The Florida History Collection contains primary and secondary sources documenting Florida’s history, culture, arts, literature, and social sciences. Thematic areas in this growing collection include Native American and minority populations, exploration and development, tourism, the natural environment, and regional interests.
These materials represent only a small part of the wealth of historical and archival treasures held by the P.K. Yonge Library of Florida History and other holdings of the Department of Special and Area Studies Collections at the George A. Smathers Library on the campus of the University of Florida.
The P.K. Yonge Library is the state's preeminent Floridiana collection and includes a diverse array of primary sources. It has collected the largest North American collection of Spanish colonial documents concerning the southeastern United States, particularly materials on Florida from early Spanish exploration through 1821. In addition, it is the single most comprehensive repository for early and current Florida newspapers. The P.K. Yonge Library has always had a close association with scholars working in prehistory, ethnohistory, and archaeology. The holdings of colonial materials contain many essential sources of information on indigenous life in Florida, and the Library has specialized for a number of years in collecting materials on the Seminoles and on the 19th Century Seminole Wars. The Library is the most important repository for political papers related to Florida outside of the State Archives. It is also a major repository for books, maps, reports, explorer's notes and other manuscript material on Florida's environment, the Everglades, the Cross-Florida Barge Canal, conservation efforts, geology, wildlife, fisheries, river surveys, and forestry.