Departmental History

Timeline adapted from UF Libraries Timeline

1945 – Julien Chandler Yonge donated his collection of historical documents, books and manuscripts collected by himself and by his father, Philip Keyes Yonge, creating The P. K. Yonge Library of Florida History.

1948 – The Libraries established a special acquisitions fund for Latin American materials.

1950 – Organization of the Creative Writing Collection after Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings donated her library and papers to UF.

1951 – Establishment of the University Archives (as part of the P. K. Yonge Library), the Rare Books Collection, the Latin American Collection, and the Belknap Dance and Music Archives.

1959 – Creation of the Department of Special Collections. The department was abolished in 1972 and then revived in 1987.

1967 – Establishment of the Latin American Collection’s reading room in the south tower of Library East

1973 – Establishment of The Map Library.

1977 – The Baldwin Library of Historical Children’s Literature opened after Ruth Baldwin donated her collection of English and American children’s books.

1981 – Dedication of the Isser and Rae Price Library of Judaica.

1987 – Organization of a new Department of Special Collections, combining the Library of Florida History, the University Archives, Rare Books and Manuscripts, and the Baldwin Library.

1997 – Special Collections merged with the Latin American and Caribbean Collection, the Price Library of Judaica, and the African Studies Collection to form the Department of Special and Area Studies Collections.

2012 – The Panama Canal Museum in Seminole, Florida transferred is collection to the Libraries and it became the Panama Canal Museum Collection at the University of Florida.

2014 – The Judaica Suite, designed by world-renowned architect and artist Kenneth Treister officially opened in Smathers Library. The Map & Imagery Library moved to the first floor of Smathers Library.