Photo Collection

The Florida Photographic Collection of the Florida State Archives provides vast visual documentation of Florida, its people and its culture. Images of women appear throughout the more than 800,000 photographs and 2,000 movies and videotapes in this nationally recognized collection.

The holdings of the Photographic Collection form the most complete portrait of Floridians in the state. Women are represented in the home, in the workforce and in the military. They are shown washing, hunting, cooking, plowing, teaching, sewing, politicking, and playing. Subject matter is diverse in terms of ethnicity and religion. There are numerous stereotypical and sexist images, as well as a multitude of strong pioneer portraits. Women of all ages, of all races, and of all social classes are represented.

The majority of the photographs of women are found in the general photographic section, arranged alphabetically by subject (the Collection includes subject and personal name finding aids). Images of women can be found in all subject categories including agriculture, aviation, government, integration, industry, railroads, slavery, towns, and universities.

Most of the holdings in the Collection have been obtained singly or in small groups. However, there are a number of prominent collections containing images of women that are not included in the general files. Collections of possible interest follow.

M82-148 Bedell Collection

Seminole Mission Photographs, 1933-1961. 126 items.
These black-and-white images reflect the lives of Florida's Seminole Indians and the missionary activities of Deaconess Harriet Bedell among them. The photographs include group portraits of Seminole men, women, and children, as well as images of the Seminoles engaged in a variety of daily work and recreational activities.

M83-9 Herbert and Elizabeth Brown Collection.

Glass Negatives and Photographs, 1903-1910. 1.00 cubic feet.
This collection consists of glass negatives of Eastpoint and Apalachicola. It includes family portraits and photographs of women working in fields, swimming, and on the beach.

M83-25 Russell Peithman Collection.

Photographs, 1950s. .25 cubic feet.
This collection consists of photographs of Seminole Indians. They portray Seminole life on the Brighton and Big Cypress Reservations. There are many images of Native American women and girls.

M87-26 Slade Studio.

Negatives, 1945-1974. 40,000 items.
Harvey Slade was a commercial and portrait studio photographer in Tallahassee. The collection is comprised primarily of portraits of Leon County residents.

M87-29 Spottswood Collection.

Negatives and Photographs, 1916-1967. 25,000 items.
This collection consists of images taken by commercial photographers John Gordon "Jack" Spottswood and his son J. Gordon in the Jacksonville area. There are some portraits, but the photographs primarily document Jacksonville's businesses, organizations, and street scenes. Women are represented throughout the collection. Three areas of interest are postmortem photographs, women working in health care, and union strike photos.

M87-30 Alvan S. Harper Collection.

Negatives and Photographs, 1884-1910. 1,600 items.
This collection consists of glass negatives and photographs by noted portrait photographer Alvan S. Harper, who worked in Philadelphia before moving to Tallahassee in 1885. Many of the 1,300 portraits in the collection are of women. Especially noteworthy are Harper's portraits of middle-class African-American women.

M87-34 Red Kerce Collection.

Negatives and Photographs, 1940s-1960s. 1,600 items.
Photojournalist Ben L. "Red" Kerce settled in Tallahassee in 1944. This collection contains approximately 1,600 images of the Tallahassee area, including images of news events, Florida government officials, fairs, street scenes, and residences. Women are well represented throughout the collection.

M87-48 The Granger Collection.

Negatives and Photographs, 1940s-1950s. 1,600 items.
Forest Granger worked as a commercial photographer in Tallahassee. His photographs include street scenes, parades, clubs, and portraits. There are many images of women.

S 828 and S 1047 Dept. of Commerce. Division of Tourism.

Photographs and Movies, 1940-1990. 60,000 items.
The Division of Tourism produces advertising, publicity, and promotional literature to create and build Florida tourism and to encourage visitors from other states and countries to come to Florida. Women are represented in many categories, including agriculture, recreation, education, industry, and glamour.