Check out these featured online exhibits from the past year:
Freedom is Not Free: Ax Handle Saturday
Beginning August 13, the NAACP Youth Council organized sit-ins at segregated lunch counters in downtown Jacksonville. On August 27, white Ku Klux Klan (KKK) members attacked Black people in downtown Jacksonville. Although often overlooked, Ax Handle Saturday is a significant part of Florida and American history that mirrors and expands the national civil rights movement.
The digital exhibit “Freedom is Not Free: Ax Handle Saturday” brings together archival documents, newspaper accounts, and interviews with Rodney L. Hurst, president of the Youth Council.
This exhibit was curated by Antonette Jones (’22), Smathers Libraries Undergraduate Fellow in Fall ’21.
The Digging is the Least Thing of All: Health & Medicine at the Panama Canal
John Stevens, its chief engineer, saw sanitation efforts and workers’ health as the project’s greatest challenge when he remarked, “the digging is the least thing of all.” This new exhibit examines the tremendous public health infrastructure necessary before and during construction, and traces its evolution into an equally monumental system designed to keep the people operating it safe from injury and disease.
The digital exhibit “The Digging is the Least Thing of All: Health & Medicine at the Panama Canal” is a companion piece to the physical exhibit currently on display at the Albert H. Nahmad Panama Canal Gallery located on the first floor of Smathers Library (East) from March 26, 2022 to February 28, 2023. Unless otherwise noted, all items are from the Panama Canal Museum Collection, Special & Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida.
Curated by Elizabeth Bemis | Designed by Katiana Bagué
Lost Communities of Florida
Since Florida’s statehood, a frontier spirit helped form new communities. Natural disasters, new technologies, and social and economic factors also shaped the state. These forces helped many communities thrive and continue to grow, while diminishing others; leaving very little evidence that these vibrant communities and their inhabitants ever existed. From Newnansville, which is now almost completely gone, to Hastings, which is in decline, these communities reveal much about Florida history. Their rise and fall reflects broader social, economic, and political trends that still affect the entire state and will likely continue to affect us in the future.
This online exhibit is based on the physical exhibit of the same name that was presented at the University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries from January 18, 2022 – April 8, 2022. Unless otherwise noted, all items are from the P.K. Yonge Library of Florida History, Special & Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries.
Curated by Dr. Bridget Bihm-Manuel and Hank Young | Designed by Lourdes Santamaría-Wheeler and Katiana Bagué