These women were, generally, from affluent Southern families and were, exclusively, White. The liberal arts and professional education curricula offered by FSCW appealed to many of the ideals of the so-called “Progressive Era” of United States history, but also existed in tandem with the intense racial oppression and inequalities found throughout the post-Reconstruction South. The institution was also steeped in highly-regulated gender roles that ascribed White women a narrow set of areas in which they could study and explore professional lives beyond being wives, mothers, and “Southern belles.” As noted by the scholar Shira Birnbaum, FSCW offered new educational opportunities for women and “credentialed white women [sic] for participation in modern life” but did so “inside repressive Southern conventions of female subordination and racism” (p. 239).

This complex lattice of gendered and racial hierarchies undergirded the formation and development of FSCW, its student population, and the kinds of scholarship its students undertook. The historical records associated with FSCW, in particular the scholarly publications produced by its students, offer us a window into this world where certain classes of White women were given limited agency to pursue academic and professional development within a deeply segregated, patriarchal society.

In an effort to make this rich history more accessible to researchers, instructors, and students, FSU Libraries has begun the process of digitizing and electronically publishing theses and other academic writing produced by FSCW students. These fragile, original documents are currently held by Heritage & University Archives, and this effort is the first comprehensive, cross-departmental initiative to provide unprecedented digital access to these materials via FSU’s institutional repository, Diginole.

While progress on this project (and many others across the University) has been hampered by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, FSU Libraries has completed the first batch of 55 theses produced by FSCW students, written between 1908 to 1935. You can access these materials directly here and can sort by date to see this particular set of theses. These represent a broad array of subjects and research areas, some which do suggest deviations from the restrictive academic environment described by Birnbaum. Topics explored range from analyses of Renaissance poets to studies in entomology to sociological investigations of racial relations in early 20th century Florida. Through these works, we are offered a tremendous amount of insight into both the history of FSU as an educational institution and the greater cultural and societal roles of women in the American South. Below are a few highlights and excerpts from this initial batch of theses. We invite you to explore this fascinating collection and look forward to making more of these historic records available to all.

FSCW_Grier_GallInsects_2JPG

FSCW_Grier_GallInsects_1
Two plates from “Galls and gall insects” by Lucie Greir (1915) http://purl.flvc.org/fsu/fd/FSU_ARCH_591145G848g

FSCW_Langley_Chlorine
Map of local bodies of water from “Chlorine in the surface waters of West Florida” by Bertha N. Langley (1914) http://purl.flvc.org/fsu/fd/FSU_ARCH_5433L283c

FSCW_Bates_NegroLegalStatus
Figure from “A preliminary study of the legal status of the Negro in Florida” by Thelma Bates (1927) http://purl.flvc.org/fsu/fd/FSU_ARCH_32415B329p

FSCW_Price_RomanceMeters
Excerpt from “A study of the older romance meters with a possible solution of the ‘Cid'” by Dorothy Price (1927) http://purl.flvc.org/fsu/fd/FSU_ARCH_PQ6376P74

FSCW_Dyer_SchoolGardens
Garden diagram from “School gardens” by Edith M. Dyer (1914) http://purl.flvc.org/fsu/fd/FSU_ARCH_372358D996s


Continue reading Digital FSCW: New collection of FSCW theses coming to Diginole

Library History with Heritage & University Archives, Part 2

In this second installment of Library History with Heritage & University archives, we’ll be looking at the trajectory of the Library School since its reorganization in 1947. We’ll also be exploring how Special Collections & Archives has grown since its establishment in 1956.

Strozier Library, 1957, view this item in the digital library

As mentioned in our previous library history post, the School of Library Training and Service was restructured in 1947 and began offering a master’s degree. In 1967 and 1968 respectively, the school began offering doctor of philosophy degrees and advanced master’s degrees.

In 1981, the new library school building, the Louis Shores Building, was opened and the name of the program was once again changed to the School of Information. The school’s name was changed once more in 2004 to the College of Information. In 2009, the College of Information merged with the College of Communication to become the College of Communication & Information. The college now consists of three schools, the School of Information, the School of Communication, and the School of Communication Science & Disorders, offering both undergraduate and graduate courses on campus and online. The School of Information is an international leader in the iSchool movement and is the only iSchool in the state of Florida. The school offers graduate and specialist degree programs entirely online.

Shores Building, undated, from the Florida Flambeau/FSView Photograph Collection, MSS 2006-012

The department of Special Collections grew rapidly after 1953 with Louise Richardson as the head of the department, a role she would hold until her retirement in 1960. As early as 1962 Special Collections was curating and hosting exhibits using their holdings. By 1964, Special Collections holdings included the McGregor Collection of Early Americana, the Crown Collection of documents, pictures, and manuscripts, an archival collection of photographs of Florida and Floridians, an extensive rare book collection, and the Shaw “Childhood in Poetry” Collection. By this time the library was also a depository for federal documents (Report to the Director of the Libraries, 1960; Florida State University Bulletin, 1964).

Strozier Library, Special Collections, 1958, view this item in the digital library

By 1973, Strozier library contained 1,150,000 volumes, 500,000 government documents, 93,000 maps, and a collection of micromaterials exceeding 700,000. In 1985, the Claude Pepper library was established as the official repository for the Claude Pepper Papers.

Between 1995 and 1996, Special Collections was relocated to its current location on the first floor of Strozier library. The Heritage Protocol program, now known as Heritage & University Archives, was established in 2001 to gather university history related documents and memorabilia.

According to the Special Collections Annual Report for 2003, Special Collections, along with the Digital Initiatives? Center, was already providing digital access to rare Florida materials. The extensive Photographic Archives collection was being used by departments all across campus. 

The last installment of Library History with HUA will be focused on the satellite libraries of Florida State University: the Dirac Science Library, the Maguire Medical Library, the College of Engineering Library, the Law Research Center, the Library and Learning Center at the FSU Panama City Campus, and the Allen Music Library.

This article was written by Kacee Reguera, a student worker in Heritage & University Archives.

From the Talisman to Smoke Signals: a student publication at FSU

The history of Florida State University and its predecessor institutions is ubiquitous with numerous and varied outlets for student expression. Student-run publications have been at the heart of student expression on campus since 1906, when Florida State College for Women students began Talisman. The Talisman was the first literary magazine published by an institution of higher learning in Florida (A Booklover’s Guide to Florida by Kevin McCarthy, 1992). In 1914, publishing of Talisman ceased publishing to make way for Florida Flambeau, a student-run newspaper published weekly. According to the first issue of the Flambeau, too much was happening on campus for news to only circulate on a quarterly basis, as it did with the Talisman.

Florida Flambeau, January 23, 1915, View this item in the digital library

In the early 20th century, literary magazines were influential across colleges and universities in the United States. They served as a means to not only showcase the literacy and expressiveness of students, but also to share news as to the happenings on campus. In 1926 work began on establishing a new college magazine for Florida State College for Women and the first issue was released towards the end of that year. In 1927 the magazine began being published under the name Distaff. By 1928, Distaff was being published four times a year.

Florida Flambeau, October 22, 1927, View this item in the digital library

The college magazine was published as Distaff until 1947, when students voted to change the name to Talaria. This name only lasted four years until 1951, when students once more opted for a name change. They held a contest and Smoke Signals won. Along with this name change, students demanded a change in the content of the magazine. Since the magazine’s founding it had focused on short stories, poetry, expression, and literacy. Students wanted a shift in content toward action and humor (Florida Flambeau, June 22, 1951).

Florida Flambeau, February 16, 1951, View this item in the digital library

In the 1970s, students clashed with university administration regarding censorship of Smoke Signals. They censored and prevented dissemination of several issues throughout the 1970s due to what they considered at the time “libelous” and “vulgar” materials. (Florida Flambeau, October 21, 1977)

Smoke Signals continued publishing until at least 1985, when they were still hiring writers for the magazine through the Florida Flambeau. (Florida Flambeau, Novemeber 25, 1985) The last issue of Smoke Signals in our holdings is from Winter of 1970.

Several issues of the Talaria and Smoke Signals are now available to be viewed on our digital library, DigiNole: FSU’s digital repository, and can be viewed here.

This article was written by Kacee Reguera, a student worker in Heritage & University Archives.

Library History with Heritage & University Archives

The history of the Libraries at Florida State University traces back over 100 years to our beginnings as the West Florida Seminary. In the 1880s, students had access to both a reference library, housed in College Hall, and a more expansive “university library,” which was located off-campus. The first librarian for the university, J.A. Arbuckle, was appointed in 1897.

By 1903, University administration wanted the library to be “the center of college life.” New librarian Mary A. Apthorpe was appointed, and critical changes began transforming the library under her lead (1903-1904 Florida State College Catalogue) . The library offerings were expanded and items began being catalogued according to the Dewey Decimal System.

In 1911 the new Main Building, which is now Westcott, was completed and the library was moved. The library saw extensive growth and four different librarians during its time in the Main Building between 1911 and 1924. According to the 1914-15 course catalog, the library held over 8,500 volumes and was circulating over 600 books a month. (1914-1945 Florida State College for Women Catalogue) By 1923, the library held over 16,000 volumes. (1923 Florida State College for Women Catalogue)

As library holdings and services continued to grow, the university recognized the need for a dedicated library building. Work began on the new space, that is now Dodd Hall, in 1924. This building served as the library for Florida State College for Women and then for Florida State University until Strozier Library was built in 1956.

The Library, undated, http://purl.flvc.org/fcla/dt/2783613

The new library opened to students towards the end of 1924, and Louise Richardson was hired as the university librarian, a role she would hold until 1953. Along with being the librarian, Richardson also created curriculum for and taught the first library science courses offered by Florida State College for Women. In 1926 “Library Science” became its own instruction area, composed of two classes: Library Methods and Advanced Library Methods. In 1929, Etta Lane Matthews was hired as the first professor of Library Science.

From 1935 Flastacowo, http://purl.flvc.org/fsu/fd/FSUYB_1935

By June 1930, the Department of Library Science was officially established and had nine faculty and seven courses. The department had also received American Library Association accreditation to properly qualify students as librarians.

From the 1929 course catalog, http://purl.flvc.org/fsu/fd/FSU_HPUA_catalog_1929_v22n1_2

As the university continued to expand their course offerings and enrollment steadily rose, the Department of Library Science was restructured in 1946 to offer a major in Library Science. In 1947, the department was renamed to the School of Library Training and Service and was established as a professional school offering a master’s degree. This was Florida’s first nationally accredited professional school for the training of librarians (President’s Report 1954).

Library science students studying, circa 1950s, http://purl.flvc.org/fcla/dt/2708887

The new library building, now known as Strozier, opened in 1956. Between 1956 and 1958, major reorganization and expansion took place within the library. The Department of Special Collections was created during these years with the goal to “preserve and make available to scholars rare books and historical documents of Florida”. (President’s report 1956-1958

Excerpt from the President’s Report, 1954 – 1958,  http://purl.flvc.org/fcla/dt/332176

This excerpt from the 1954-58 President’s Report describes some of the amenities offered by the new library. It also makes clear that from the opening of the new library, university officials recognized a need for even more space. The addition mentioned in the last sentence of the excerpt became a reality in 1967, when the library was expanded to include a 5-story annex.

In the next installments of Library History with HUA, we’ll explore how the Department of Special Collections transformed and grew after its inception in 1956. We’ll also trace the next steps for the Department of Library Training and Service, or “The Library School” as it was referenced in the President’s Report, after 1947 and how it became the online degree program it is today.

History of the Nursing Program at FSU

May 6th is Nurses Day!

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.

Nursing Instructor Teaching Her Students
Nursing Instructor Teaching Her Students, circa 1950s. [see item in digital library]
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.

1960s College of Nursing Class Photo
1960s College of Nursing Class Photo. [see item in digital library]
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.

Black and White Photos of Nursing Instruments
Black & White Photos of Nursing Instruments. [see item in digital library]
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.

Collection Update: The Historical Photograph Collection

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.

Baseball
Florida State University baseball player receiving congratulations from team as he scores a run. From the Historic Photograph Collection. [see item in digital library]
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.

Bread making machine
Florida State University students Paul Grimmig and Charles Clark with bread making machinery. From the Historic Photograph Collection. [see item in digital library]
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.

Three men with abacuses
Air Force Master Sergeant Clarence Vogelgesang, Professor George A. Lensen, and Major William Reese examine 2 abacuses. From the Historic Photograph Collection. [see item in digital library]
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.

Westcott Building
Westcott Building decorated for Christmas. From the Historic Photograph Collection. [see item in digital library]
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.

Share Your COVID-19 Pandemic Story with the University Archives

Heritage & University Archives is launching a campus-wide project to encourage FSU students, staff, and faculty to document their personal experiences during the coronavirus outbreak and contribute them to the University Archives. In accordance with FSU’s University Archives Policy, we are already collecting records related to FSU’s official response.

Detail of Dodd Hall entrance, Photo by Sandra Varry

We want to also ensure that personal experiences and reactions to this challenging and historic situation are included in FSU’s permanent archives. All members of the campus community are invited and encouraged to participate. For more information or to start sharing your story, visit the project’s website for all the details.

A History of Extracurricular Activities at Florida State College for Women

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.

Scrapbook
From the Julia Pelot Scrapbook

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.

Black History Month: Notable University History Collections

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.

0214201047
BSU Scrapbook, 1990-2008.

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.

16903407_1518813731491975_4610254939419379120_o
FSU Black Guild Players in a promotional photo for the production of “The Colored Museum,” 1989.

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.

Boardman Letter
Letter to John Boardman from Doak Campbell, 1957.

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 svarry@fsu.edu.