A Guide to Women's History Collections

at the State Archives of Florida

Florida Photographic Collection

The holdings of the Florida Photographic Collection include more than 1.5 million images and 7,000 movies and videotapes to form the most complete visual portrait of Florida and Floridians available. Comprised of photographs provided by hundreds of individual donors, the collection reflects the homes, families, work, pastimes, and social, cultural, and natural environments of Floridians from the mid-1800s to the present. It documents women in the workforce, in the military and in the home, performing activities as varied as hunting, plowing, teaching, sewing, washing, cooking, politicking and playing. Subject matter is diverse in terms of ethnicity, social class and religion. There are numerous stereotypical and sexist images, as well as a multitude of strong pioneer portraits. Most of the photographs of women are in the General Photographic Collection, arranged alphabetically by subject. The collection includes subject and personal name finding aids. Images of women are in all subject categories including agriculture, aviation, government, integration, industry, railroads, slavery, towns and universities. While the State Archives obtained most of the images in the Florida Photographic Collection singly or in small groups, there are several other significant collections containing numerous photographs of women, as described below.

F.S.C.W. Tarpon Club - Wakulla Springs, Florida

Florida State College for Women Tarpon Club at Wakulla Springs, ca. 1940s

Mother with kids and dogs in the kitchen.

In the kitchen with mother and kids, n.d.

Florida Department of Commerce, Division of Tourism
Florida Promotional Films, 1948-1978
1,528 items

This series consists of films and videotapes used to promote the Florida tourism industry by encouraging visitors from other states and countries to visit Florida. Women are widely represented in films covering a variety of subjects including tourist attractions, communities, industry, sports and government.

Florida Department of Commerce, Division of Tourism
Publicity Photographs, 1940-1996
130 cubic feet

The Division of Tourism used these photographs in 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.

S 1577
Florida Folklife Program
Photographs and Slides of Folk Arts, Artisans, and Performers, 1910-2005
41.25 cubic ft.

This series consists of negatives, photographs and slides that depict folklife festivals and events; artisans and craftspeople , such as quilters, carvers, and weavers, and their work; performances of folk dancers and musicians; educational and cultural programs; various ethnic groups and their art, including the Seminole Indians; and persons employed in traditional Florida industries such as shrimping and turpentining. This series contains many photographs depicting women of various ethnicities and their cultures.

S 1842
Florida Legislature, House Office of the Clerk
Photographs of Florida Political Figures, 1821-2002.
4053 photographs

This series includes portraits and photographs of prominent Florida politicians including governors, members of the cabinet, justices and legislators; print, radio and television journalists; and state agencies, buildings and workers. The series includes images of all Florida Territorial and Statehood Governors and most of Florida's United States Senators and Congressional representatives, cabinet members and state legislators.

American Association of University Women, Miami Branch
Photograph, 1975
1 photo

This photograph of members of the Miami Branch of the national organization and other women's groups documents their support of the Equal Rights Amendment.

Robert E. Fisher
Jacksonville Photographs, 1941-1961
5 cubic feet

Robert E. Fisher worked as a photographer for various agencies and newspapers in Jacksonville, Florida, including the Jacksonville Journal between 1941 and 1961. This collection contains approximately 3,000 of Fisher’s negatives taken for various newspapers, organizations, agencies and individuals. Many of the images are aerial shots of the downtown and subdivision areas of Jacksonville, but there are also many images of and relating to women in advertising, stores and other businesses, clubs and organizations.

Forrest Granger
Tallahassee Photographic Collection, 1940-1966
1,680 items

Forrest Granger worked as a commercial photographer in Tallahassee. His photographs, primarily from the 1940s-1950s, include street scenes, parades, clubs and portraits.

Harriet M. Bedell
Seminole Mission Photographs, 1933-1961
69 photographs

This collection reflects 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.

Brown Family
Photographic Collection, 1898-1912
226 items

This collection consists of glass negatives of Eastpoint and Apalachicola. It includes family portraits and photographs of women working in fields, swimming and relaxing on the beach.

Irvin M. Peithmann
Photographic Collection, 1930-1960
1.25 cubic foot

This collection consists of photographs, negatives and slides of Seminole Indians. They portray Seminole life on the Brighton and Big Cypress Reservations. There are many images of Native American women and girls.

Slade’s Studio
Photographic Collection, 1947-1974
40,000 negatives

Harvey Slade was a commercial and portrait studio photographer in Tallahassee. The collection is comprised primarily of images of Leon County residents. Slade's was the major portrait studio in Tallahassee for many years, and he photographed major figures in political and social circles, including governors and judges and their families.

Jack Spottswood Photography
Spottswood Photographic Collection, 1916-1967
50,000 negatives

This collection consists of images taken by commercial photographers Gordon Spottswood and his son Jack in the Jacksonville area. There are some portraits, but the photographs primarily document Jacksonville’s businesses, organizations and street scenes. Three areas of interest are postmortem photographs, women working in health care and union strike photos.

Alvan S. Harper
Photographic Collection, 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. Especially noteworthy are Harper’s portraits of middle-class Black women.

Benjamin L. “Red” Kerce
Photographic Collection, 1940-1964
1,600 negatives

Photojournalist Benjamin 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.

M88- 77
MOSAIC, Jewish Life in Florida
MOSAIC Project Photographic Collection, 1880-1970
650 photographs

The MOSAIC Project was a state-organized, non-profit project to document the history of Jews and Jewish life in Florida. This collection consists of black-and-white images documenting the lives and experiences of Florida's Jewish community and their contributions to the state's history and culture. Among the photographs in this collection are images depicting Jewish individuals and families; social, religious, ceremonial and celebratory activities; and synagogue, home and school scenes. There are many photos of women throughout the collection.
Deborah Thomas Photography
Photographic Negatives Taken for Publication in Florida Flambeau Newspaper, 1983-1989
2 cubic feet

This collection consists of negatives taken by Deborah Thomas, an independent Tallahassee photographer, for use by the Florida Flambeau student newspaper of Florida State University. The negatives consist of pictures of local interest, mostly concerning Florida State University and state government.

Marie Louise McClure
Photographic Collection, 1888-1951
35 items

This collection contains images of families from several Florida locations, including the Peeples family of Hamilton County, the Fleming family of Washington County, and the Thigpin family of DeSoto County. The images also include a Civil War veterans' reunion, lumber industry, pioneer residences and street scenes.

John Buckley
Photographic Collection, 1969-1976
5,250 photographs

John Buckley helped organize workers’ strikes in Tallahassee and worked as a platform speaker and photographer for civil rights demonstrations, anti-war rallies, anti-nuclear demonstrations, and women’s rights demonstrations. This collection consists of Buckley’s prints that document demonstrations in and around Florida as well as in Washington, D.C. and Atlanta, Georgia. There are also photographs from the 1972 Florida Democratic Convention in Miami, images from the Florida Folk Festival and commercial portraits.

Donn Dughi
Photographic Collection, 1980-2000
2,000 photographs

Donn Dughi (1932-2005) was a longtime United Press International photographer and was chief of UPI's Tallahassee bureau for 21 years. He also served as official photographer of the Florida House of Representatives and as a television cameraman. This collection of photographs primarily depicts political subjects such as the Florida legislature, the Capitol, protests and other political topics and activities. Images of sports, crime and space exploration, as well as some family photographs, are also included.

Joseph Janney Steinmetz
Photographic Collection, 1930s-1970s
5,000 photographs

Joseph Janney Steinmetz was a world renowned commercial photographer whose images appeared in such publications as The Saturday Evening Post, Life, Look, Time, Holiday, Colliers, and Town and Country. His work has been referred to as "an American social history," documenting diverse scenes of American life from affluent northeasterners to middle-class Floridians. Steinmetz's Florida images document the rapid development of the state and the marketing strategies commonly employed in post-World War II America. This collection includes images of social events; tourist locations and activities; the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus; prominent people; and various recreation and industry shots.

Bjorn Lusth
Photographic Collection, 1983-2012
14 cubic feet

This collection consists of photographs taken by Bjorn Lusth during the years he lived in Lakeport, Florida. The images depict local residents, events, industry, tourism, the environment and Lake Okeechobee area culture, including significant images of Seminole Indians.

Ann Dickinson Mowell
Photographic Collection, 1984-2005
3,750 negatives

This collection is comprised primarily of portraits of Tallahassee people and images of Tallahassee places and businesses.

Bert Morgan
Photographic Collection, ca. 1960-1989
92 cubic feet

This collection consists of tens of thousands of photographic negatives taken by Bert Morgan and his son Richard, documenting Palm Beach high society people, places and events. Included are images of parties, charity balls, sporting events, gallery openings, street scenes and other events and locations. Nearly every prominent individual or public figure who lived in, or passed through, Palm Beach during this time was captured in these images, including a number of photographs of John F. Kennedy and the Kennedy family.

Don and Gladys Marks
Photographs and Papers, 1920-1969
1,000 photographs and .25 cubic foot

This collection consists of approximately 1,000 images taken by Don and Gladys Marks documenting many areas of Florida. The Markses worked with Harriet Bedell, prominent missionary and friend to the Florida Seminoles, and approximately 400 of their images document the Seminoles, including their work, daily life and tourism. Other images depict many locations around the state, including Key West, the Everglades, Sanibel Island, Ft. Myers, St. Petersburg, Bradenton, Tampa and St. Augustine.