Florida Historical Society

The Florida Historical Society is an organization that promotes the study of the history of Florida. Incorporated in 1856, the Society collects, preserves and publishes materials relating to the history of Florida and its denizens. It publishes the journal Florida Historical Quarterly, originally the Florida Historical Society Quarterly and manages the Library of Florida History.

Florida Historical Society
Formation1856 (1856)
TypeHistorical Society
Headquarters435 Brevard Avenue
Cocoa, Florida
WebsiteFlorida Historical Society

Established in 1856, the Florida Historical Society is dedicated to preserving Florida's past through the collection and archival maintenance of historical documents and photographs, the publication of scholarly research on Florida history, and educating the public about Florida history through a variety of public history projects and programs. The society maintains an extensive archive at the Library of Florida History, publishes the Florida Historical Quarterly and books through the Florida Historical Society Press, manages the Historic Rossetter House Museum and Gardens, and operates the Florida Historical Society Archaeological Institute at the Brevard Museum of History and Natural Science.

Since 1905, the society has maintained the Library of Florida History. The general collection houses over 8,000 bound volumes, many rare manuscripts and postcards, maps, soil surveys, and over 10,000 photographs of old Florida. There is an online catalog that may be used to search the collection. However, in person research at the library is by appointment only. This gives the archivist the opportunity to pull the requested material for you. The first collection was housed in St. Augustine, Florida but since 1997 the library has been housed in a 1939 historic United States post office in Brevard County, Florida, built by the Work Projects Administration.

Henry Flagler, the American industrialist and railway magnate, donated one of the first books to the Library of Florida History's collection: a 1605 first edition of the book La Florida del Inca and the Struggle for Equality in Colonial Spanish America written by a Peruvian named Garcilaso de la Vega. La Florida del Inca chronicles the Florida expedition of Hernando de Soto, a Spanish conquistador and explorer.

The society produces "Florida Frontiers: The Weekly Radio Magazine of the Florida Historical Society" and documentaries for public television. The society maintains a content rich web site at myfloridahistory.org, and a dynamic Facebook page at "Florida Historical Society." The Annual Meeting and Symposium is held in a different Florida location in May each year featuring paper presentations, round table discussions, tours of historic sites, an awards luncheon, banquet, picnic, and more. The society's educational outreach projects and programs include active participation in events and festivals throughout the state, frequent public talks on a variety of subjects, workshops for teachers and students, history-based theatrical presentations, exhibits, and much more.

The Florida Historical Society is an independent, member-supported, 501c(3) not-for-profit organization.

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