Looking Back: Discovering FSU’s Many Histories

Event on Landis Green, circa 1960s-1970s, View digital copy here.

This image depicts students gathered on Landis Green for an event sometime between the 1960s and 1970s. Landis Green has been a hub for student activity since at least 1932, when FSU was still a women’s institution. This image is just one of the many photographs depicting student life in our Florida State University Historical Photograph Collection. 

Materials relating to the history of FSU are part of Heritage & University Archives. Heritage & University Archives promotes knowledge about the history of Florida State University and its predecessor institutions, through the collection, preservation, and sharing of official permanent records, student memorabilia, and personal recollection. Materials include but are not limited to correspondence and publications of the university, an extensive historic photograph collection, and scrapbooks. Particular collecting emphasis is placed on documenting the student experience through collecting items and artifacts that tell the stories of the many students who have attended the university.

Learn something about your day-to-day surroundings and your university predecessors: Explore our many blog posts about Florida State University below!


Library History at FSU, Part 9: John and Mable Ringling Art Library

Governance of the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art was given to FSU in 2000. The University oversaw the restoration and renovation of all four buildings on the complex: the Ca d’Zan, the Museum of Art, the Circus Museum, and the Historic Asolo Theater. The Art Library was established with The Ringling’s reopening underContinue reading “Library History at FSU, Part 9: John and Mable Ringling Art Library”

Library History at FSU, Part 8: Library and Learning Center at FSU Panama City

In 1972, the University of West Florida was directed by the Florida Board of Regents to establish a center of higher education in Panama City. The center was originally located in the Bay County School Board Office Building and the Gulf Coast Community College campus. The library was housed in Gulf Coast Community College. InContinue reading “Library History at FSU, Part 8: Library and Learning Center at FSU Panama City”

Library History at FSU, Part 7: College of Engineering Library

The FAMU-FSU College of Engineering was established in 1982 and is the only shared engineering college in the nation. The facilities were remodelled in 2011. It is located less than three miles from both FSU and FAMU campuses. College of Engineering students at both FAMU and FSU learn together at the joint College of EngineeringContinue reading “Library History at FSU, Part 7: College of Engineering Library”

University History and Mythology

As with any person, place, or institution of note, there are a multitude of myths that attach themselves to their histories through various avenues. They can range from fun anecdotes to harmful misrepresentations.

Library History at FSU, Part 5: Maguire Medical Library

The FSU College of Medicine was created in 2000 by legislative mandate to educate and develop exemplary physicians who practice patient-centered health care, discover and advance knowledge, and are responsive to community needs, especially through service to elder, rural, minority, and underserved populations. It was granted provisional accreditation in 2002 and received full accreditation inContinue reading “Library History at FSU, Part 5: Maguire Medical Library”

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 SouthernContinue reading “Digital FSCW: New collection of FSCW theses coming to Diginole”

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 collectionContinue reading “Collection Update: The Historical Photograph Collection”

Vintage Valentines in the Archives

Valentine’s Day gained popularity in the United States with the introduction of mass-produced Valentines cards around the middle of the 19th century. Most of these early cards have long since disappeared, but we are fortunate to have many examples of early 20th century valentines here in Special Collections & Archives. Aside from being a repositoryContinue reading “Vintage Valentines in the Archives”

New Digital Exhibit on Integration at FSU

A new digital exhibit is now available, featuring information and documents that expand on the items currently on display in at the Heritage Museum in Dodd Hall. The exhibit is titled A University in Transition: The Long Path to Integration and focuses on the role of institutional racism in delaying state university integration. It also highlightsContinue reading “New Digital Exhibit on Integration at FSU”

A Uniting Flame: Looking Back on the 50th Anniversary of the Westcott Fire

An iconic structure of Florida State’s campus, the gothic-styled Westcott Building was once threatened by a massive blaze on April 27, 1969. The fire started in the roof above the fourth floor, spreading beneath the sheetrock ceiling and causing intense damage throughout the fourth floor. The Westcott Building housed the University’s administration as well asContinue reading “A Uniting Flame: Looking Back on the 50th Anniversary of the Westcott Fire”

A Portrait in Courage at the Norwood Reading Room

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 aContinue reading “A Portrait in Courage at the Norwood Reading Room”

The Search for Male Graduates of Florida State College for Women

The University Historian at the University of Florida recently contacted us with an interesting research request regarding Florida State College for Women. In his research, the University Historian found evidence that a woman, Mary Alexander Daiger, graduated from the University of Florida in 1920. This is odd because, in 1905, Florida passed the Buckman Act,Continue reading “The Search for Male Graduates of Florida State College for Women”

Florida State: Traditions through the Eras

Florida State: Traditions through the Eras is an exhibit that traces back some of Florida State University’s most well-known traditions through the institution’s long history. What we now know as FSU has gone through many changes over the years: beginning as the Seminary West of the Suwannee River, then the Florida State College, Florida StateContinue reading “Florida State: Traditions through the Eras”

A Visual Tour of Florida State University History: The Historic Photograph Collection

Heritage & University Archives is excited to present a newly reprocessed collection: The Florida State University Historic Photograph Collection. An initial inventory, which took a project archivist roughly four months to compile, indicated that the collection included nearly half a million images in both print and negative format. Former graduate student Dave Rodriguez then spentContinue reading “A Visual Tour of Florida State University History: The Historic Photograph Collection”

What is Florida High?

Since its inception, Florida State University has been involved in teaching high school aged students in addition to college students. When the legislature voted in 1851 to create two institutions of higher learning in Florida, Tallahassee began to organize a bid to have one of the schools established in town. They began by building aContinue reading “What is Florida High?”

Happy Birthday, FSU!

This blog post is an updated version of a previous post by Hannah Wiatt Davis which can be found here. Happy 167th Birthday, Florida State University! In 1851, the first steps were taken by the Florida Legislature (then the General Assembly of the State of Florida) to create the institution we now know as FloridaContinue reading “Happy Birthday, FSU!”

Much Adieu About Something: Reflections of Our Undergraduate Assistants (Part 1)

The division of Special Collections and Archives, of Florida State University, is privileged to have the assistance of our undergraduate student assistants in addition to our graduate assistants. In coordination with our Manager of Special Collections, Lisa Girard, our undergraduate assistants may also work between Heritage Protocol and University Archives (HPUA) and the Claude PepperContinue reading “Much Adieu About Something: Reflections of Our Undergraduate Assistants (Part 1)”

Spring Fashion at FSCW

The azaleas and dogwoods are in bloom, thunderstorms have started rolling through in the afternoon, and sunbathers and hammock dwellers have returned to their regular spots on Landis Green, which can only mean one thing: spring has arrived in Tallahassee! While the weather and native plant life hasn’t changed much in the past 70 years,Continue reading “Spring Fashion at FSCW”

Behind the scenes: Preserving Scrapbooks in Heritage Protocol & University Archives

While many of us no longer create traditional scrapbooks and rely on digital solutions in the form of Pinterest, Facebook, and Flickr, there are still many examples from the long history of scrapbooking that need special care. At Heritage Protocol & University Archives, we use a variety of methods to preserve our large collection. WeContinue reading “Behind the scenes: Preserving Scrapbooks in Heritage Protocol & University Archives”

Heritage Protocol & University Archives 101

Heritage Protocol & University Archives (HPUA), housed in Special Collections & Archives at Florida State University Libraries, maintains the official repository of university historical records. The archive holds publications, records, photographs, audio-visual, and other material in physical or digital form created by or about Florida State University. We also archive the student experience through theContinue reading “Heritage Protocol & University Archives 101”

Lee Causseaux: FSU’s First Chief of Police

Born in 1900 in Woodville, FL, Lee Causseaux was the descendant of a long line of Leon County residents and spent his whole life serving the greater Tallahassee community. Considering FSCW and FSU his second home, “Mr. Lee” (as most people called him) occupied many positions on campus, ranging from laundry operations, Superintendent of Landscaping,Continue reading “Lee Causseaux: FSU’s First Chief of Police”

FSCW Student Government Bulletins are now available in the FSUDL!

We are excited to announce that a set of Florida State College for Women (FSCW) Student Government Bulletins are now available in the Digital Library! Bulletins were distributed yearly to each student and outlined the rules and regulations of campus, and now provide a glimpse into the life of FSCW students throughout the early 20thContinue reading “FSCW Student Government Bulletins are now available in the FSUDL!”

With All My Love: The Frances Isaac Letters, 1944-1947

This post was originally published February 13, 2015. Much has been written about letters sent during World War II – movies and books chronicle the stories of undelivered correspondence found decades later, letters between young lovers parted by an ocean, advice from mothers and fathers to their sons. Last fall, Heritage Protocol and University ArchivesContinue reading “With All My Love: The Frances Isaac Letters, 1944-1947”

Thanksgiving at FSCW

FSU’s campus during Thanksgiving is usually pretty quiet – students and staff are visiting their families over the break, or maybe traveling for the annual FSU vs. UF game, or others might be holed up in their dorm room and getting an early start on studying for finals. However, at FSCW, Thanksgiving week was bustlingContinue reading “Thanksgiving at FSCW”

“That I May Remember” Online Exhibit

Currently on display in the Strozier Library Exhibit Room, “That I May Remember: The Scrapbooks of Florida State College for Women (1905-1947)” is an exhibit focusing on the scrapbooks made by the students of Florida State College for Women.  See our original announcement here. Now, we are proud to present an online extension of our exhibit.Continue reading ““That I May Remember” Online Exhibit”

That I May Remember: Scrapbooks from Florida State College for Women (1905-1947)

Florida State University Special Collections & Archives Division is proud to present our Fall 2014 exhibit, “That I May Remember: Scrapbooks from Florida State College for Women (1905-1947),” which opens today in the Strozier Library Exhibit Space. This exhibit features scrapbooks from Heritage Protocol & University Archives. The scrapbook is an expression of memories, uniqueContinue reading “That I May Remember: Scrapbooks from Florida State College for Women (1905-1947)”

Farewell, Renegade V

This past weekend at the FSU vs. Wake Forest football game, one of FSU’s most beloved members was honored with a retirement ceremony. While he doesn’t play football or coach athletes, he is known for his tireless training and impeccable composure on the field. I’m talking about none other than Renegade V, the fifth horseContinue reading “Farewell, Renegade V”

Scrapbooks: the Original Social Media

The Special Collections & Archives graduate assistants, Rebecca L. Bramlett and I, are busy preparing for the opening of our exhibit next Wednesday, October 15th. “That I May Remember: the Scrapbooks of Florida State College for Women (1905-1947)” showcases many of the scrapbooks from the Heritage Protocol & University Archives’ collections and explores the scrapbookContinue reading “Scrapbooks: the Original Social Media”

Getting to Know FSCW

For our first project as graduate assistants, Katherine Hoarn and I have been given the unique opportunity to delve into the history and heritage of Florida State University.  From the years 1905 – 1947, Florida State University was Florida State College for Women, one of the largest women’s colleges in the country.  To explore thisContinue reading “Getting to Know FSCW”

Introducing Heritage Protocol & University Archives

Heritage Protocol & University Archives (HPUA), housed in Special Collections & Archives at Florida State University Libraries, maintains the official repository of university historical records. The archive holds publications, records, photographs, audio-visual, and other material in physical or digital form created by or about Florida State University. We also archive the student experience through theContinue reading “Introducing Heritage Protocol & University Archives”

Annie Gertrude Gilliam: Reflections of a Student’s Life in the 1920s

Annie Gertrude Gilliam was a Florida State College for Women student, Class of 1929.  She earned her BS in education, was a member of the Young Women’s Christian Association, and a sister in Phi Mu sorority.  Heritage Protocol recently acquired her scrapbook, which documents her time as a student at FSCW, from her freshman yearContinue reading “Annie Gertrude Gilliam: Reflections of a Student’s Life in the 1920s”

Florida State College for Women Scrapbooks in the Archives

Compiling scrapbooks was a popular pastime for those who attended the Florida State College for Women.    These students filled their scrapbooks with the miscellaneous items that they thought significant and representative of their day to day lives. Working in the archives, we specifically look for these ephemeral objects that people often threw away. These items,Continue reading “Florida State College for Women Scrapbooks in the Archives”

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