TALLAHASSEE, FLA. –
The State Library and Archives of Florida is celebrating a major milestone as the 200,000th historical photograph has been digitized from the Florida Photographic Collection to Florida Memory, its digital outreach program. An image of influential 19th-century author Harriet Beecher Stowe on the steps of Florida’s Old Capitol in 1874 was selected as the 200,000th photograph to go online.
“We are excited to celebrate this significant achievement for Florida Memory, which has digitized photographs that date all the way back to the earliest days of photography,” said Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner. “Florida Memory offers users access to these 200,000 copyright-free images and we hope all Florida residents and visitors take advantage of this great resource to research Florida’s rich culture and history.”
Since 1994, State Archives staff have been working to make images from the popular Florida Photographic Collection available online. The collection was started in 1952 by Florida’s longest-serving House of Representatives clerk, Allen C. Morris. In 1970, Morris’ wife, archivist Joan Perry Morris, became director of the photographic archive. The entire Florida Photographic Collection was transferred to the State Archives of Florida in 1982.
During Joan Morris’ tenure, the collection expanded to include more than one million images donated by families, photographers, businesses, government agencies and newspapers such as the Tallahassee Democrat. The photographs became so celebrated that requests for copies and scans of images accounted for more than half of all reference requests at the State Archives. As a result, archivists launched Florida Memory to preserve, search for and share the widely-used photographs.
In addition to featuring 200,000 photographs, the Florida Memory Program has digitized more than 300,000 archival documents, 250 videos and 2,900 audio recordings. The website also includes resources for teachers, students and researchers. Each week, about 100 new photographs are digitized and made available on the website.
All photographs available on Florida Memory are free of copyright restrictions. Members of the public are encouraged to download and share the digitized archival images, provided they credit the State Archives of Florida. Higher resolution scans or prints can be ordered online using the shopping cart feature or by contacting staff at the Florida Photographic Archives via email at FloridaMemoryStore@dos.myflorida.com or by phone at 850.245.6718.