Digital Collections

The University of Miami Libraries digital collection features a growing collection of digital objects, projects, and publications developed to preserve and support digital scholarship and the research, teaching, and learning mission of the University. Many of these initiatives feature materials from the Special Collections Department. For more information, visit Special Collections Digital Collections.

Online Exhibits

Aaron Thomas: The Caribbean Journal of a Royal Navy Seaman, 1798-1799 Aaron Thomas: The Caribbean Journal of a Royal Navy Seaman, 1798-1799

The Caribbean Journal of Aaron Thomas, dating from June 15, 1789 through October 26, 1799, chronicles the daily life of a crew member of HMS Lapwing, a Royal Navy frigate cruising the waters of the Lesser Antilles. The handwritten journal includes accounts of battles with enemy ships, including a report detailing the events surrounding the taking of Surinam by the British during the month of August, 1799.


Amos Beebe Eaton: A Soldier's Journal of the Second Seminole Wars Amos Beebe Eaton: A Soldier’s Journal of the Second Seminole Indian Wars 

The Amos Beebe Eaton Papers include a journal kept by Eaton while serving as a soldier in the Second Seminole Indian Wars during 1837 and 1838. This handwritten journal chronicles an extraordinary year in the life of a young lieutenant and provides detailed insight into life in South Florida over 160 years ago.


The Alvan Stewart Papers

The Alvan Stewart Papers

The Alvan Stewart Papers contains a diary written by the New York lawyer and abolitionist Alvan Stewart (1780-1849). The diary chronicles Stewart’s travels in 1831, including a sea voyage from New York to Liverpool, his travels through England and France, and the return voyage.


The Bob Simms Collection: An Activist's Life and Legacy The Bob Simms Collection: An Activist’s Life and Legacy

This exhibit offers a snapshot of the life and legacy of Robert H. Simms and an overview of some of the research resources available in his collection. The Bob Simms Collection contains photographs, documents, awards, and publications of personal and civic activities and events reflecting his life and legacy and documenting events of historical significance.


Bound to Please: Fine Leather Bindings Bound to Please: Fine Leather Bindings

A selection of 70 volumes from the extensive rare book holdings of the Special Collections Department. The exhibition describes and illustrates a diverse and exquisite group of leather bindings dating from the fifteenth through the early twentieth century and include books from the United States, Cuba, Spain, France, Germany, Italy, and The Netherlands.


The Calvin Shedd Papers The Calvin Shedd Papers

Letters written by Calvin Shedd, a carpenter from New Hampshire, who enlisted in the Seventh Regiment, New Hampshire Volunteers and served the Union Army during the Civil War from 1862 – 1863.


The Civil Rights Movement and the Black Experience in Miami The Civil Rights Movement and the Black Experience in Miami

The Civil Rights Movement and the Black Experience in Miami is the online companion of the Special Collections exhibit located on the 2nd floor of the Otto G. Richter Library, University of Miami (February 18 – May 1, 2009). The selected images tell a story of struggle, community challenges, and hope for Black Miami in the 20th century. Through a combination of personal papers, books, professional photography, fliers and reports of civil rights activities this exhibition on Black Miami presents a sobering glimpse at what was and illustrates a path of civic involvement and pride.


Costumes of South and Central America, Mexico, and the Caribbean Costumes of South and Central America, Mexico, and the Caribbean

A student project by Elizabeth M. Fregien

When student Elizabeth  Fregien requested to complete an internship project in the Special Collections Department, she knew she would be researching our treasure trove of beautiful illustrated books depicting costumes of the Caribbean and Central and South America, with the aim of compiling an annotated bibliography and a web exhibit of her findings. She did not, however,  realize that she would also learn how to think like an archivist and view first-hand how the rare books and manuscripts department of a large academic library operates on a daily basis. View Ms. Fregien’s completed projecthere or contact asc.library@miami.edu to inquire about the possibility of conducting your own fascinating project in our department.


Emancipation: The Caribbean Experience Emancipation: The Caribbean Experience

The people of the Caribbean islands, survivors of brutal slave regimes had to carve out new economic, political, and personal identities for themselves. Dr. Edward Baptist, professor of history at the University of Miami, and another section of his History 300/Caribbean Studies class collaborated with the Special Collections Department faculty and staff, to create this educational web site. Students used for their research many rare Caribbean materials from the Special Collections Department. These historical materials are used to vividly describe and illustrate this period of great change in the Caribbean.


The Florida Postcard Collection The Florida Postcard Collection

The Florida Postcard Collection contains approximately 5,000 postcards of Florida buildings, landmarks, cities and towns, tourist attractions, and other views. The collection includes postcards from all areas of the state, although the majority of images relate to the South Florida region.


FSA Photographs in Florida FSA Photographs in Florida

This web site provides a guide and curriculum activities for teachers and students interested in using the photographs taken by the Farm Security Administration (an American “New Deal” Federal government agency). It is based, in part, on a curriculum guide developed for the Southeast Museum of Photography and the exhibition Farm Security Administration Photographs of Florida, which was based on the book by Michael Carlebach and Eugene F. Provenzo, Jr.. Farm Security Photographs of Florida (Gainseville: University Press of Florida, 1993).


The Gareth and Janet Dunleavy Collection of Irish History and Literature The Gareth and Janet Dunleavy Collection of Irish History and Literature

The Gareth and Janet Dunleavy Collection of Irish History and Literature includes an array of printed works dating from the eighteenth through twentieth centuries, accumulated by Gareth and Janet in the course of their scholarly research. The Dunleavys donated materials in memory of the late Bernard Benstock.


The Helen Carmichael Purdy Foundation Collection The Helen Carmichael Purdy Foundation Collection

The Helen Carmichael Purdy Foundation Collection contains an outstanding collection of rare and unique research materials on Florida and its vast history. The items presented here in the Purdy Foundation worldwide web exhibition cover a wide span of time, and encompass most of the classic formats of archival material. Books, maps, letters, and other documents spanning the 16th to the 20th century tell the fascinating story of the discovery, settlement and growth of the great state of Florida.


The Jackie Gleason Collection The Jackie Gleason Collection

The Jackie Gleason Collection includes books, journals, periodicals, and publications accumulated by this world famous entertainer. Gleason, a comedian, television star, and motion picture actor of international acclaim, developed a deep and abiding interest in parapsychology and its many components.


The Jesse S. Wooley Florida Photographs

The Jesse S. Wooley Florida Photographs

Late in January of 1896, Jesse Sumner Wooley, a well-known photographer from Ballston Spa, New York, took passage to Florida on the S.S. Algonquin. Equipped with a hand-held Eastman Kodak Bulls-Eye camera, Wooley used his trip to St. Augustine to create a stereopticon or lantern-slide lecture about Florida. Wooley subsequently returned to Florida in the 1920s and 1930s. The photographs and text which make up this web site are the result of both his trips in 1896 and three decades later.


The Marjory Stoneman Douglas Papers The Marjory Stoneman Douglas Papers

This digital exhibit highlights the literary accomplishments and social activism of Marjory Stoneman Douglas, a unique personality in Florida history. The materials include a timeline, bibliography, photographs, maps and information that document Ms. Douglas’ life, conservationist involvement and her profound regional interest in Florida.


The Pan American World Airways, Inc. Records The Pan American World Airways, Inc. Records

The Pan American Records include administrative and financial files; technical, mechanical and research reports; extensive public relations and promotional materials; internal publications including newsletters, journals and press releases; and other materials. Extensive photograph files, albums, and scrapbooks also document the world-wide history of Pan Am as a pioneer in the development of aviation equipment, air routes, commercial passenger service, navigation techniques and communication systems.


The Past is Prologue Past is Prologue: The Bard @ UM

Past is Prologue : The Bard @ UM features items from the University of Miami Libraries Special Collections’ rare book and archival collections that represent William Shakespeare’s enduring legacy, including the University’s finest and most interesting copies of Shakespeare’s plays and sonnets; a segment devoted to titles which shaped and influenced the bard’s body of work; and illustrative examples of how Shakespeare continues to be an important subject of modern discourse.


The Rare Map Collections The Rare Map Collections

Although the map collections in the Special Collections Department include maps and charts that cover nearly all areas of the world, their major emphasis is on Florida, the United States, and the Caribbean Area. The collections are comprised of works by famous cartographers, covers a variety of subjects, and includes items dated from the sixteenth to the twentieth centuries.


Reclaiming the Everglades: South Florida's National History, 1884-1934 Reclaiming the Everglades: South Florida’s National History, 1884-1934

Reclaiming the Everglades is a collaborative project of the University of Miami, Florida International University, and the Historical Museum of South Florida funded by the Library of Congress. The project will digitize primary source documents and historical records about the history of the south Florida environment.


Robinson Crusoe, 1917: The Two Millionth Volume Robinson Crusoe, 1719: The Two Millionth Volume

The first edition of Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe, printed in London by William Taylor in 1719, is the two millionth volume to join the collections of the University of Miami Libraries.


The Sixties The Sixties

The Sixties site was developed to support an interdepartmental (History, English, American Studies) course taught by Professors Bowen and Spivey. It features oral history presentations by UM faculty, a sixties chronology, and a selected bibliography of books held in the University of Miami Libraries.


Slave Resistance: A Caribbean Study Slave Resistance: A Caribbean Study

A fascinating and scholarly account of the trials and lifestyles of Caribbean slaves. Dr. Edward Baptist, professor of history at the University of Miami, and his History 300/Caribbean Studies class collaborated with the Special Collections Department faculty and staff, to create this unique and educational web site. Many rare Caribbean maps from the Special Collections Department, plus illustrations and engravings in rare books, were chosen as visual accompaniments to essays written by students on this infamous historical period.


Souvenirs of Miami: 100 years of Promotional Literature Souvenirs of Miami, Florida: 100 Years of Promotional Literature

The Special Collections Department of the University of Miami Libraries has joined the celebration of the City of Miami’s Centennial with a presentation of promotional literature selected from the Florida Collection. Promotional literature offers an important and colorful avenue to explore the historical development of Miami and its environs.


Treasures of Florida Libraries Treasures of Florida Libraries 

The Treasures of Florida Libraries offers a wide ranging and diverse look at books, manuscripts and artifacts from Florida’s leading libraries. The materials show the depth and strength of institutional and private holdings. Florida libraries collect in expected and unexpected areas. Floridiana is represented in many collections with Caribbean and oceanographic materials also present. Many libraries have landmark books in the history of the book or classics in the history of English and American literature.


Treasures of the Americas Treasures of the Americas 

This online version of the Treasures of the Americas exhibit, which has been on display in the Richter Library since June of 2008, presents a selection of rare and unique materials documenting North and South America and the Caribbean. The items highlighted include rare books, maps, correspondence, diaries and journals, architectural drawings, photographs, paintings and sculpture from the University of Miami Libraries’ Special Collections Department.


Travel, Tourism, and Urban Growth Travel, Tourism, and Urban Growth in Greater Miami: A Digital Archive

Explore the growth of Greater Miami through this online scholarly archive created by Robin Bachin, the Charlton W. Tebeau Associate Professor of History at the University of Miami, with a Digital Library Fellowship awarded by the University of Miami Libraries. The archive includes over 2,000 digital images of historical photos, pamphlets, maps, postcards, and letters, all used to explore the major themes of advertising, architecture, environment, land use, migration, tourism and transportation. Includes a searchable index, timelines, bibliography and other useful tools.


University of Miami Legacy, 1926 to Present: A Library of Images University of Miami Legacy, 1926 to Present: A Library of Images

This exhibition is dedicated to each and every individual who has contributed his or her talents and energies to the University of Miami. Here amongst the documents, publications, letters, reports, images, and other materials are their stories. In one sense, it is the story of a great, large family.


Voices of Andrew Voices of Andrew

This web site provides an online archive of approximately seventy oral history interviews with people who not only lived through Hurricane Andrew, but also experienced the subsequent recovery process in the first months after the storm. The interviews were conducted by undergraduate and graduate students at the University of Miami under the supervision of Professor Eugene F. Provenzo, Jr. Department of Teaching and Learning, School of Education, University of Miami. The web site includes not only the full text of interviews, as well as selected digital audio files.

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