Skip to Main Content

Alachua County Library History: Bibliography

This guide is home for my library history project that includes documents, images, web resources, and other information gathered from research.


Bibliography to the Project

(*The sources used more extensively in this project are annotated.)


Alachua County and FL History

v  Gowan, Sam and Marilyn Little Tubb. Alachua County Bicentennial Diary: An Annotated History of Notable Events and Forgotten Facts (Gainesville, FL: Alachua County Bicentennial Steering Committee, 1976).

-          Issued to commemorate the nation’s Bicentennial, this calendar of events is composed of vintage images and graphics, even applied within the numerous advertisements that sponsored the publication. In addition to the interesting and sometimes offbeat tidbits of historical information that are offered for each day of the year, what makes this work noteworthy are the historical photographs of the county and city of Gainesville.

v  Hildreth, Charles Halsey and Merlin G. Cox. History of Gainesville, Florida 1854-1979 (Gainesville, FL: Alachua County Historical Society, 1981).

-          Revision of an earlier unpublished dissertation produced by Hildreth in 1954 on the 100th Anniversary of the founding of Gainesville. In this edition, Cox, a professor of history at UF, collaborated with Hildreth to update and expand upon the earlier work. This book is an excellent summary of Gainesville’s history, particularly in describing its 19th century political and cultural roots. The history includes many facts about the educational system of Gainesville, going back to the late 19th century, but is not especially detailed regarding the libraries or library history. However, their text is supported by solid research and the number of other works citing Hildreth & Cox’s text is a reflection of its importance and place as a seminal history of Gainesville.

-          Pickard, John B. Florida's Eden: An Illustrated History of Alachua County (Gainesville, FL: Maupin House, 1994).

-          Published at the time Pickard was a University of Florida Professor of English, he became a noted local historian, worked with local historical groups including the Matheson Historical Society, compiled histories for the Alachua County Library District and the City of Gainesville, and published two other books on historical topics in Alachua County . In this seminal book, Pickard divides the history of the county into seven chapters dealing with periods of economic, cultural, and political developments. The text is written with a local historian’s in-depth knowledge of the area and is well illustrated by drawings, maps, and exceptional photographs that help recreate the past. The best and most up-to-date book written on the history of Alachua County.

-          Poucher, Judith G. “One Woman’s Courage: Ruth Perry and the Johns Committee,” chapter 9 in Making Waves: Female Activists in Twentieth-Century Florida (Gainesville, FL: University Press of Florida, 2003), Jack E. Davis and Kari Frederickson (eds.).

-          Poucher’s chapter on the lesser known civil rights activist Ruth Perry relates a story of the courage she and other officers in the Miami branch of the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) exhibited during the Johns Committee investigations and their attack on the NAACP and other organizations working to desegregate Florida. Perry, a white public librarian and secretary of the Miami NAACP, wrote a newspaper column and hosted a radio show in the black community advocating integration and denouncing racism. She repeatedly spoke out against the Johns Committee; often received threats on her life from members of the white community in Miami; and was called to testify before the Johns Committee three times and angrily berated by its representatives, including Johns. Yet through it all Perry never wavered in her beliefs.

v  Schnur, James. “Closet Crusaders: The Johns Committee and Homophobia, 1956-1965,” chapter 8 in Carryin’ On in the Lesbian and Gay South (NY: New York University Press, 1997), edited by John Howard.

-          This chapter details the political landscape in the state of Florida during the 1950s and the rise of Charley Johns and the bill he got passed in the Florida legislature to form the Florida Legislative Investigation Committee (FLIC, otherwise known as the Johns Committee). Like Senator McCarthy before him, Charley Johns and his committee launched a full-scale attack on communists/socialists or individuals seen as communist/socialist sympathizers; individuals and organizations promoting racial integration; and individuals either suspected or caught engaged in homosexual activity. Schnur relates how the Johns Committee dispatched its investigators to Gainesville to spy on perceived homosexual UF faculty and students, then with little or no warning summoned the so-called guilty parties for questioning in nearby motel rooms. These grueling interrogations were conducted without legal counsel representing the UF individuals, nor were the individuals given time to formulate any type of legal defense. All told, the Johns Committee’s investigation and interrogations at the University of Florida resulted in the dismissal of over fifty UF students and the forced resignation of more than twenty UF employees.  


Other Sources Consulted or Cited

v  Bailey, Fred Arthur. “Free Speech at the University of Florida: the Enoch Marvin Banks Case,” The Florida Historical Quarterly 71:1 (July 1992): 1-17.

v  Buchholz, Fritz W. History of Alachua County, Florida, Narrative and Biographical (St. Augustine, FL: Record Co., printers, 1929).

v  Chalmers, David. “The Ku Klux Klan in the Sunshine State: The 1920’s,” The Florida Historical Quarterly 42:3 (January 1964): 209-215.

v  Davis, Jess. History of Alachua County, 1824-1969 (Gainesville, FL, 1970).

v  Jones, Maxine D. “The Rosewood Massacre and the Women Who Survived It,” The Florida Historical Quarterly 76:2 (Fall 1997): 193-208.

v  Laurie, Murray D. “The Union Academy: A Freedmen’s Bureau School in Gainesville, Florida,” The Florida Historical Quarterly 65:2 (October 1986):163-174.

v  Prescott, Stephen R. “White Robes and Crosses: Father John Conoley, the Ku Klux Klan, and the University of Florida,” The Florida Historical Quarterly 71:1 (July 1992): 18-40.


    Library History - FL & General

v  Buchanan, Joel. The Fifth Avenue African American (Alachua County) Oral History Collection (part of the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program):

-          Joel Buchanan did a masterful job in interviewing over fifty elderly African Americans who ‘discuss their personal experiences histories and living in the black section of Gainesville.’ For this project on library history, several interviews touch on the education system and the libraries that served the segregated black communities. The interviews cited in this project are the following:

·   Interviewee: Mrs. Carrie B. Lovette - Interviewer: Joel Buchanan (2/10/86)

·   Interviewee: Cornelia Smith - Interviewer: Joel Buchanan (3/12/86)

-          Mrs. Lovette and Ms. Smith worked as teachers and librarians at Lincoln High School - the high school in Gainesville for black students - during the 1950s and 1960s. As librarians, they were dedicated professionals who built the library’s collection from a small reading room into a fine and large library. The two oral histories are an interesting if poignant view of how these black educators dealt with segregation during the many years they worked at Lincoln; and how integration forever changed the educational system and libraries across Gainesville and Alachua County.

·   Interviewee: Joel Buchanan – Interviewer: Gayle Yamada (2/12/84)

·   Interviewee: Joel Buchanan – Interviewer: Steve Thiesse (2/4/86)

-          In these interviews Joel Buchanan describes his experiences as a young man growing up in a segregated community. In 1963 Joel Buchanan, Lavonne Wright, and Sandra Easell, were the first black students to attend previously segregated Gainesville High School. Often taking refuge in the school’s library, Mr. Buchanan’s stories are powerful, vivid and reveal how courageous those students were in breaking the color barrier in the local schools. Mr. Buchanan also describes attending the University of Florida and its racial climate and the black demonstrations occurring in 1969-70.

v  Fultz, Michael. “Black Public Libraries in the South in the Era of De Jure Segregation,” Libraries & the Cultural Record 41 (Summer 2006): 337-59.

-          This article is a telling analysis supported by excellent references on the history of black public libraries in the South during the years of forced segregation. Fultz recounts the first ‘independent’ black public libraries and reading rooms, the growth in numbers of black libraries during in the early to mid-20th century, and the effects desegregation had on the libraries and black communities.

v  Jasper, Catherine and Kathleen de la Pena McCook. The Florida Library History Project (Tampa: University of South Florida, 1998).

-          This project was sponsored by the University of South Florida library school and the USF Library (Tampa campus) as an initiative to gather public library histories across the state of Florida. Eighty-nine Florida public libraries, library districts, or regional library systems responded and the results were compiled and issued in this report and posted on the Web. Worth noting is the library history submitted for the Florida Library History Project by the Alachua County Library District is essential a copy of the  “Gainesville-Alachua County Library History,” available at the Matheson Historical Museum. The Florida Library History Project is offered full-text by the Education Resources Information Center (ERIC) at

v  Mason, Pamela Russell. A History of Public Library Development in Florida; A Dissertation Submitted to the Faculty of the Graduate Library School. Chicago, Ill: University of Chicago, 1968.

-          Using demographic and library statistics published in a variety of sources this dissertation essentially summarizes seven decades of public library history in Florida. Mason uses surveys conducted by the Florida Library Association (1935), the Florida State Library (1959-1960), as well as library statistics gleaned from library reports, directories, and library associations (including the American Library Association) to build twenty-five tables on library funding, collection size, circulation records, percentage of population served by libraries, and other important facts of the various public libraries and library systems in Florida. Her statistical analyses on public library history in Florida are for the most part very sound. Mason’s rather unsupported historical portrait of Florida’s cultural and political history notwithstanding, the strength of this report lies in the statistical research performed and compiled by the author. 

v  Proctor, Samuel. The University of Florida General Oral History Collection (part of the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program):

-          The Samuel Proctor Oral History Program is affiliated with the UF Department of History and is one of the largest archives of its kind in the country. The one collection within the program offered this project a wealth of valuable information and personal accounts regarding library history is the “University of Florida Campus General Collection.” This collection consists of over 300 interviews of people associated with the university, including deans, presidents, faculty, and particularly for the purposes of this project, librarians and library directors. Other collections which offered information on the libraries at the university and have interviews that are cited include the “University of Florida College of Law Oral History Collection,” and the “University of Florida College of Nursing Oral History Collection.”

·   Interviewee: Stanley West – Interviewer: Steve Kerber (8/4/78)

-          Stanley West was the Library Director at the University of Florida for over twenty years (1946 to 1967) and this interview is a great portrait of his life and work. Mr. West was an exceptional librarian and leader primarily known for his efforts to improve library facilities and launching building projects such as Library West, and for creating the first special collections and developing the branch libraries. Mr. West’s accounts of how the libraries were developed and administered are insightful and sometimes humorous, but especially entertaining is his description of how the library acquired Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings’ papers and manuscripts.


Other Sources Cited or Consulted

v  Bergquist, Constance C. “No. 1: A Bibliography of Florida Library History,” The Journal of Library History 5:1 (January, 1970): 48-63.

v  Blazak, Ron. “The Library, the Chautauqua, and the Railroads in DeFuniak Springs, Florida,” The Journal of Library History 22:4 (Fall 1987): 377-396.

v  Bobinski, George S. Carnegie Libraries: Their History and Impact on American Public Library Development (Chicago: American Library Association, 1969).

v  Carmichael, James V., Jr. “Southern Librarianship and the Culture of Resentment,” Libraries and Culture 40:3 (Summer 2005): 324-352.

v  Cohen, Donna K. “Andrew Carnegie and Academic Library Philanthropy: The Case of Rollins College, Winter Park, Florida,” Libraries & Culture 35:3 (Summer 2000): 389-415.

v  Cresswell, Stephen. “The Last Days of Jim Crow in Southern Libraries,” Libraries and Culture 31:3/4 (Summer & Fall 1996): 557-573.

v  Du Mont, Rosemary Ruhig. “Race in American Librarianship: Attitudes of the Library Profession,” The Journal of Library History 21:3 (Summer 1986): 488-509.

v  Garrison, Dee. Apostles of Culture: The Public Librarian and American Society 1876-1920 (New York: Free Press, 1979).

v  Harris, Michael H. “The Purpose of the American Public Library: A Revisionist Interpretation of History,” Library Journal 98 (September 1973): 2509-14.

v  Josey, E. J. (ed.) The Black Librarian in America Revisited (Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press, 1994).

v  Kruse, Paul. Some Notes on Florida Library History (Chicago: University of Chicago,).

v  Malone, Cherly Knott. “Toward a Multicultural American Public Library History,” Libraries & Culture 35:1 (Winter 2000): 77-89.

v  Postell, William D. “Proposed Plans and Recommendations for the Organization of the Medical Library of the University of Florida,” Bulletin of the Medical Library Association 42:4 (October 1954): 458-467.

v  Raber, Douglas. "ACONDA and ANACONDA: social change, social responsibility, and librarianship.(Activities Committee on New Directions, Ad Hoc Activities Committee on New Directions )." Library Trends 55.3 (Winter 2007): 675(23). Retrieved: General OneFile. Gale. University of Florida. 23 June 2008. 

v  Raber, Douglas. Certain Ambiguities: The Idea of the American Public Library Since 1945. (lecture given at 2008 American Library Association’s Annual Conference as part of the program, "Public Library History in the 20th Century: A Comprehensive Perspective").

v  Rufsvold, Margaret Irene. History of School Libraries in the South (Nashville, Tenn., Peabody library school, 1934).

v  Thomison, Dennis. A History of the American Library Association, 1876-1972 (Chicago: American Library Association, 1978).

v  Tucker, John Mark (ed.) Untold Stories: Civil Rights, Libraries, and Black Librarianship (Champaign, IL: University of Illinois Graduate School of Library and Information Science, 1998).

v  Valentine, Patrick M. “Small Select Library or Miserable Excuse: Antebellum College Libraries in the American Southeast,” The Southeastern Librarian 54:1 (Spring 2006): 6-11.

v  Wiegand, Wayne A. “American Library History Literature, 1947-1997: Theoretical Perspectives?” Libraries & Culture 35:1 (Winter 2000): 4-34.

v  Young, Arthur P., and Michael H. Harris. American Library History: A Bibliography of Dissertations and Theses (Metuchen, N.J.: Scarecrow Press, 1988).



Bibliograph (part 2)

Southern & Local History

v  Charlton, Thomas L., Lois E. Myers, and Rebecca Sharpless, with the assistance of Leslie Roy Ballard. History of Oral History: Foundations and Methodology (Plymouth, UK: AltaMira Press, 2007).

-          This book offers seven chapter essays from historians and experts in oral history who provide insights into the design and creation of oral histories. Especially helpful chapters are James E. Fogerty’s “Oral History and Archives: Documenting Context,” which details the methods of transcribing interviews and preserving documents; and Charles T. Morrisey’s “Oral History Interviews: From Inception to Closure,” which describes the steps Morrisey takes preparing for and conducting interviews. The “References” section is a sizeable fifty pages and contains a variety of useful sources.

v  Kammen, Carol. On Doing Local History (Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira Press, 2003).

-          Carol Kammen is a recognized historian and author with much to offer those interested in looking up and possibly writing on any topic of local history. On Doing Local History is an excellent primer for local historians or anyone performing historical research. Kammen provides a summary on the history of local history and includes insights on conducting research, pitfalls to avoid, and even suggests local historical topics to explore.


Other Sources Cited or Consulted

v  Harris, Steven R. 2003. "Civil Rights and the Louisiana Library Association: Stumbling toward Integration." Libraries & Culture 38, no. 4: 322-350. Academic Search Premier, EBSCOhost (accessed June 12, 2008).

v  Root, Mario. (2007). Congress of Racial Equality. Encyclopedia of Black Studies. Retrieved June 14, 2008, from



Intellectual Freedom & Censorship

v  American Library Association Young Adults Library Services Association. Hit List:

Frequently Challenged Books for Young Adults (Chicago: American Library

Association, 1996).

v  Berninghausen, David K. The Flight from Reason: Essays on Intellectual Freedom in the Academy, the Press, and the Library (Chicago: American Library Association, 1975).

v  Geller, Evelyn. Forbidden Books in American Public Libraries, 1876-1939: A Study in Cultural Change (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1984).

v  Robbins, Louise S. Censorship and the American Library: The American Library Association’s Response to Threats in Intellectual Freedom 1939-1969 (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1996).

v  Sova, Dawn B. Banned Books: Literature Suppressed on Social Grounds (NY: Facts on File, 1998).

v  Woods, L. B. A Decade of Censorship in America: The Threat to Classrooms and Libraries, 1966-1975 (Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press, 1979).


Acquisitions Librarian - Library Science Selector

Profile Photo
Patrick Reakes
529 Library West

(352) 273-2505
University of Florida Home Page

This page uses Google Analytics - (Google Privacy Policy)

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.