The National Archives have announced the most recent National Historical Publications and Records Commission’s grants, and the University of Florida Libraries is one of the award winners for a project to digitize historical Everglades records. The project, entitled “America’s Swamp: The Historical Everglades” will digitize material from six collections relating to the exploration, development and conservation of the Everglades from 1878-1929. “America’s Swamp” will feed into the Everglades Digital Library (EDL), from the Florida International University Libraries and many other partners.
We’ll keep you posted as the collection starts to go online, and there will be a great deal to share since this project will digitize approximately 99,690 pages in six archival collections. The collections selected for this project document early plans for draining the Everglades in the 1880s and 1890s, the dredging of canals and subsequent development of the destroyed wetlands at the start of the 20th century, as well as early attempts by conservationists to preserve the natural resources of the Everglades. The six collections featured in this project are part of the P.K. Yonge Library of Florida History and the Archives & Manuscripts Unit of the Department of Special & Area Studies Collections at the University of Florida Libraries. The collections to be digitized date from 1854 to 1963, but the bulk of the materials included in this project will date from 1877 to 1929. The year 1929 was selected as an end date because it marks the end of the South Florida land boom and the onset of the Great Depression. Of the 99,690 pages, approximately 9,040 pages are letterbook pages and 250 are photographic prints.