Library Resources

USF mascot Rocky sitting at an image enlarger in the Tampa campus library. Rocky is facing the camera, pointing at the screen in front of him, which is showing an enlarged photo of his USF ID.

The University of South Florida Libraries accelerate learning and knowledge production through distinctive collections, information service innovation, and thought leadership. We are one library serving three diverse campus communities in Tampa, St. Petersburg, and Sarasota-Manatee. As the heart of an AAU member University, the USF Libraries contribute to student success, faculty excellence, and lifelong learning for our community.

We offer specialized research assistance and instruction support to students and faculty as well as access to unique primary research materials in Florida studies, Florida environment and natural history, children’s and young adult literature, LGBTQ+ studies, and university archives.

Below please find just a few of the online exhibits, digital collections, and guides that have been created by USF Libraries relating to BEA. More can be found through our Special Collections page, our guides, our digital collections, and our catalog.

This exhibition aspires to make visible the rich history and presence of Tampa Bay Area queer communities, activism, art, and people.

Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated®
This exhibit curated by the Gamma Theta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated® commemorates and celebrates their 115 years of history.

Embracing Past & Future
To honor Hispanic Heritage Month 2020 and the national theme of “Be Proud of Your Past, Embrace the Future,” USF Libraries – Tampa Special Collections presents an introduction to their more than forty collections documenting the history of local Hispanic and Latin American communities.

Greek Community Documentation Project
A USF Libraries collaboration with City of Tarpon Springs’ Greek Community Documentation Project.

African American Experience in Florida
On June 4, 2020, Dean Chavez announced the launch of a collection initiative that leverages USF Libraries’ resources and expertise to promote diversity and inclusivity in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. Through this initiative, the consolidated USF Libraries established a collection portal that provides open access to materials – regardless of format, subject matter or discipline – that advance the conversation around the African American Experience in Florida.

LGBTQ+ Collections
The USF Libraries’ Special Collections is determined to expand its collection of historically significant lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) materials in monographic, audio-visual, ephemeral, and archival formats. Our focus is on collecting materials that document LGBTQ+ history, culture, politics, community relations, and public health. While the Tampa Bay region remains an important focus, these collections are international in scope. LGBTQ+ collections provide valuable research material for scholars across disciplines—History, Law, Sociology, Political Science, American Studies, etc. Visit our LGBTQ+ History: Archives and Book Collection Guide for an overview of available resources.

The Weekly Challenger
The Weekly Challenger newspaper has documented the history of St. Petersburg, Florida’s African American community since the paper was established by Cleveland Johnson Jr. in 1967. In 2013 an agreement between the USF St. Petersburg campus Poynter Library and the Johnson family allowed the library to become the home for existing print issues of The Weekly Challenger. Since 2016 the library and newspaper have worked in partnership to create the Weekly Challenger Newspaper Digital Archive.

Not all of the older newspapers are in our holdings. Please note that there is a six-month delay before recent issues are added to the archive.

Holocaust and Genocide studies
Genocide and mass violence have become global threats to peace and security and a sad testament to the human condition. Almost a half million genocide and torture victims currently reside in the United States, with millions more suffering silently in other parts of the world. Recognizing an important opportunity to unify the University of South Florida’s wide-ranging genocide studies initiatives and to contribute to global education and action, the USF Libraries have created a global interdisciplinary center to understand and prevent genocide, with particular emphasis on the Holocaust, Armenia, and the Great Lakes Region of Africa.

The USF Libraries Holocaust and Genocide Studies Center is becoming an internationally recognized center for the quality of its collections, research, teaching, and community engagement. To achieve this goal, the Center’s mission is to cross international boundaries to engage information specialists, scholars, educators, students, analysts, and activists in a centralized, interdisciplinary, collaborative, and synergistic approach to genocide education, mental health and public policy, and prevention.

Irish Studies
Thanks to generous donations by James J. Harkins, Patrick Garland, and the family of Francis J. Thompson, USF Special Collections is home to a growing Irish Studies collection. These materials are incorporated into courses taught at USF, including “The Irish in America”, taught each Spring. Students “adopt” an item from our Irish Studies collections, and submit a research essay based on their selection. Those items are featured here. The Irish Studies digital collection consists of various types of materials, including dime novels, plays, sheet music and other curiosities. The collection will be augmented periodically as new items are digitized.

COQUEBS-Concerned Organization for Quality Education for Black Students, Inc.
COQEBS is a coalition of community organizations and individuals organized for the purpose of working to ensure the Pinellas County School District fulfills its commitment to provide quality education for black students; as was agreed by the final class action settlement agreement dated August 10, 2010. This order was issued in the Circuit Court for the Six Judicial District in Pinellas County, Florida. This agreement provides for the substitution of COQEBS as the party plaintiff in this case, and for purposes of monitoring the School District’s future and continuing compliance with this settlement, with respect to Student Achievement, Student Discipline, and Assignment to Programs and Classes.