About the Florida Photographic Collection

The Florida Photographic Collection is a internationally recognized component of the State Archives of Florida and contains over one million images, and over 6,000 movies and video tapes. Over 174,000 of the photographs have been scanned and placed on this website.

The collection spans a wide range of visual images from copies of mid 15th Century maps to current photographs. Most of the holdings in the collection have been obtained singly or in small groups. Together, they form the most complete portrait of Florida available--one that draws its strength from family pictures, the homes of Floridians, their work, and their pastimes

Allen Covington Morris, distinguished historian, journalist, and author of numerous books on Florida history and state government, officially established the Florida Photographic Collection in 1952. But its origins go back to when Morris began compiling photographs of Florida for his bi-annually published book, The Florida Handbook, during the late 1940s.

Morris soon discovered that historical images of Florida were difficult to acquire. He realized that while a few organizations collected photographs of specific areas or persons, no one was preserving historical images for the state as a whole. With the assistance of Dr. Doak Campbell, then president, the Florida Photographic Archives was begun in 1952 at Florida State University. Morris used his newspaper and political connections to gather photographs of Florida's people and places. The collection, housed first in Dodd Hall and later in the R.M. Strozier Library, grew rapidly.

His wife Joan Morris became the photographic archivist and curator of the collection in 1970 when demands elsewhere prohibited Morris from continuing in that position. In 1982, the collection moved to the State Archives of Florida in the R.A. Gray Building, where today it continues to expand in size and scope.

Allen Morris became the Clerk of the House of Representatives for the State of Florida in 1966. One of Morris' former colleagues, journalist Jim Minter, observed that Morris was "the Grandfather of the Florida House and Senate," a spiritual guide who trained several generations of Florida's public officials in the high ethics of practical politics. He remained as House Clerk until his retirement in 1986, but continued on as Clerk emeritus until 1996.

Morris passed away in 2002. Joan Morris remained the collection's curator until her retirement in 2004.


Copies of any photograph in the collection are available for a nominal fee. Click here to access the current fee schedule for obtaining reproductions. We hope you enjoy browsing the images--and please, remember that this collection was built on donations. If you have Florida-related images that you are interested in donating or loaning, please contact the staff at Archives@dos.state.fl.us. The State Archives of Florida appreciates your interest in the Florida Memory Program.

  • Joan and Allen Morris, 1972
    Joan and Allen Morris, 1972
  • Joan and Allen Morris, 19--
    Joan and Allen Morris, 1980s
  • Department of Commerce presenting films to Florida Photographic Archives, 1964
    Department of Commerce presenting films to Florida Photographic Archives, 1964
  • Joan and Allen Morris in revolutionary costume for one of their Christmas cards, 1976
    Joan and Allen Morris in revolutionary costume for one of their Christmas cards, 1976