Special Collections holds primary resource research collections of the University of Florida. Among these are the:
The holdings are significant in terms of quantity and quality. The collections support the University's academic programs and scholars worldwide.
The Manuscripts Collection consists of more than one thousand manuscript groups and individual manuscripts, filling more than a mile of shelving and covering a wide array of subject interests. These include General Manuscripts, along with manuscripts in the specialized area of Florida History and University Archives (described below). General Manuscripts are a diverse collection of over one hundred groups. Literary papers, creative writing, and papers related to literature comprise the majority of the General Manuscripts collection. A second major emphasis is the Caribbean and Latin America. The Braga Brothers Collection, for example, is an archive of the Cuban sugar industry, believed to surpass any found outside Cuba. Africa and the study of its peoples and lands is a subject area of increasing emphasis for General Manuscripts. Other major areas of focus include social activism, the human sciences including anthropology and psychology, natural science and environmentalism, broadcasting, drama, and the arts. To facilitate access to these diverse collections the majority of our holdings are described in descriptive finding aids.
The University of Florida Archives is the official custodian of the University's historical significant public records including the administrative files of past presidents. In addition to public records, the Archives collects the papers and records of individuals and organizations associated with the University. The Archives also maintains files of yearbooks, newspapers, official publications, photographs, artifacts, and record copies of theses and dissertations produced at the University.
As a partnership between the Smathers Libraries and the School of Architecture since 2004, the Architecture Archives has become a leading repository for historical records pertaining to the architects and architecture of Florida. Initial activities have focused on a handful of important collections, including the archives of Alfred Browning Parker, Kenneth Treister, Rufus Nims, Darrell Fleeger, and the Carrère and Hastings firm. The collections support scholarly research, historic preservation, and the education of future students.