USF Digital Collections for Environmental and Natural Sciences Research: Historical Collections

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Post written by Lesley Brooks, Carla Fotherby, and LeEtta Schmidt

This is the third post in a four part series introducing USF digital collections for environmental and natural sciences.

The USF Libraries Digital Collections have been steadily growing collections on various aspects of natural history, often with a focus on Florida specific environments or related ecosystems.

In this post, we will be reviewing our historical collections that provide information on various aspects of natural history either unique to Florida or related to other marine or sub-tropical ecosystems, such as early Florida naturalists, the Aububon society, and the conservation of Florida ecosystems and species.

Check out the other posts in this series:


Historical Collections


USF Digital Collections, “Roseate Spoonbill Nest”

Audubon Florida Records, 1900-1970

This digital collection contains the daily journals of Audubon wardens and statewide reports on certain sites and projects cover activities from 1900 to 1970, with most of the materials concentrated between the 1930s and 1950s.




USF Digital Collections, “Psittacus &c., The Parrot-Fish” (1754)

Catesby Photograph Collection

Selected plates from Mark Catesby’s The Natural History of Carolina, Florida, and the Bahama Islands: Containing the Figures of Birds, Beasts, Fishes, Serpents, Insects, and Plants, 1754.




USF Digital Collections, “Lightning fire thinned palmetto thicket” (August 1997)

Environmental Lands Acquisition and Protection Program Collection (ELAPP)

In 1987, Hillsborough County voters approved a referendum and property tax to implement the Environmental Lands Acquisition and Protection Program (ELAPP). ELAPP has protected over 61,000 acres of rare and important habitat in Hillsborough County.



USF Digital Collections, “Robert Allen Porter and an un-identified man”

Robert Porter Allen Collection

Robert Porter Allen was an ornithologist and conservation activist with the National Audubon Society. He founded the Audubon Research Center in Tavernier, FL and dedicated his life to documenting various bird species. His efforts to document the Whooping Crane nesting sites in North America generated national media coverage and aided in the creation of the Endangered Species Act in 1973. This collection features digitized items from the USF Libraries Special Collections holdings.


USF Digital Collections, Environmental Lands Acquisition and Protection Program Collection, (from top left to right) “Aerial view of Greenwood Avenue,” “Cypress Creek,” “Assessment of Cedarkirk Camp watershed area,” and “Cockroach Bay YES Camp reef”
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