Giving to the Library

Growing the Black History of Jacksonville Collection

On May 18, 2019, we hosted a reception to thank civil rights activist and author, Rodney L. Hurst, Sr., for entrusting the UNF Library with his archives. This gift further develops one of the Library’s key initiatives – the growth of our Black History of Jacksonville Collection. This collection serves everyone and provides students from all walks of life and researchers across the globe with accurate, historical facts from our own community members who lived through The Struggle. It also ensures young black men and women in Jacksonville have a connection to their past for generations to come. To view these collections, please click here.

Join these efforts with the UNF Library Special Collections and University Archives to make your story available worldwide by giving your materials and the necessary financial support for their processing.

For answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) regarding item donation to the UNF Library Special Collections & University Archives such as...

What is a Special Collection?

What are the benefits of donating my collection?

How will my collection be digitized, made accessible, and marketed?

What should I expect when donating my papers and items?

Have more questions regarding Special Collections & University Archives?

Please contact Special Collections and University Archives. Thank you.

Supporting Special Collections & University Archives - Preserving and Digitizing Our Community's History

Library Special Collections Enrichment Fund

The Library Special Collections Enrichment Fund is used to acquire materials and tools for the work done in the Special Collections & University Archives section of the Library. Funds may be used to acquire collections, purchase materials for preservation needs, and to digitize collections for global access and research.

The Thomas G. Carpenter Library serves all UNF students, faculty and members of the Jacksonville community-at-large. Open up the world of the library’s unique digital collections and find faculty and student works, special collections and university archives, and the heritage of the Northeast Florida region. Discover what's unique about UNF, Jacksonville, and Florida by exploring the treasure trove of rare, valuable, and unusual documents and artifacts in the Library's Special Collections & University Archives.

Please consider supporting our resource needs for preservation and digitization in Special Collections & University Archives at one of the following levels:

White Library Osprey:  $500

Blue Library Osprey:  $1,000

Silver Library Osprey:  $2,500

Gold Library Osprey:  $5,000 +

Some gifts above may be pledged over a five year period.

GOAL $100,000

UNF offers a wide variety of giving options, such as planned and estate gifts. Some donors may wish to establish an endowment (minimum $25,000) to support an initiative in perpetuity. A gift at any level will benefit UNF students for years to come! 

Giving Questions & Contact

To make a gift or for questions about giving, please contact Library Dean, Dr. Brent Mai, or Director of Development for Academic Affairs, Lorin Thies.

Gifts can also be made online by clicking here.

About Special Collections & University Archives at the UNF Library

The resources of the Special Collections & University Archives section of the Thomas G. Carpenter Library include University Archives, Rare Materials, and the Personal Papers and primary source materials of prominent individuals and organizations. Special Collections is located on the first floor of the Library in room 1301. 

Hours of Operation: Monday - Friday, 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. by appointment

What Happens When You Gift Your Collection to the UNF Library?

It is always exciting when a new gift of a personal, corporate, or government collection arrives. There are three parts to the archival process for these collections. The first is access and arrangement, that is when we receive the material and process it. In this part, we work toward making the material accessible to the public, which may require establishing some order to the materials if the donor/creator did not organize their papers (if there is an established order, we maintain it). This is also the time that we rehouse the collection and create finding aids, which allow the public to see what the collection contains and helps us locate the materials in the archives for our in-house users. All of this processing helps set up the framework for the next part.

The second part is the digitization, which is what everyone really likes since it will allow global access to your collection. Digitization is not only scanning the material, it also includes creating metadata for each item. Metadata is information about the item and includes creator, date(s), locations, copyright and a lot more. When you have good metadata, then you have more entry points or ways the user can access the digital material (think of the search terms you might use to find a collection item). Then, once the item is digitized, it has to be preserved so that it doesn’t degrade.

So the third part is preservation, both for the analog/paper originals and the digital derivatives. Preserving the paper stuff is relatively easy: acid-free folders and boxes, proper shelving, correct temp and humidity, careful handling, proper lighting, pest control, etc. Preserving the digital can be trickier and can involve migrating information to new platforms as older programs are replaced and making sure your data is not degrading (we won’t even go into digital security!). 

For more information, please contact Susan Swiatosz, UNF Library Head of Special Collections & University Archives:

Recently Donated Collections

Archbishop Desmond Tutu Collection

Archbishop Desmond Tutu has donated a collection of his papers to the UNF Thomas G. Carpenter Library in honor of President John Delaney for 15 years leading the university and his upcoming retirement. The Archbishop Desmond Tutu Collection was presented to Delaney in 2018 during the university’s annual Professional Development Forum Awards Luncheon. The manuscripts will become part of the Library's permanent collection and it’s Tutu’s desire the documents be placed in the university archives and made available for institutional research by faculty, students, and the public-at-large.

Desmond Tutu is a civil rights activist and theologian from South Africa. He was active in South Africa’s anti-apartheid movement and won the 1984 Nobel Peace Prize as a result of his efforts. He is the former Bishop of Johannesburg and Archbishop of Cape Town, and is currently the Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town. In the spring of 2003 Archbishop Tutu was a visiting professor at UNF and taught 2 classes titled “The Struggle against Apartheid” and “Truth and Reconciliation”. Archbishop Tutu is now retired and resides in Cape Town.

The collection includes: 
• Two book manuscripts. These are texts that he created while writing 
the books. At the time he was writing the text, the books weren’t published, so these are rough drafts. The books have since been published are: “Number Two to Tutu A Memoir by Michael Nuttall” and “God Has a Dream by Desmond Tutu,” which he wrote while teaching at UNF. 
• Handwritten notes
• Class notes while teaching at UNF
• Speeches that he was making around the world at the time
• Correspondence with his friends and his assistant


Ansel Brooks Smith, Sr. Collection

Letters from World War I

Ansel Brooks Smith, Sr. was a well-known physician with prominent patients including Sen. Arthur Vandenberg. Smith, Sr. served during WWI as a Chief of Medicine operating on wounded soldiers and training Military physicians. The collection was donated by his son, Ansel “Bud” Smith, Jr. This collection, acquired with a recommendation from Dr. Courtwright of the UNF History department, contains more than 1,000 World War I letters from Ansel Brooks Smith, Sr., written during the Great War. This collection also includes envelopes, letters, telegrams, and postcards to his wife, children, and other family members. 

More information: 














Carl Hayden Quinn Collection

The collection is named after Carl Hayden Quinn who is the grandfather of the donor’s wife. The collection consists of twenty-two items including World War I maps with markings of French barracks, photographs, newspaper clippings, and a variety of documents such as enlistment and discharge records. The materials are dated between 1917 and 1922.

The finding aid, as well as digitized photographs and documents, can be found in the UNF Digital Commons. 

More information:




Dr. Edna L. Saffy Collection

Founder of the Central & Northeast Florida Chapters of the National Organization for Women

The collection contains awards, correspondence, memorabilia, printed materials, and writings. Many printed materials and photographs relate to politics and political activism. There are also numerous photographs and newspaper clippings, as well as Dr. Saffy’s dissertation. The collection also contains two large portraits of Dr. Edna Louise Saffy. The portraits are available for viewing by request in Special Collections. The collections spans from 1962 to 2013 with the majority of the items dated 1973 to 2010.

The finding aid as well as digitized photographs and documents can be found in the UNF Digital Commons. 

More information: 



Ed Gamble Collection

Political Cartoons Featured in The Florida Times Union

Ed Gamble is starting his 38th year in national syndication. He's been with King Features Syndicate for the past 28 years.  Ed was editorial cartoonist for the Nashville ( Tenn.) Banner from 1972 until 1980 and was the cartoonist for The Florida Times-Union (Jacksonville, Fl.) from 1980 until 2010.His cartoons have been published in hundreds of newspapers and magazines around the world, including The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Newsday, Dallas Morning News, Chicago Tribune, Denver Post, USA Today,  etc., and overseas in the LeMonde (France), Der Spiegel (Germany), Veja (Brazil), Sanomat (Finland), El Observador (Spain), Panorama (Italy), The Independent (England), etc.

Ed’s cartoons have been exhibited overseas in China and at the American Center in Karachi, Pakistan. His cartoons are permanently displayed at the Texas Depository in Dallas, Texas and at the Ford, Carter, Nixon, Reagan and Bush Presidential Museums.The University of Tennessee in Knoxville has a permanent display of Gamble cartoons in the University Library and has over 6,000 cartoons that Gamble donated to the University. The University of North Florida in Jacksonville has digitized hundreds of Ed"s cartoons after he donated over  2000 local and state cartoons that were drawn since he joined the Times-Union in 1980.  A collection of Ed’s cartoons was published in 1996 by Pelican Publishing Company entitled “You Get Two For The Price Of One!”, with the forwards written by former presidents Gerald Ford and George Bush. He co-authored a book by Regnery Publishing in 1988 with six other nationally recognized cartoonists.

Ed is a third generation journalist from his family. His grandfather, Edward Hill, was a publisher of a small newspaper in Tennessee and later worked with The Miami Herald and Atlanta Constitution. Ed’s mother was a columnist for their hometown newspaper in East Tennessee. He also had two great uncles, three uncles and a twin brother who had newspaper careers. Gamble earned a B.A. degree in political science at the University of South Florida. He and his wife, Saundra, live in Mandarin.

The majority of the cartoons in the Gamble Collection originally appeared in the Times-Union on the editorial page. The collection contains both published and unpublished original drawings by Gamble, some of which include publisher's marks and directions for printing. 

More information:



Florida Blue Collection 

The Florida Blue Archives document the development of one of Jacksonville’s most important corporations.  Blue Cross and Blue Shield's Florida plans were founded in Jacksonville in 1944 and 1946, respectively, and have been headquartered here ever since. The collection contains numerous printed materials detailing the company’s business operations, corporate growth, and philanthropic efforts over several decades, such as correspondence, annual reports, company newsletters, promotional and sales materials, and corporate procedure manuals. Also included in the collection are over 1,000 photographs, plaques and awards, various memorabilia, and numerous audio and visual materials such as VHS tapes, cassette tapes, CD's, and reel to reel tapes. The collection spans 1944-2015, with a majority of the materials dated 1970-1999.

More information:






George W. Simons, Jr. Collection

Founding City Planning of Jacksonville


George W. Simons, Jr. was born in Portland, Oregon, on February 23, 1891. Upon the death of his mother, he was raised by his grandmother in Rochelle, Illinois. He attended Beloit College (Beloit, Wisconsin) for his undergraduate education, graduating with a science degree in 1912. After taking classes at Harvard University, he obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1915, and briefly worked on the M.I.T. teaching staff.

Mr. Simons moved to Jacksonville, Florida, in 1916, where he resided for the remainder of his life. His professional engineering career began when he was hired by the Florida State Board of Health to establish the Bureau of Sanitary Engineering in 1916. He served as Chief Engineer of the Bureau for nine years. During this time, he founded the first Anti-Mosquito 
Association of Florida, and was appointed to Jacksonville's first planning board in 1922. In 1925, he resigned his state position and joined the Consolidated Development and Engineering Corp. of Jacksonville, a private company active in land development during the region's construction boom of the 1920s. Named Chief Engineer of the Company, he was instrumental in the development of the Jacksonville residential subdivisions, Venetia and Lake Forest, and the Woodlawn subdivision in St. Petersburg, Florida.

His lifetime work for which he was to become known - as a planning, zoning 
and municipal consultant - commenced in 1928, when he was hired by the City of Jacksonville to develop a comprehensive city plan and zoning ordinance. The following year, the city of Miami Beach hired him to prepare its first zoning ordinance. Over the next forty years, he was retained by over seventy municipalities to prepare planning documents and reports. He also created economic and marketing studies for Jacksonville and Wilmington, North Carolina.


More information:,_Jr_.aspx  



Jacksonville Aviation Authority Collection

The collection contains photographs, building history, aviation maps, records, awards, programs, correspondence, memorabilia, printed materials, and writings related to the immense Aviation History of Northeast Florida, the development of the individual airports which comprise the JAA, and the history of the JAA itself. The materials will become available for viewing by request in Special Collections by early 2019. This collection spans from the 1920's to the present with the majority of the items dated 1968 to 2018.

The finding aid as well as digitized photographs and documents will be found in the UNF Digital Commons in early 2019 after the collection has been fully processed and portions digitized.



Richard Mette Collection

Vintage Northeast Florida Travel, Tourism, and Other Memorabilia

The materials in this collection were collected and curated by Richard Mette, a lifelong Jacksonville resident with family ties to the area going back several generations. He channeled his passion for Northeast Florida into collecting memorabilia and ephemera representative of the business and cultural attractions of the region. The majority of the collection served as souvenirs for visitors to Jacksonville and the surrounding cities in Northeast Florida. Included in the collection are Mr. Mette’s extensive research materials providing additional background on the materials represented in this substantial and beautiful community history collection. 

More information: 


Rodney Lawrence Hurst, Sr.

Jacksonville's Black History

The collection consists of papers and memorabilia related to civil rights history in Jacksonville and Hurst’s experiences as a member of the NAACP Youth Council in the 1960’s. The collection focuses on the NAACP sit-ins of stores in Hemming Park (now Hemming Plaza), and Hurst’s book about Ax Handle Saturday.

Date range: 1957-2015
Bulk dates: 1960; 2008

More information: