Selections from the collections:


The Department of Special and Area Studies Collections encompasses two units: Special Collections and Area Studies Collections. Special Collections holds primary source and rare and special print collections of the University of Florida Libraries and includes the Rare Book Collection, the Manuscript Collection, the University of Florida Archives, and named collections: the P. K. Yonge Library of Florida History, the Belknap Collection for the Performing Arts, and the Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature. Area Studies is comprised of the Latin American Collection, the African Studies Collection, the Isser and Rae Price Library of Judaica, and the Asian Studies Collection.

The exhibit, “Selections from the collections: African American history in Special Collections,” features a sampling of materials from our special collections holdings that document and illuminate the experience of African Americans. The items, selected with care by our curators, suggest a broad coverage of that experience in terms of both chronology and endeavors. Of course, we had to shape our choices according to the physical constraints of our Exhibit Gallery. There are many materials that we would like to have had on display, but just wouldn't fit. To direct you to other holdings, the web version of this catalog and exhibit will highlight additional materials and information for your consideration. We hope that this exhibit will broadcast the department's goal of enhancing our holdings in African American history and that we are interested in obtaining materials from the local to national-level. These and other holdings are available for consultation and use by students, faculty, and the general public in our Research Room located on the second floor, Smathers Library (East) at the University of Florida. Thanks and appreciation go to the following individuals for their participation in the project, by selecting from their collections, preparing the catalog text, and assisting in the preparation and staging of this exhibit: Jeffrey Barr, Flo Turcotte (Rare Books); Jim Liversidge (Belknap Collection); Rita Smith (Baldwin Library); Carl Van Ness, Frank Orser, Joyce Dewsbury (Archives and Manuscripts); and James Cusick (Yonge Library). It was indeed a team effort and I am pleased to acknowledge and recognize the important work of Barbara Hood, Mandelyn Hutcherson, John Freund, Joe Aufmuth, Bill Hanssen, Russ Fairman, and Susan Lupi from University of Florida Libraries. The Howe Society co-sponsored the exhibit and program. Distinguished guests participated in the program that formally opened the exhibit, including Dr. Lemuel B. Moore, III (director of Cultural Affairs, City of Gainesville) and Dr. David Colburn (professor of history and provost, University of Florida). They honored us with their contribution of time and talents. Finally, thanks go to my colleague in Special Collections, Joel Buchanan (our African American history liaison), who continues to inspire and lead us in many important ways. This exhibit was his idea and his guidance, insight, and leadership made it all possible.

Robert A. Shaddy, Chair Special and Area Studies Collections

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Created March 20, 2004