Featured Collections

The Jackson Rooming House

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The Jackson Rooming House in downtown Tampa, Florida is the last of an era of homes used as segregated boarding structures for African Americans before the 1965 Civil Rights Act.  The house, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was constructed in stages from circa 1901 to 1920. USF Libraries Digital Heritage and Humanities Collections, in partnership with the Tampa Bay History Center, created this 3D pointcloud for joint digital preservation and exhibition efforts.

Click here to access the digital model »

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Gibbs High coach and team

Neighborhood News photographic collection

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Of the 64 images in this collection, many were published in the African American news section of the St. Petersburg Times during the 1940s and 1950s.

Dates: ca. 1948-1951
Extent: 1 box

Click here to access the collection’s finding aid »

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Group of African American Women

Ellen Haynes Green papers

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This collection contains the personal papers Ellen Haynes Green and documents Green’s life and accomplishments as a civil rights leader, most notably as President of the Tampa chapter of the NAACP.

Dates: 1915-2006 (bulk: 1957-1992)
Extent: 0.50 linear feet (1 box)

Click here to access the collection’s finding aid »

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Tampa Chapter of The Links, Incorporated

1024 683 Tomaro Taylor

The Links, Incorporated is an international, not-for-profit corporation established in 1946, whose membership consists of more than 16,000 professional women of color. The Tampa Chapter of The Links, Incorporated was chartered in 1987. Collection items include documents and history from each of the 12 chapter presidents, as well as scrapbooks, speeches, newsletters, and photographs.

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Welcome to the African American Experience in Florida Portal

In 2020, soon after the world learned of the death of George Floyd, USF Libraries Dean Todd Chavez wrote in an email that “Anyone watching the recent protests and demonstrations has to wonder, how will we solve the deep, ingrained problem of systemic racism? The Dean’s message continued by stating that the USF Libraries would contribute to the solution by leveraging existing collections to “promote peaceful solutions and promote social justice for all.” The USF Libraries Special Collections in Tampa and St. Petersburg are supporting that initiative by creating this portal.

Stories of racism against African Americans, ranging from narratives of the formerly enslaved to news reports about Black Lives Matter protests, are preserved in the USF Libraries archival collections that serve as the foundation for this portal. These collections are not only about the history of injustice, but also the regular daily lives of individuals, families, businesses, culture and communities during the state’s long history.

The portal you are visiting is just the beginning of a long-term project to highlight current and future materials that advance the conversation about the African American experience in Florida. We look forward to preserving and sharing those stories with you.





Black-Owned Businesses


The Arts




General African-American History