About The Collection
Images in the West Florida Photohistory come from the various holdings of the Special Collections Department, John C. Pace Library, University of West Florida. The Department holds some 750 collections of papers of families, businesses, organizations, and individuals including Florida Governor Sidney Catts and a number of congressmen from Florida. The Department is also the University Archives for the University of West Florida. Collections emphasize the history and development of the West Florida region, the Florida Panhandle including lumber and timber industries, shipping, railroads, military presence (Naval Aviation, Air Force), history of education, and other topics.
The “West Florida Photohistory” component is a composite photograph collection of images taken from many different individual archival collections, and will also include images contributed from collaborators with UWF’s historic preservation iniatives.
The initial contribution to “West Florida Photohistory” is the Bell Collection, a group of 7,500 glass plate negatives, from Pensacola photographer H. Lee Bell, and possibly an earlier photographer, George Turton, for whom Bell worked before opening his own studio circa 1911. These images show Pensacola people as well as visitors, tourists, and others including Florida Governors, ministers, priests, families, children, and weddings, circa 1900-1920.