Souls on Fire: Protest & Revolution

Voting Scene, circa 1940-1944, View digital copy here.

Special Collections & Archives materials capture many instances of revolt and protest, in works of poetry from the Beats, Grove Press’ publications of banned materials, records of local chapters of the National Organization for Women and League of Women Voters, and oral histories of the Civil Rights Movement in Tallahassee.

Below, explore some of our blog posts about these and other topics on the subject of “Protest & Revolution.”


Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964: Newly Digitized Material Coming Soon to the Digital Library

On July 2, 1964, President Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 into law. This legislation, and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, ended segregation and unequal voter registration requirements. It also prohibited employment-based discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin.1 This legislation would be passed a few weeksContinue reading “Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964: Newly Digitized Material Coming Soon to the Digital Library”

Seedling Till

An Original Poem by Linney Osias commemorating what would have been Emmett Till’s 80th birthday.

Propagating the Truth: Mamie and Me

I am honored to be writing about Mamie Till now more than ever because I am currently an Emmett Till Archives Intern at FSU. I have gotten to experience her story on a different level.

Celebrating C.K. Steele

Charles Kenzie Steele was born on this day, February 17, in 1914. Steele was a prominent Civil Rights activist and one of the central organizers of the Tallahassee Bus Boycott in 1956. He moved to Tallahassee with his family in 1952 to become the preacher at Bethel Missionary Baptist Church. On May 27, 1956 twoContinue reading “Celebrating C.K. Steele”

Introducing the Emmett Till Archives Interns

The Emmett Till Archives at Florida State University Libraries consists of primary and secondary source material related to the life, murder, and memory of Emmett Louis Till. Florida State University Libraries partners with the Emmett Till Interpretive Center, the Emmett Till Memory Project, and other institutions and private donors to collect, preserve, and provide accessContinue reading “Introducing the Emmett Till Archives Interns”

Telling Untold Stories Through the Emmett Till Archives

Friday August 28th marks the 65th anniversary of the abduction and murder of Emmett Till. Till’s murder is regarded as a significant catalyst for the mid-century African-American Civil Rights Movement. Calls for justice for Till still drive national conversations about racism and oppression in the United States. In 2015, Florida State University (FSU) Libraries SpecialContinue reading “Telling Untold Stories Through the Emmett Till Archives”

(C)istory Lesson

“Does the implication of queerness mean we should make the text discoverable under queer search terms?”

Light. A. Fire.

“Following bureaucratic etiquette, more times than not, perpetuates a mess of red tape that always ensnares progress for marginalized communities.”

Remembering the Tallahassee Bus Boycott at 64

Today marks the 64th anniversary of the Tallahassee Bus Boycott. In the spring of 1956, Florida A&M students Wilhelmina Jakes and Carrie Patterson boarded a Tallahassee bus and took seats of their own choosing. Because these seats were in the “whites only” section of the bus, Jakes and Patterson were arrested by the Tallahassee PoliceContinue reading “Remembering the Tallahassee Bus Boycott at 64”

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” isContinue reading “New Exhibit Coming Soon!”

New materials available in DigiNole highlight Integration statue.

A new set of photographs are now available in DigiNole: FSU’s Digital Repository. The photographs were taken from events at Heritage Day 2004, during which a statue celebrating integration was unveiled on campus. The digitized materials also include a program and newspaper clippings. Notable people depicted in the photographs include Doby Flowers, FSU’s first AfricanContinue reading “New materials available in DigiNole highlight Integration statue.”

Poetry in Protest, a new Exhibit in Strozier Library

Poetry can be a powerful tool for eliciting emotion and is frequently used to express dissent or advocate for change. FSU Special Collections & Archives’ latest exhibition, “Poetry in Protest,” explores the genres, tactics, and voices of poets that write against the existing world and imagine societal revolution. As a means of delving into theContinue reading “Poetry in Protest, a new Exhibit in Strozier Library”

What They Fought: Resistance to Integration and the Path to the 1956 Tallahassee Bus Boycott

In the spring of 1956, after students Wilhelmina Jakes and Carrie Patterson from Florida A&M University, were arrested and jailed for refusing to leave the “whites only” section of a Tallahassee bus, the African-American community of the city rallied together to boycott the city bus service and take a stand for their civil rights andContinue reading “What They Fought: Resistance to Integration and the Path to the 1956 Tallahassee Bus Boycott”

Poetic Activism and Ruby Dee

Glowchild, and other Poems, published in 1972, is an anthology of works by black poets on the subjects of “nature, passion, politics, hope, peace, freedom, and other topics, gathered primarily with the inner-city youth in mind” (Catalog Description). The included poems were selected by Ruby Dee, poet, playwright, actress, journalist, and lifelong activist. Nature andContinue reading “Poetic Activism and Ruby Dee”

Clifton in the Capital: Tallahassee Civic Activist Exhibition Opening

Guests are invited to explore the life works of Clifton Van Brunt Lewis, a local activist in the Tallahassee civil rights movement who championed for equality, pushed for historic preservation and founded many of Tallahassee’s beloved cultural institutions, including LeMoyne Center for the Arts, Tallahassee Museum, and the Spring House Institute. Clifton and her husbandContinue reading “Clifton in the Capital: Tallahassee Civic Activist Exhibition Opening”

The Emmett Till Archives expands online

Recently, we’ve added a new collection to the Emmett Till Archives in DigiNole: FSU’s Digital Repository. The Joseph Tobias Papers consist of the professional papers, case files, and collected publications of Tobias, an attorney based in Chicago, Illinois. The collection is regarding his representation of Mamie Till-Mobley from 1955 to 1960. Documents include case filesContinue reading “The Emmett Till Archives expands online”

Leon High School Yearbooks

Yearbooks are a venerable tradition in high school. They collect and hold memories of a formative time in our lives. Yearbooks also serve as resources for research. They document trends in education, sociology, and demographics. The Digital Library Center recently partnered with Leon High School–the state’s oldest public school–to digitize and make accessible their yearbooksContinue reading “Leon High School Yearbooks”

Illuminations: Highlights from Special Collections & Archives

While this blog serves as a running feature of highlights from Special Collections & Archives, our newest exhibit makes the materials we talk about online available for the public to see in person. Illuminations the exhibit features items from our manuscript and rare books collections, Heritage & University Archives, and the Claude Pepper Library. Come andContinue reading “Illuminations: Highlights from Special Collections & Archives”

Emmett and Mamie Till, 1954

Emmett Till & the Press: The Davis Houck Papers

One of our most meaningful projects in Special Collections & Archives is the management of the Emmett Till Archives.  The Till Archives collects, preserves, and provides access to primary and secondary source material related to the life, murder, and memory of Emmett Louis Till, whose death in 1955 is significant in the history of the African-AmericanContinue reading “Emmett Till & the Press: The Davis Houck Papers”

Le Moniteur Update

Le Moniteur Universel was a French newspaper founded in Paris under the title Gazette Nationale ou Le Moniteur Universel by Charles-Joseph Panckoucke. It was the main French newspaper during the French Revolution and was for a long time the official journal of the French government and at times a propaganda publication, especially under the NapoleonicContinue reading “Le Moniteur Update”

The 1971 Westcott Talk-In

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, FSU was fraught with student protest, and Westcott was the primary site for demonstrations and sit-ins. FSU earned its moniker “Berkley of the South” during this time as students became more concerned with equal rights for women and minorities, free speech, and the anti-war movement. While some ofContinue reading “The 1971 Westcott Talk-In”

Charles Kenzie Steele and the Tallahassee Bus Boycott

Virgil Hawkins, J. Raymond Henderson, and C.K. Steele, circa 1955. From 00/MSS 2006-013. Reverend Charles Kenzie (C.K.) Steele Sr. arrived in Tallahassee during a significant time in its history.  After graduating from the School of Religion at Morehouse College in 1938, and serving congregations in Montgomery, Alabama, and Atlanta, Georgia, Steele came to Tallahassee in 1952 asContinue reading “Charles Kenzie Steele and the Tallahassee Bus Boycott”

Establishing the Emmett Till Research Archives

The Florida State University Libraries’ Special Collections and Archives Division and Professor Davis W. Houck are delighted to announce the establishment of what will become the foremost research collection on the life and death of Emmett Till, an African-American teenager whose murder in Mississippi in 1955 sparked protest in the South. Till’s death helped galvanizeContinue reading “Establishing the Emmett Till Research Archives”

Happy Birthday, Napoleon!

Happy birthday, Napoleon! Born on the French island of Corsica in 1769 on August 15th, Napoleon Bonaparte is known for being the steadfast emperor of France who conquered much of Europe during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. After winning most of his conflicts against relentless European coalitions, Bonaparte was ultimately defeated by the BritishContinue reading “Happy Birthday, Napoleon!”

Claude Pepper and the Civil Rights Act of 1964

Last week, on July 2nd, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 celebrated its 51st anniversary. Originally pioneered by President John F. Kennedy and called for just a year earlier on June 11, 1963 in his Civil Rights Address, delivered from the oval office. In the wake of President Kennedy’s assassination in late November of 1963, his successor, LyndonContinue reading “Claude Pepper and the Civil Rights Act of 1964”

Cataloging Clues: Book Owner’s Letter Provides Insight into Napoleon Collection Item

Today in Special Collections, we are exploring a new addition to the Napoleon Collection which led catalogers on an interesting research journey. Recently, a book titled The Historical and Unrevealed Memoirs of the Political and Private Life of Napoleon Buonaparte, printed in 1821, found its way into Special Collections’ Napoleon Collection. While the text itselfContinue reading “Cataloging Clues: Book Owner’s Letter Provides Insight into Napoleon Collection Item”

A Mask for Napoleon

During the late 18th and early 19th centuries, the making of a death mask was fairly customary when a great leader died. A plaster cast of the face of the recently deceased would be taken and from that parent mold, plaster and bronze copies could be created. They were mementos of loved ones lost andContinue reading “A Mask for Napoleon”

Many Happy Returns to the Prince of Tallahassee

On January 21, 1801, Charles Louis Napoleon Achille Murat was born to Joachim and Caroline Bonaparte Murat, Napoleon Bonaparte’s youngest sister. Through the family’s connections with the Emperor, Joachim was eventually made King of Naples, hence the Prince Murat title. Upon the Emperor’s second defeat in 1815, Achille’s father was executed and his mother fledContinue reading “Many Happy Returns to the Prince of Tallahassee”

Celebrating Civil Rights History in Tallahassee

With the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech today, we revisited the collections we hold regarding the Civil Rights Movement right here in Tallahassee. Among our most popular and unique is The Tallahassee Civil Rights Oral History Collection, which chronicles the experiences of nineteen individuals who were involvedContinue reading “Celebrating Civil Rights History in Tallahassee”

Integration at Florida State University

FSU Special Collections and Archives are pleased to announce the launch of a new online exhibit, Integration at Florida State University. Created in honor of the 50th anniversary of integration at FSU, the Florida State University Libraries have combed Special Collections and University Archives to bring headlines, stories and images from the era to you. TheContinue reading “Integration at Florida State University”

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