October is American Archives Month, and the State Archives of Florida is celebrating with special events to help you make the most of our state’s archival treasures. Are you interested in genealogy? The history of your local community? A topic in Florida’s past? Archives Month is an excellent time to visit and see how we can help!
On Tuesday, October 6th and Tuesday, October 13th, the State Archives reference room will be open from 9:00am to 8:00pm. This is an excellent opportunity for patrons with busy work schedules who are unable to visit during our usual hours of operation.
What to do while you’re here:
Research – Our many collections of government records, genealogical resources, and online databases will be available for your use. Common genealogical databases like Ancestry and Fold3 are available, plus one-of-a-kind unpublished records to help you carry your family history research to the next level. Not interested in genealogy? Not a problem! You may be more interested in finding books and rare ephemera related to your local Florida community instead. Explore our resources to learn more about what we offer.
Go Behind the Scenes – Archives staff will be taking visitors into the restricted stacks area where Florida’s archival treasures are stored. See some of the Archives’ rarest items, and learn about the steps we take to ensure their continued preservation. Tours will leave from the reference room periodically after 5:00pm.
Learn – Are you just getting started with your family history research? Would you like to better preserve a collection of family documents or photos you have at home? We’ll be holding a series of workshops during our October events to share tips from our staff.
- Workshop Schedule:
- Thinking Outside the Census: Non-Traditional Sources for Genealogical Research (October 6, 6:30pm) – Census returns are a vital tool for tracing family history, but they’re far from perfect. Many other sources exist for reconstructing the lives of ancestors, including land records, professional licensure records, educational records, business records, and tax records. In this workshop, State Archives historian Joshua Goodman will demonstrate how to find these diverse sources and extract valuable genealogical information.
- Preserving Historic Documents and Photographs at Home (October 13, 6:00pm) – Photographs, letters, diaries, and scrapbooks are staples of the family archive at home. If properly stored and cared for, these precious memories can be preserved for generations to come. In this workshop, archivist Adam Watson will explain the basic principles for preserving documents and photographs at home, as well as options for stabilizing especially fragile items.
- Researching African-American Ancestors (October 13, 7:00pm) – Genealogy can be a challenging task for African-American families, especially when searching for information about ancestors who lived prior to emancipation. In this workshop, archivists Miriam Gan-Spalding and Delbra McGriff will explore creative strategies for tracing African-American ancestors using a variety of online and unpublished records.
All events will take place at the R.A. Gray Building, 500 South Bronough Street in Tallahassee. Free parking will be available in Parking Lot E located just past the R.A. Gray Building on the right. No appointment is necessary to attend.
Questions? Contact the State Archives by phone at 850.245.6719 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.