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America's Swamp: the Historical Everglades Project
“There are no other Everglades in the world. They are, they have always been, one of the unique regions of the earth, remote, never wholly known... They are unique also in the simplicity, the diversity, the related harmony of the forms of life they enclose. The miracle of the light pours over the green and brown expanse of saw grass and of water, shining and slow-moving below, the grass and water that is the meaning and the central fact of the Everglades of Florida. It is a river of grass.”
“Drain that abominable, pestilence-ridden swamp.”
America's Swamp: the Historical Everglades Project includes the University of Florida's most important historical record collections documenting the despoiling of the Everglades and the development of South Florida in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, through funding from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). This three year project, beginning in 2009, will use cost-effective methods to digitize approximately 99,690 pages in six archival collections, and to make the digital reproductions freely available on the Internet. The collections selected for this project document early plans for draining the Everglades in the 1880s and 1890s, the dredging of canals and subsequent development of the destroyed wetlands at the start of the 20th century, as well as early attempts by conservationists to preserve the natural resources of the Everglades.