Special & Area Studies Collections
PO Box 117005
George A. Smathers Libraries
University of Florida
205 Smathers Library
Gainesville, FL 32611-7005
(Physical address: 1508 Union Rd)

Email: special@uflib.ufl.edu
Phone: 352.273.2755
Fax: 352.846.2746

News and Events

See news for the full libraries here.

See the Facebook pages for collections for more news:

Spring 2014

Fall 2013

Summer 2013 and Prior

Department Chair Rich Bennett Retires - May 1, 2013

Special & Area Studies Collections Chair Rich Bennett has retired after over 36 years working as a librarian here at UF. During the 1980s and 1990s Rich served as chair of the library's Circulation Department (later known as Access Services). From 1994 to 2008 he was Electronic Access Services Coordinator for the Smathers Libraries. He began his tenure as chair of this department in 2008. Jim Cusick is currently serving as interim chair of the department.

An Exhibition Making the Case for (Very) Used Books - July 29, 2011

The Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature contains more than 100,000 volumes, many of which were used by children. The interaction of the child and the book is evident in the mark of the hand in the Baldwin; there are many examples of marginalia, doodles and inscriptions, bookplates, prize books, crayon scrawl, hand-colored plates, love notes and book anathema. In addition, many of these books have been used so heavily that they expose somnotexts, or sleeping texts, of scrap paper that were bound into the spines of nineteenth century children?s books as padding. These fragments, traditionally referred to as binder?s waste, revel in their eccentricity; handwritten sheet music, surgical texts, advertisements for moth killer, Shakespeare and artifacts of the bindery have all survived in this manner. These unusual para- and peritextual phenomenon will be on display as part of the exhibition, Anomalies and Curiosities of the Baldwin Library of Historical Children?s Literature, curated by Krissy Wilson and on display August 1-September 15, 2011 in the Smathers Library second floor gallery.

Department Welcomes New Curator of Architecture Archives - February 7, 2011

We are very pleased to welcome Cynthia Peterson as the new Architecture Archives Curator in the Department of Special Collections and Area Studies. Established in 2004 as a partnership between the Smathers Libraries and the UF School of Architecture, the Architecture Archives has become a leading repository for historical records pertaining to the architects and architecture of Florida and the Caribbean. Ms. Peterson previously had worked for several years as an archival consultant for architectural and design collections.

New Exhibition Celebrates Black History Month - February 4, 2011

The Smathers Libraries and UF Center for African American Studies celebrate Black History Month and the works of author Jim Haskins with an exhibition in Smathers Library, second floor gallery, from February 4-25, 2011. Jim Haskins (1941-2005) was a University of Florida English professor and prolific author. The exhibition, James Haskins: Author, Teacher and Social Activist, includes many of his books along with photographs, notes, awards and personal items. A reception will be held Saturday, February 19 from 2:00-3:30 p.m. in Smathers Library, Room 1A. Honored guests include Kathy Benson Haskins; Dr. Irma McClaurin, President of Shaw University and colleague of Jim Haskins; and Stephanie Evans, Director of African American Studies at UF. Light refreshments will be served and there will be a book signing by Kathy Benson Haskins. If you are interested in attending the reception, please RSVP to Lela Johnson at lela@ufl.edu or (352) 273-2505 by February 15. Parking is available in the Criser Hall parking lot and the O?Connell Center.

New Exhibition Features Book Arts - September 1, 2010

The ARTBOUND Exhibition features contemporary works by students making books in book arts and/or fine arts programs across the United States. The exhibited works were selected by jurors from UF Smathers Libraries and the UF School of Art and Art History for the First Annual Student Book Arts Competition. These 32 handmade artists? books, which will become part of our permanent collection, were created using a variety of media such as letterpress printing, intaglio, inkjet, screen printing, and handmade paper. The exhibition will run Sept. 1 - October 1, 2010, in the Special Collections exhibition gallery on the second floor of Smathers Library (Library East). An opening reception for the exhibition will be held Wednesday, September 8 2010, 10?11:30 a.m. During the opening reception, a small ?LinoScribe? sign press will be set up for making a letterpress print. You can ink the block, print it, and take the print home with you! To view the ARTBOUND books online, please visit: https://www.uflib.ufl.edu/artbound/. Selected items from the exhibition have been digitized, and are available online in the Book Arts Digital Collection, part of the the UF Digital Collections (UFDC).

Saving St. Augustine's Architectural Treasures - July 1, 2010

We're excited to announce that Flagler College and UF are collaborating on a grant-funded project to conserve and digitize two important architectural collections held here in the Architecture Archives. Conservation and digitization of the Flagler College Hotel Ponce de Leon Architectural Collection and the Memorial Presbyterian Church Architectural Collection will be supported in part by a Federal Save America's Treasures grant administered by the National Endowment for the Humanities. The Saving St. Augustine's Architectural Treasures project will conserve and digitize these irreplaceable, earliest architectural drawings of John Carrère and Thomas Hastings. Created in St. Augustine, Florida, for Henry Flagler, the collections include drawings for both the Hotel Ponce de Leon (1885-1887), now Ponce de Leon Hall at Flagler College (National Register, 1975), and the Memorial Presbyterian Church (1889-1890) (National Register, 1983). During this two-year project, over 260 drawings will be conserved and reproduced digitally by the UF Smathers Libraries. Once the drawings have been digitized, they will be made available online in the UF Digital Collections (UFDC). To learn more and to follow the progress of the project please visit: http://flaglerdrawings.wordpress.com/.

Celebrating the Opening of the Al Burt Papers - April 1, 2010

An reception will be held April 11 in Gainesville to celebrate the opening of the Al Burt Papers by the Department of the Special and Area Studies Collections. This important historical collection of the renowned Florida author, journalist and columnist is now available to scholars and researchers. The collection was donated to the University of Florida by Al and Gloria Burt and their family in 2009. The opening reception will feature a ceremonial ribbon cutting, displays documenting Al Burt?s career, audiovisual recordings from the collection, and readings from his publications. The event will be held Sunday, April 11, 2010, 2:00-4:00 p.m., at the Matheson Museum, 513 East University Avenue, Gainesville, FL 32601-5451. Please RSVP by April 7 to James Cusick, 352-273-2778 or jgcusick@ufl.edu.

Welcome Rebecca Jefferson, New Head of Price Library of Judaica - March 8, 2010

Rebecca Jefferson is the new head of the Price Library of Judaica. Jefferson previously worked at the Genizah Research Unit at Cambridge University Library. She received her Ph.D. and MPhil in Medieval Hebrew from King's College, University of Cambridge, and her BA Hons in Hebrew from University College London.

New Exhibition Spotlights Broadway Musical Theatre - March 8, 2010

The Broadway Meloday: Musical Theatre Highlights from the Great White Way 1900-1950, the latest exhibit in the Special and Area Studies Collections Exhibit Gallery, on the second floor of Smathers Library, opened on Monday March 8th. The creators, performers and productions of Broadway in the first half of the 20th Century are showcased in a series of exhibit cases representing Florenz Ziegfeld (who epitomized the flamboyant Broadway impresario) and a handful of the legendary composers: George, M. Cohan, Irving Berlin, George Gershwin, Cole Porter, Richard Rodgers, Lorenz Hart, Oscar Hammerstein II, Eubie Blake and Thomas ?Fats? Waller. The exhibit presents a rare selection of playbills, programs, posters, sheet music, photographs, video images and miscellaneous ephemera from the vast theatre holdings of the Belknap Collection for the Performing Arts and the general Popular Culture Collection. This iridescent, melodic and entertaining exhibition will run through April 30th.

Efrain Barradas Collection of Mexican and Cuban Film Posters - January 15, 2010

A new exhibition features selections from the Efrain Barradas Collection of Mexican and Cuban Film Posters collected and donated by Dr. Ramon A. Figueroa. The collection, which is preserved and housed in the Popular Culture Collections of the Department of Special and Area Studies Collections, consists of 378 film posters, lobby cards and window cards. The exhibition featuring the selected posters from the collection will be on display January 15 - February 28, 2010 in the Special Collections exhibit gallery on the second floor of the Smathers Library. A special dedication ceremony for the collection and opening reception for the exhibition will be held Friday, January 22, 3:00-6:00 p.m. in Smathers Library, Room 1A. The entire collection has been digitized, and is available online via the UFDC.

Howard T. Odum Papers Now Available for Research - January 5, 2010

We are pleased to announce that the papers of renowned ecologist, environmental scientist and University of Florida professor, Howard T. Odum., are now available to researchers. The Odum Papers document the life and career of one of the most important ecologists and environmental scientists in the 20th Century. The collection spans the majority of this life, with materials dating from 1935 to 2003. The bulk of the collection is comprised of Odum's professional files related to his pioneering research and theory, as well as his educational activities. Funds to support the preservation, arrangement and description of the Odum Papers were generously donated by his wife, Elisabeth C. Odum. For a complete description of the Odum Papers please consult the Guide to the Howard T. Odum Papers. A reception celebrating the collection will be held for attendees of the Emergy Research Conference on Thursday, January 14, 2010 in Special Collections.

"Sarasota Modern: The Sarasota School of Architecture" Exhibition in Smathers Library - November 11, 2009

This exhibition features architectural models, drawings, and photographs from John Howey?s Sarasota School of Architecture Collection in the UF Architecture Archives. Architects Ralph Twitchell, Paul Rudolph, Victor Lundy, Tim Seibert, Jack West, and Gene Leedy, among others, are represented. The exhibition is on display November 11 - December 24, 2009 in the Special Collections exhibit gallery on the second floor of the Smathers Library. An opening reception will be held November 18, 2009 2-4 pm with special guest speaker, John Howey. A complementary online exhibition features additional images and a rotating 360 degree view of an architectural model (courtesy of the UF Digital Library Center).

Architecture Archives Tour on October 10 - September 28, 2009

The George A. Smathers Libraries at the University of Florida will host a tour of the Architecture Archives on Saturday, October 10, 2009. The tour is part of a "North America Tour Day" organized by DOCOMOMO US, an organization that promotes the documentation and conservation of buildings, sites and neighborhoods of the Modern Movement. October also is American Archives Month, so it is the perfect time to focus on the importance of the historical records preserved in the Architecture Archives at UF. The tour will highlight the collections, facilities and activities of the Architecture Archives, which is located in the Special Collections Reading Room. The historical materials on display will include models, drawings, blueprints, and photographs from the collections of Alfred Browning Parker, Rufus Nims, Kenneth Treister, William Morgan, and others. Three tours will be conducted at 9:30, 10:30 and 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, October 10. Each tour will last about 30 minutes. The Architecture Archives is located on the 2nd floor of the Smathers Library building (Library East) on the UF campus, Gainesville. For more information about the tour, please contact archivist John Nemmers in the Architecture Archives at 352-273-2766 or jnemmers@ufl.edu.

New Book Arts Specialist - August 25, 2009

We are happy to welcome Ellen Knudson as the department's new Book Arts Specialist. Ellen is a book artist and designer originally from North Carolina. She holds an MFA in Book Arts from The University of Alabama and produces handmade books under the imprint Crooked Letter Press. Ellen has been a book artist for twelve years and a professional graphic designer for almost 20 years including graphic design positions at The Art Institute of Chicago and The Detroit Institute of Arts. She has taught letterpress printing at The University of Alabama, graphic design at Mississippi State University and at Wayne State University, and workshops at multiple venues across the U.S. In addition to her position as book arts curator in Special Collections, Ellen also will provide design/letterpress instruction at UF.

Special Collections Welcomes New Rare Books Librarian - July 16, 2009

We are pleased to announce that Nancy M. Poehlmann is the new Rare Books Librarian. Previously, Nancy was head of the Humanities and Special Collections Cataloging unit in the Cataloging and Metadata department here in the Smathers Libraries. Nancy has a Master of Library and Information Science degree and a Master of Arts degree from Indiana University, Bloomington. She currently is working on a Ph.D. at Indiana University in comparative literature.

Chinese Artifacts on Display in Smathers Library - May 29, 2009

The exhibition Smathers Libraries Chinese Artifacts - Literary and Otherwise will be on display in the Smathers Library second floor gallery June 4 through July 30, 2009. Over the last decade the Smathers Libraries has been actively building the Chinese Studies Collection in print as well as electronic, film and other non-book formats, to meet the curricular, research and informal reading/viewing needs of the UF community. This exhibit of artifacts, many coming to the library courtesy of a recent generous donation, features art that may or may not contain literary components, but that illustrates the refined aesthetic and literate sensibilities that underlie traditional Chinese cultural production, as it played out in such works as scroll paintings that include calligraphic word puzzles and ancestral portraits that honor the family names through history. The magnificent 13th-century Head of Guanyin, the Goddess of Mercy and Protector of Children, who was highly revered and often portrayed in Chinese literature influenced by Buddhism and Taoism, forms the centerpiece of this exhibit. An opening reception will be held Thursday, June 4 at 4:00 p.m. in the gallery.

"Alternative UF: Counterculture Through the Decades" Exhibition in Smathers Library - April 20, 2009

We are pleased to present a new exhibition entitled Alternative UF: Counterculture Through the Decades. The exhibition was created by Anastasia Bower, Candice Ellis, Ian Gaffney, and Bronwyn McCarthy, who are enrolled in HIS 4944 Preserving History and working as undergraduate student interns in Special Collections during the Spring 2009 semester. Covering three decades of UF history and culture, the exhibits feature photographs, UF yearbooks, letters, newspaper articles, graphic materials, artifacts and other items from the holdings of the University Archives, the P.K. Yonge Library of Florida History, and the Department of Special and Area Studies Collections. The exhibition covers political activism, sit-ins and other Civil Rights demonstrations, protests against the Viet Nam War, the alternative press at UF, women on campus, student life, and the hunt for homosexuals and other "subversives" on campus by the Johns Committee in the 1950s and 60s. The exhibition will be on display April 20 - May 31, 2009 in the 2nd Floor Gallery of Smathers Library, and the opening reception will be Monday, April 20, 12:00-1:30 p.m. in Smathers Library.

Federal NHPRC Grant Awarded to Digitize Six Everglades Collections - February 23, 2009

The Libraries have been awarded $72,650 from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) to digitize six archival collections related to the drainage, development, and conservation of the Everglades in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This three-year project, America's Swamp: The Historic Everglades Project, will use cost-effective methods to digitize approximately 100,000 pages documenting early plans to drain the Everglades in the 1880s and 1890s, the dredging of canals and subsequent development of the destroyed wetlands at the start of the 20th century, as well as early attempts by conservationists to preserve a portion of the Everglades. More information about the project, as well as a list of the collections, is available on the America's Swamp project page.

"Reflecting on African Americans" Exhibit open in Smathers Library - Feb 2, 2009

The exhibition Reflecting on African Americans: History and Culture is open in the Smathers Library second floor exhibit gallery through March 2, 2009. The exhibition features materials from the Department of Special and Area Studies Collections and community members. An exhibit reception and lecture will be held Friday, February 13 from 1:00-2:30 p.m. on the second floor of Smathers Library. Featured speaker is Dr. Debra Walker King, associate professor in the UF Department of English. Her topic is: Sitting at the Table of Change: Dr. Debra Walker King speaks about her book "African Americans and the Culture of Pain." The reception/lecture is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.

2009 Exhibition Features Cuban Rarities - Dec 12, 2008

In the first exhibition of 2009, Cuba: Past, Present and Future, we will exhibit rare books, manuscripts, maps, photographs and other items from the holdings of the Smathers Libraries covering over 200 years of Cuban history and culture. These include early imprints on Cuba's colonial past, efforts for self-governance, slavery, nationalism, foreign investment, crime, women's rights, spirituality, popular culture and human rights. Special attention is given to twentieth century political movements and upheavals. January 2009 marks the 50th anniversary of Fidel Castro's revolution, and the far reaching impacts of those events and their lasting changes on Cuba, Florida and the world will be examined. The exhibition will be on display January 9-23, 2009 in the 2nd Floor Gallery of Smathers Library, and the opening reception will be Sunday, January 11, 4:00-7:00 p.m. in Smathers Library. The opening reception will feature a panel discussion, "Lessons of 1959," with three guest panelists: José Alvarez, Professor of Food and Resource Economics at UF; Lisandro Pérez, Professor of Sociology at Florida International University; and moderator Carmen Diana Deere, Director of the UF Center for Latin American Studies. For more information about the exhibition and reception, please view the flyer and invitation. For more information about our Cuban holdings, please view the brochure: Cuban Collections at the University of Florida.

Presidential Campaigning Exhibition Opens in November - Oct 8, 2008

On November 3, 2008, just in time for the 2008 presidential election, the Department of Special and Area Studies Collections will open an exciting new exhibition entitled Buttons, Badges, and Bumper Stickers: 160 Years of Presidential Campaigns. The exhibition will feature campaign objects from the extensive collection of John Owen Clark, as well as materials from various collections held in the Department. The exhibition is sponsored by the Stewards of Florida History and the UF Department of Political Science. Historian David Colburn will kick off the event with a discussion of his recently published book, From Yellow Dog Democrats to Red State Republicans: Florida and Its Politics Since 1940, on November 3, from 2:00-3:00 p.m. in Room 1A of Smathers Library (East). Dr. Colburn will speak as part of the Faculty Author Series @ Your Library, which provides an opportunity for members of the campus and regional communities to interact with some of the leading scholars at UF. The exhibition officially opens at 3:00 p.m. with a reception in the 2nd Floor lobby of Smathers Library and a commentary by collector and exhibition curator, John Owen Clark. For more information, contact Dr. Jim Cusick at jamcusi@uflib.ufl.edu.

New Alfred Browning Parker Architecture Archives Endowment - Aug 8, 2008

We are pleased to announce the creation of the Alfred Browning Parker Architecture Archives Endowment, a new initiative intended to support and strengthen the Architecture Archives in Special Collections. As a partnership between the Smathers Libraries and the School of Architecture since 2004, the Architecture Archives has become a leading repository for historical records pertaining to the architects and architecture of Florida. The endowment is named in honor of Professor Emeritus Alfred Browning Parker, the distinguished Florida architect and UF alumnus. A reception in his honor and in celebration of his 92nd birthday will be held on September 26, capping off a week of exhibits, lectures and events that begin on September 22. The weeklong celebration begins September 22 with the opening of an exhibition in the gallery at the Reitz Union, Of a Master's Hand: Alfred Browning Parker. The exhibition features several renderings, plans, and photographs from the Parker Collection in the Architecture Archives. The evening includes a lecture by Dr. Monica Penick of the University of Texas in the Reitz Union Ballroom at 6 pm, followed by a reception in the lobby. The exhibition, which is curated by Professor Martha Kohen and doctoral student, Dereck Winning, of the School of Architecture, will be on display through October 3. On September 24, Parker's 92nd birthday, he will lead a gallery talk at 4 pm in the Reitz Union gallery. On the following day, architect and University of Miami Professor, Jan Hochstim, will lecture in the Reitz Union Auditorium at 6:15 pm. The week culminates with a day of activities on September 26. A tour of Alfred Browning Parker homes in Gainesville will be conducted from 9 a.m. to 12:30 pm, followed by a luncheon. The reception in his honor and in celebration of his 92nd birthday will be held on the evening of September 26 from 6-10 pm in Room 1A of Smathers Library (East). For more information, contact John Nemmers at jnemmers@ufl.edu.

Pop-up, Spin, Pull, Fold: Toy Books from the Baldwin Library - Aug 7, 2008

Pop-up, Spin, Pull, Fold: Toy Books from the Baldwin Library is an exhibition featuring pop-up and movable books from the Baldwin Library that will run from September 2 to October 31, 2008, in the second floor exhibit gallery in Smathers Library East. The exhibition will be a chronological display of children's books which foster an interactive experience between the reader and the book, including the complex pop-up books of current paper engineers such as Robert Sabuda. A reception will take place on October 2 in Smathers Library East, which will include a talk at 1:30 pm in Room 1A by paper engineer, Kyle Olmon, entitled, "How to Build a Castle: Contemporary Pop-up Book Production with a Look at the Past." This presentation will be followed by a reception in the exhibit area, providing an opportunity to view the exhibition. At 3:30 pm, following the reception, Olmon will lead a hands-on workshop for registered participants, featuring construction of pop-ups. Seating for this final event of the day is limited. To reserve a place in this workshop and receive a brief supplies list, contact Rita Smith.

Baldwin Library Honored with Historical Marker - Aug 7, 2008

On October 2, 2008, at 1 pm there will be the special dedication ceremony for a marker designating the Baldwin Library as an historical campus site. This ceremony will take place in the courtyard to the west of Smathers Library. The UF Alumni Association is sponsoring the markers throughout campus with the intention of providing returning alumni the opportunity to take a "walking tour" of the various historical markers. With the project, the Alumni Association hopes to highlight and publicize the research that is accomplished on campus and draw attention to the rich resources that are available to both students and alumni. The 103,000 volume Baldwin Library, one of the largest collections of historical English language children's books in the world, is cited for the depth of its collection and for pioneering and supporting the study of children's literature as an academic discipline.

Baldwin Books featured in Alice in Wonderland Exhibit at the Harn Museum of Art - July 15, 2008

A new exhibition at the UF Harn Museum of Art, Almost Alice: New Illustrations of Wonderland by Maggie Taylor, includes several editions of Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland from the Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature. The exhibition features prints of forty-five composite digital images by Gainesville artist Maggie Taylor, which she created for publication in a new edition of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. The exhibition will be on display July 15, 2008 - October 19, 2008. On September 14, 2008, artist Taylor will lecture in the Harn Museum auditorium, followed by a "High Tea" reception and a signing of the new book. Baldwin curator Rita Smith will participate in a panel discussion on October 12 at 3 pm, along with Kenneth Kidd, UF associate professor specializing in children's literature; Eric Segal, UF assistant professor of art history; and the Harn photography curator, Tom Southall.

Welcome Rich Bennett, New Chair of Special and Area Studies Collections - July 2, 2008

We are pleased to announce that Rich Bennett is the new Chair of the Special and Area Studies Collections Department starting in July 2008. Rich has been a librarian at the University of Florida since 1978. During this time he has served in key leadership positions including Access Services Department Chair (1982-1994) and Electronic Access Services Coordinator (1994-2008). In addition to serving on several standing library management groups and councils for many years, he has also been appointed to many library-wide committees and task forces, having served as chair of several. He has been a key staff member as the Libraries increasingly addressed issues involving the transition from a primarily print-based research resource operation to one that involves significant budget allocation to electronic delivery of information resources. Beginning in 2002 he also served as the UF Libraries' Project Coordinator for implementation of the Aleph Library Management System, and has played a lead role in implementation and maintenance of the SFX and MetaLib systems at UF. Rich replaces Jim Cusick, who had served as Interim Chair since July 2007, and who will resume his responsibilities as the Curator of the P.K. Yonge Library of Florida History.

New Exhibit Features Highlights from the Jim Liversidge Collection

A new exhibit, The Passing Parade: A Baby Boomer Collects: The Jim Liversidge Collection, touches upon highlights from politics, television, theatre, film, music, sports and day-to-day current events of the past 50 years. The collection, which was compiled, processed and donated by Jim Liversidge, curator of Popular Culture Collections, is made up of close to seven thousand individual pieces (autographs, scrapbooks, photos, programs, posters, campaign buttons, sheet music, newspaper clippings, audio recordings, VHS and DVD films, artifacts and over 400 book titles). The material is housed in 95 archival boxes (101 linear feet) representing 45 years of collecting from JFK and Vietnam to 9-11 and the current election year. The exhibit is open on the second floor gallery of Smathers Library (East) Monday through Friday, 9:00am to 5:00pm. The exhibit will run until August 28, 2008.

Jim Haskins Exhibit Opens in Special Collections Exhibit Gallery

The exhibit Jim Haskins: The Professor, the Writer, and the Activist is open in the University of Florida Special Collections Exhibit Gallery on the second floor of Smathers Library through March 15, 2008. Haskins (1941-2005) was a University of Florida English professor and prolific author. Included in the exhibit are all of his 150 books along with notes, awards and personal items from the collections of the George A. Smathers Libraries. Haskins' books covered numerous diverse subjects. Many of his books are non-fiction works for children but he also put African American history and experiences into his novels. The languages he wrote in were also diverse, from black dialect to Italian and Spanish. Haskins was one of the founders of African-American studies at UF and he commuted between New York and Gainesville. Haskins alternated between his roles as a professor, a scholar, a writer, an activist and an inspiration to other young African American students but through it all it was said that he always maintained a dignity and quiet intelligence which was noted and respected by those who knew him.

New Exhibition Examines the Ongoing Presence of Alice in Wonderland in American Culture

The Afterlife of Alice in Wonderland is a colorful new exhibition that traces the continued presence of the text and images of Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland in American culture, by presenting a variety of editions, illustrators, media and artifacts, and showcasing the 1969 portfolio edition illustrated by Salvador Dali. The exhibition opens October 15th in Smathers Library (East) in the second floor exhibit gallery. The exhibit is open daily Monday through Friday, and runs through December 15. A Tea Party Reception and Program will be held Wednesday, November 7, 3:30-5:00 p.m. in Smathers Library, Room 1A on the first floor. The reception is free and open to the public, and it is rumored that Alice and the White Rabbit will be on the Plaza of the Americas prior to the tea party reception. The exhibition web site features an overview of the exhibition, a biography of Carroll, and a discussion of the numerous editions and adaptations. The web site also provides a link to the Alice digital collection, part of the University of Florida Digital Collections (UFDC). Several editions of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Through the Looking-Glass, and similar works are available online.

New Interim Chair

Dr. Jim Cusick became the new Interim Chair for the Department in July 2007. He will continue to perform his duties as Curator of the P.K. Yonge Library of Florida History. He replaces Rita Smith, who had served as Interim Chair since July 2006, and who will resume her responsibilities as the Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature Librarian.

Baldwin Library Receives Large Donation from Local Collector

Dr. Robert Egolf of Ocala has donated more than 2,800 children's books to the Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature. The collection spans the the years 1807-2003, and includes many first editions and all of the prestigious Caldecott Medal winners. The donation brings the total volumes of the Baldwin Library to approximately 103,000. A reception was held Monday, March 5, to commemorate the gift.

New Exhibit Honors Prominent African-American Educator

A new exhibition in the Department of Special and Area Studies Collections highlights the extraordinary achievements of a leading African-American educator in Gainesville. The Legacy of A. Quinn Jones, Sr.: "All Negro Children Can Learn" will be on display in the Smathers Library Exhibit Gallery until early March. The career of A. Quinn Jones, Sr. spanned over 42 years as teacher and principal of Alachua County's most important African American school, Lincoln High School. The current exhibition honors the many achievements and lasting legacy of Professor Jones. An opening reception planned for Sunday, January 21, at 4:30 p.m. will be attended by members of the Jones family, former students, fellow educators, and members of the Gainesville community.

Staff Changes Around the Department

Robert Shaddy, chair of the department for the past four years, has accepted a position as Chief Librarian at Queens College (City University of New York). Best of luck to Robert! Rita Smith, librarian for the Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature, will serve as interim chair for the department starting in July. Also, we welcome Yael Herbsman as interim head of the Price Library following the retirement of former Judaica librarian, Robert Singerman (see announcement below). Yael will oversee the transfer of the Price Library from the Education Library to its new home in the renovated Library West.

Judaica librarian Robert Singerman retires

After 27 years with the University of Florida, Judaica librarian and bibliographer Robert Singerman retires in June 2006. Robert came to UF in 1979 from the world-renowned Klau Library at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati. Two years later, the Price Library of Judaica was formally established here on campus, and Robert began his tenure as its first librarian - the only librarian to date. Over the span of his career, he was instrumental in significantly increasing the size of the Judiaca collection from 24,000 volumes to over 85,000 cataloged volumes. Today, the Price Library is without peer in the southeastern United States, and has taken its place alongside other well-respected and mature Judaica collections in the United States. For his outstanding achievements, Robert has been awarded Faculty Emeritus status following his retirement.

To learn more about his career here at UF, please read Robert's own reminiscences, entitled "Not the Work of a Day."

Caribbean holdings exhibited at Historical Museum of Southern Florida

An exhibition of highlights from the University of Florida's George A. Smathers Libraries' Caribbean archival and library materials opened February 24 at the Historical Museum of Southern Florida in Miami. The exhibition, Caribbean Collage: Archival Collections and the Construction of History, spans five centuries of Caribbean history and focuses on the British West Indies, Haiti and Cuba from the eighteenth to the early twentieth century. The exhibition is presented in collaboration with the Department of Special and Area Studies Collections and the Map and Imagery Library. Materials for the exhibit were selected from the holdings of the Latin American Collection, Special Collections, and the Map and Imagery Library. Visit For a news release on the exhibition, visit https://www.uflib.ufl.edu/news2/Caribbean_Coll.html. For more information about the Caribbean Collage exhibition, visit www.historical-museum.org. The exhibition runs through June 4, 2006.

New British Women Writers Exhibit

(Re)Collecting British Women Writers: Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century British Women Writers in Special Collections has opened in the Special and Area Studies exhibit gallery. The eight exhibit cases focus on the following themes: children's books, illustrated texts, science and nature, poems and letters, novels, women and girls, biography and Mary, Queen of Scots. The exhibit, prepared by Cathlena Martin, a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of English, opens in conjunction with the fourteenth annual British Women Writers Conference, March 23-26, at the University of Florida. It is open through May 21, 2006.

The Legacy of Albert L. Cunningham Sr.

Albert L. Cunningham Sr., co-founder of Cunningham's Funeral Home in Ocala, died February 13 at the age of 82. The papers of Cunningham and the records of the Cunningham's Funeral Home, which document the largest minority-owned business in Marion County, were acquired by the Libraries in 2002. He and his brother James founded the funeral home in 1955. As morticians, they played a prominent leadership role in the African American community - like African American morticians throughout the South - in terms of providing a headquarters for political activities; handling banking needs for the community; and facilitating other necessary financial, cultural, and social transactions that required interaction among the segregated components of the South. The collection, which currently is unavailable while it is arranged and preserved, includes burial records, photographs, financial transactions, oral histories, maps, correspondence related to a number of topics such as politics, fashion, and others aspects of life in Florida.

Remarks made by John Ingram, Deputy Director for the Libraries, on the funeral for Albert L. Cunningham, Sr. are available here.

Departmental Highlights for 2005

The Department of Special and Area Studies Collections reports considerable activity and accomplishments during the past year, in the areas of acquisitions and collection development; processing and description; bibliographic instruction and teaching; outreach and public programs; and professional development and research activities. A full summary of these activities is available online in a 2005 Highlights document (in PDF format - requires Adobe Acrobat to view).

Maps of Africa: A Celebration of the 500,000th and 500,001st maps

On Wednesday, November 30, from 11:00 a.m. until noon, there will be a commemorative celebration in the Map & Imagery Library for the addition of the 500,000th and 500,001st maps. The 500,000th map is "Africae described, the manners of their Habits, and Buildings," by John Speed, 1631-32. It is the first English map of Africa. The 500,001st map is "Western side of Africa: Typus orarum maritimarum Guinae, Manicongo, & Angolae ultra" by Jan Huygen van Linschoten, Amsterdam, 1596. Both maps are considered cornerstones for any collection of rare African maps. The two maps, along with other rare and modern African maps, will be on display in the Map & Imagery Library from November 30 through December 7, 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. The Map & Imagery Library and the Africana Collection provided funding, and generous assistance was provided by Elizabeth Harrer in memory of her son Thomas and the Dr. Madelyn M. Lockhart Book Fund in African Studies.

New Papers Related to Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Available

The department recently acquired and made available an accession of papers related to Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings from the offices of Philip S. May, Sr., Rawlings' friend and attorney. This collection was generously donated by Phil May, Jr., of Jacksonville. The papers include legal records and correspondence regarding the Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings estate. Probate documents, estate inventories and tax returns are represented in the legal documents. The correspondence is primarily with the executor of the estate, Rawlings' second husband, Norton Baskin. Other correspondents include Rawlings' other beneficiaries, Arthur Kinnan (Rawlings' brother), the University of Florida Foundation, and Julia Scribner Bingham, her literary executor. A small number of documents not related to the Rawlings estate also were included in this accession. These include a selection of several dozen letters to and from Arthur Kinnan during Rawlings' lifetime, a folder of Brandt & Brandt correspondence, and a folder of materials relating to the Cason v. Baskin (Cross Creek) trial. These materials have been processed and incorporated into the existing Rawlings collections.