A Visit from the Past

Every October, archives across the United States celebrate Archives Month. This year, the State Archives of Florida is focusing on how archives change lives. Join us throughout the month as we share stories about the impact the Archives has had on staff and patrons like you!

Mary Lou Bisplingoff, 1951

Mary Lou Bisplingoff, 1951

As archivists working with the Florida Photographic Collection, we often receive phone calls and emails from patrons looking for specific images. Sometimes photos are acquired for news articles or academic publications, but other times pure curiosity fuels their inquiries. Whatever the case, we archivists become detectives for the public. The research process can be tedious and frustrating, but it can also be quite exciting and rewarding—especially when we are able to uncover surprising material for our patrons.

A few months ago, we received a question from patron Katie Godwin. Her family has an old portrait from 1951 of her late grandmother Mary Lou Bisplingoff. At the time, Bisplingoff, who had not yet married, was on the edge of twenty and a student at Florida State University. While Katie was replacing the broken glass of the framed picture of her “Nana,” she discovered something interesting about the photo: “When I took the frame apart to install the new glass, I found two surprises: one was a baby picture of my mother. The other was that the picture we had admired for so long was actually an ‘unfinished proof.’ A stamp on the back said the picture had been made at L’Avant Studios.”

With a sense of mystery, Katie began her quest. This is her story: Read more »

Tallahassee Democrat Collection

The Tallahassee Democrat Collection contains photographic negatives taken by Tallahassee Democrat photographers from the 1950s to 1970.

Three unidentified African American servicemen posing with a woman in Tallahassee (ca. 1955)

 

Two unidentified cigarette girls in Tallahassee (1956)

 

FSU football players in Tallahassee (1957)

FSU football players in Tallahassee (1957)

 

FSU freshmen sitting in front of William James Bryan Hall in Tallahassee (1953)

FSU freshmen sitting in front of William James Bryan Hall in Tallahassee (1953)

 

Dorian Stripling getting his first haircut in Tallahassee (1957)

Dorian Stripling getting his first haircut in Tallahassee (1957)

 

Governor LeRoy Collins monitoring Democratic primary election results with supporters in Tallahassee (1956)

Governor LeRoy Collins monitoring Democratic primary election results with supporters in Tallahassee (1956)

 

Unidentified African American football players in Tallahassee (1953)

Unidentified African American football players in Tallahassee (1953)

Join us tonight, October 11, from 6:00 to 8:00 PM for a slideshow event featuring images from the Tallahassee Democrat Collection.

Unidentified in the Tallahassee Democrat Collection

The Tallahassee Democrat Collection contains photographic negatives taken by Tallahassee Democrat photographers from the 1950s to 1970.

Many of these images are only partially identified and contain unidentified people and places. If you have additional information about any of the unidentified images please let us know in the comments, or contact us at the State Archives of Florida.

Two unidentified women reading the Tallahassee Democrat newspaper (1957)

 

Three unidentified African American servicemen posing with a woman in Tallahassee (ca. 1955)

 

Unidentified young women at the Watermelon Festival in Monticello (1957)

Unidentified young women at the Watermelon Festival in Monticello (1957)

 

Unidentified WTVT cameraman in Tampa (1957)

 

Two unidentified cigarette girls in Tallahassee (1956)

 

Two unidentified Tallahassee police officers (1957)

 

Unidentified boy with go-kart in the Quincy parade (1953)

 

Unidentified pharmacist with a box of Chux disposable diapers in Tallahassee (1957)

Join us this Friday night, October 11, from 6:00 to 8:00 PM for a slideshow event featuring images from the Tallahassee Democrat Collection.