Special Collections Divison > Treasures of South Florida Libraries Home > Preface


One of the ways a civilization defines itself is through the collection and preservation of the record of its history. Original research materials such as those on display in Treasures of Florida Libraries are indeed the foundation of our culture and of modern scholarship. Rare books, manuscripts, photographs, and maps on loan from public and private rare book and special collections in Florida are described in this catalog.


Promoting the development, preservation, and use of library collections is a prime concern of the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress. The Center was established by Librarian of Congress Daniel J. Boorstin in 1977 to stimulate public interest in books, reading, and libraries and to encourage the study of books and print culture. Today there are more than two dozen state centers, along with over 100 national educational and civic organizations that have been enlisted as reading promotion partners of the Library of Congress.

In 1984, the Florida Center for the Book, located at Broward County Main Library, became our first state affiliate. The Florida Center for the Book plays an active role networking with significant partners to promote Florida's book and literary culture. The partnership of Florida Center for the Book with the University of Miami Library and the Historical Museum of Southern Florida is an impressive one. Each has played an important role in developing the exhibit and this catalog. This model cooperative project brings together treasures from twenty- nine unique library collections to share with a wider audience.

I am pleased to invite visitors to view, enjoy, and learn from the Treasures of Florida Libraries. It is a guide to the intellectual riches of a still-growing state, a stimulus to historical and humanistic research, and an inspiration for collectors and donors alike.

John Y. Cole

Director, Center for the Book

Library of Congress