Florida History in Newspapers

Search Links About the Collection
To search for current and historic newspaper holdings at the library, go to WebLuis and fill in the menu box for a subject search with this type of search string: Name of County (Fla.)--Newspapers or City name (Fla.)--Newspapers

Go to WebLUIS

Florida Newspapers Online

Florida Newspaper Project

     Newspaper Project Database

UCF Guide to Florida Newspapers

Newspaper Articles, 1762-1885

The Florida newspaper collection in the P. K. Yonge Library of Florida History and the main wing of the George A. Smathers Library is the largest and most comprehensive collection of its type in the state. The combined holdings at the University of Florida total more than 1000 Florida newspaper titles ranging in date from the late 18th through the 20th centuries.  Every county and major city, as well as many small towns in the state, are represented. As part of an on-going project to collect important local and county newspapers, the library subscribes to 64 current titles.  You can search for titles through WebLuis or through the database developed by the Florida Newspaper Project in conjunction with the United States Newspaper Project (see links at left for explanation and access).

More on the P.K. Yonge Newspaper Collection
This collection represents a commitment initiated by P. K. Yonge for whom the Florida History collection is named. Mr. Yonge originally conceived the collection as a private one and then later as a public entity which would document the history of the state to the fullest extent possible and from a variety of vantage points including the economic, social and political elements of its development.

In 1947, following the lead of P.K. Yonge, Julien Yonge expanded the newspaper collection by obtaining microfilm of many nineteenth-century and early twentieth-century Florida papers from the Library of Congress, the National Archives, and other major repositories. Julien Yonge also established the Florida Newspaper Project, dedicated to preserving rare newspapers on microfilm. Through personal and professional connections he was able to borrow original issues of Florida newspapers from publishers and collectors and to have them microfilmed in Gainesville.  Yonge also attended to the preservation of twentieth-century newspapers by subscribing to papers throughout the state and microfilming  these issues on a regular basis. His goal was to make certain that at least one newspaper from each of Florida's sixty-seven counties would be preserved on microfilm.  This project continues to the current day.

Newspapers and Florida History
The evolution of a popular press in British North America meant that events in frontier Florida were reported and commented upon. In particular, newspapers of South Carolina and Georgia port cities described events in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Florida. The Yonge Library has obtained microfilm of many such Southern newspapers.

The library holds microfilm copies of the following Charleston, South Carolina, papers (now housed in the Microfilm Room of the Main Library):

South Carolina Gazette (1732 - 1775); Times (1800-1821); Courier (1803-1873); Columbian Herald (1787-1790); and Mercury (1822-1868).

Accounts of Florida occurrences are likewise found in film of these Savannah, Georgia, newspapers:

Georgia Gazette (1763-1770, 1774-1776, 1778-1796); Gazette of Georgia (1783-1788); Georgia Republican and State Intelligencer (1802-1808); Savannah Republican (1817-1849); and Morning News (1850-1863, 1866-1910). Among Milledgeville, Georgia, papers held are the Georgia Journal (1809-1840), Southern Recorder (1820-1861) and the Federal Union (1830-1862).

Over the last 40 years the newspaper collection has continued to develop. Scholars make particularly good use of the Newspaper Archive as the source material for their research. To take but two examples: David R. Colburn and Richard Scher's Florida Gubernatorial Politics in the 20th Century (Tallahassee: Florida State University, 1980) relied extensively on newspaper reports for its source material.  James W. Button's Blacks and Social Change (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1989) used the newspapers in Yonge to document the impact of the civil rights movement in Florida and in other communities in the region.

The collection serves as a resource not only for the University of Florida community but also as a state and regional resource. Small local and county libraries rely on the Yonge collection to supply them with microfilm copies of their area newspapers. Individuals from all walks of life use the collection for their own family or local history projects.

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Copyright © 1999 University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries.
Department of Special Collections
P. O. Box 117007 Gainesville, FL 32611-7007 (352) 273-2755
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Send comments and/or questions about this site to James Cusick, curator, Florida history jamcusi@uflib.ufl.edu.
Updated November 2, 1999