The Florida Ephemera Collection

The Art of Tourism

About the Collection
The Florida Ephemera Collection consists of some 8,000 items related to the promotion of Florida, its resort and agricultural industries, and Florida memorabilia.  These items are individually numbered and stored in ring-binders under general subject headings.  They range in date from 1854 to 1979.  An in-house electronic database provides a preliminary search index (not yet accessible on the web).  In addition to the items in the Ephemera Collection, the library has thousands of individually bound pamphlets, tourist guides, and tourist maps, as well as a postcard collection and a stereo-opticon collection (with viewer).

The Ephemera Collection is a wonderful source of Florida-theme artwork for book illustrations.  The personnel at the Department of Special Collections are happy to assist in the selection and reproduction of images.  Items from the collection have appeared in the following books:  Come on Down: Pitching Paradise During the Roaring '20s, Jeff LaHurd, Sarasota Alliance for Historic Preservation, Inc., 1995, and See the U.S.A., The Art of the American Travel Brochure, by John Margolis and Eric Baker, Chronicle Books, San Francisco, 2000.

The collection is divided into the following categories:  Cities, Geographic Arrangement (99 binders, 2502 items);  Railroad, Hotel, Steamship and Bus Lines (including the Florida East Coast and Plant systems) (25 binders, 700 items);  Brochures on Tourism, Immigration, and Agriculture (16 binders, 260 items); Guides, Maps, Photo-engraved and Lithographic Souvenir Booklets, Postcards, Letters (15 binders, 950 items); Hotels and Motels, Geographically Arranged (9 binders, 823 items); Attractions, Geographically Arranged (17 binders, 1789 items); Illustrated Adventure Stories (1 binder, 13 items); Government Documents and Miscellaneous Materials (10 binders, no count).

Examples from the Collection
The following links provide a few examples of the types of items contained in the collection.  Emphasis is on 19th- and early 20th-century brochures and engravings, although the collection also includes thousands of tourist attraction brochures from the 1940s through 1970s.

Cities and Towns of the Florida Boom
Miami (# 1110) 1925 Cover
St. Petersburg (# 2084) 1919 Cover
St. Petersburg (# 2384) 1919 Front
St. Petersburg (Same) Back
Tampa (# 2285) 1909 Cover
Jacksonville (# 751) n.d. Cover
St. Augustine (# 1859) c. 1915 Cover
St. Augustine 1916 Cover
Kissimmee n.d. Cover
Lakeland (# 858) 1924 Cover
New Smyrna (# 1298) l927 Cover
Sanford (# 2267) 1925 Cover
Winter Park (# 2436) l924 Cover
Eustis (# 435) c. 1925 Cover
Penny Farms (# 1515) c. 1927 Cover
Gardendale (# 553) c. 1925 Cover
Railroad Memorabilia
Florida East Coast Railway Guide 1910 Cover
Florida East Coast Railway and Hotels, with fold outs 1911 Cover
Plant System Guide to the South (# 4641) 1890s? Cover
Gun and Rod, published by Plant System (# 4632) 1895 Cover
Plant System Brochures and Time Tables Cover
Plant System Memorabilia Items
Central Short Line to Florida (# 2641) n.d. Cover
Dixie Route to Florida (# 2574) n.d. Cover
Souvenir Albums, 19th Century
Palatka, St. Johns, & Ocklawaha, Witterman Bros., New York 1883 Cover
Same, Palatka on the St. Johns Print
St. Augustine, Chas. F. Schneur, Agent, Mauch Chunk, Pa. 1881 Cover
Same, St. Augustine from Fort Marion Print
Pensacola, Adolph Wittemann, New York (# 1520) 1885 Cover
Same, Pensacola Harbor Print
TipTop Weekly adventure stories (# 4752) 1901 Cover
All-Sports Library adventure stories (# 4755) 1906 Cover
Bardell, Miniature Photo album of Miami (# 1170a) 1925 Photos
Bardell, Miniature Photo album of Orlando 1923 Photos
Jacksonville in Flames, An Artistic Description of a Gloomy Affair c. 1901 Cover
Same, City Building and Market after the Fire Photo
The Underground Wealth &c., of Polk and Desoto Counties c. 1890 Cover
Florida Citrus Exchange citrus fruit pamphlet (# 3216) 1916 Cover
Florida and How to Get There (# 2646) n.d. Cover

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Send comments and/or questions about this site to James Cusick, curator, Florida history
Updated April 1, 2000