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Contact: Sarah Revell
850.245.6522
Sarah.Revell@dos.myflorida.com

FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF STATE CELEBRATES 50 YEARS OF PRESERVING AND SHARING FLORIDA HISTORY

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –

In 1967, the Florida Legislature passed and Governor Claude Kirk signed into law the Florida Archives and History Act creating what we know today as the Museum of Florida History, the Division of Historical Resources and the State Archives of Florida, which are at the foundation of the department’s mission to preserve, promote and protect Florida history. This year marks the milestone 50th anniversary of the legislation and to celebrate the department will be hosting a variety of educational programs and special events for families, history lovers and all Floridians.

“Florida has an incredibly rich history and for the last 50 years, the Museum of Florida History, Division of Historical Resources and the State Archives of Florida have been at the very core of the department’s efforts to preserve and showcase our state’s past,” said Secretary of State Ken Detzner. “I am thrilled to celebrate this milestone anniversary and I encourage all Floridians to join us at one of our exciting upcoming events.”

The Museum of Florida History was created by the Florida Archives and History Act in 1967, but its doors opened to the public 10 years later in 1977. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Museum opening and to celebrate the Museum has a host of educational events planned. Children and families can enjoy Second Saturday Family Programs on August 12, September 9, October 14, November 11 and December 9 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. History lovers can participate in the History at High Noon Series on August 22 at 12:00 p.m. with Tallahassee Historical Society past president David Lang as he takes guests back in time to what downtown Tallahassee was like more than 120 years ago.

The Division of Historical Resources works throughout the state to preserve, protect and promote Florida’s historic resources through programs like Florida Main Street, the Florida Historical Marker Program, the Florida Master Site File, the National Register of Historic Places, the Florida Panhandle Shipwreck Trail and the Florida Historic Golf Trail.

As part of its 50th anniversary celebration, the Division is offering a behind-the-scenes look into the department’s Conservation Lab where numerous artifacts are preserved. The lab treats archaeological objects like cannons, anchors, canoes, artillery shells and guns, architectural components, ceramics and glass and other objects. Tours are being held in conjunction with the Museum of Florida History’s Second Saturday program on Archaeology on September 9 at 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Tours can accommodate groups of up to eight people over the age of 10. You can make an early reservation by emailing collections@dos.myflorida.com.

The State Archives of Florida is a treasure trove of original Florida historical records. To celebrate its 50th anniversary, the Archives is hosting Summer Saturday Research Hours on August 19, September 16 and October 14 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Archives will also be hosting an Open House featuring tours, workshops, presentations and research hours on October 10 and October 17 from 5:30 to 8 p.m.

Additionally, The Grove Museum will host a conversation about the relationship between archives, preservation and historic site interpretation with Executive Director Johnathan Grandage on August 31 at 5:30 p.m. Archives and Historic Site Stewardship is free and open to the public. The Grove Museum is a shining example of historic preservation. The Grove Museum used materials and information from the State Archives of Florida to help tell the story of the Call and Collins families, which speaks to critical moments in the history of Tallahassee, the state of Florida and the United States.

The 50th anniversary celebration will culminate in the grand opening of the Museum of Florida History’s Living the Dream: Twentieth-Century Florida exhibit on October 28, which will feature activities for adults and kids, live entertainment and much more. 

For more information on the 50th anniversary celebration, including a full schedule of events, please visit dos.myflorida.com/50-years.

 

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About the Museum of Florida History

The Museum of Florida History is part of the Florida Department of State and is located in the R. A. Gray Building at 500 South Bronough Street, Tallahassee, Florida. Hours are Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Sunday and holidays, noon to 4:30 p.m.  Free parking is available in the garage next to the R. A. Gray Building. For more information, visit museumoffloridahistory.com.

About the Division of Historical Resources

The Florida Department of State’s Division of Historical Resources (DHR) is responsible for preserving and promoting Florida’s historical, archaeological, and folk culture resources. The Division Director’s office oversees a grants-in-aid program to help preserve and maintain Florida’s historic buildings and archaeological sites; coordinates outreach programs such as the State Historic Markers program and the Florida Folklife program which identifies and promotes the state's traditional culture. DHR directs historic preservation efforts throughout the state in cooperation with state and federal agencies, local governments, private organizations, and individuals. The Division Director serves as the State Historic Preservation Officer, acting as the liaison with the national historic preservation program conducted by the National Park Service. The Division is comprised of two Bureaus, archaeological research and historic preservation. For more information visit flheritage.com.

About the State Archives of Florida

The State Archives of Florida collects, preserves and makes available for research the historically significant records of state government, as well as private manuscripts, local government records, photographs and other materials that complement the official state records. The Archives’ digital outreach program, Florida Memory, provides free online access to selected archival resources that illuminate the state's history and culture. To learn more, visit info.florida.gov or contact the Archives’ reference staff at 850.245.6719.