The Special Collections at FGCU houses a variety of materials related to the history of Southwest Florida as well as materials from around the world. Researchers can find materials that explore the American Association of University Women, the research of Kevin Erwin into Environmental Ecology, Racial and Social Justice issues in Florida, and a robust collection documenting the Koreshan Unity among others. Explore and search special collections which are physically located in the Archive by visiting our Finding Aids.
The FGCU University Archives documents the history and culture of FGCU, its students, and the wider community. In the University Archives, researchers can find information on the establishment of the University and collections related to the President's Office, Athletics, Student Organizations, and departments across campus. Explore and search FGCU University documents, photographs, and ephemera which are physically located in the Archive by visiting our Finding Aids.
Many of our collections can be found, in part or wholly, online through DigitalFGCU. Researchers can find images related to the Koreshan Unity, gain access to our Florida Postcard Collection and the Minnie L. Gatewood Diaries, selections from our manuscript collection, as well as documents and images related to the history of FGCU. Online access to hundreds of unique manuscripts, photographs, oral histories, and other materials from the FGCU community, the Library’s Special Collections, local cultural heritage organizations can be found by visiting DigitalFGCU.
Using primary source material for research is different from other resources offered in the rest of the library. Materials located in Special Collections and University Archives cannot be taken outside of the archives reading room. Because all research must be completed in the Reading Room, it is good practice to review the FGCU Archives and Special Collections Finding Aid and prepare a research plan to make the most of your time in the reading room.
Rules to protect Special Collections Materials:
All items are non-circulating and cannot leave the Reading Room.
Use pencils for taking notes, not pens, markers, or highlighters.
Food, drinks (including water), and gum are not allowed in the Reading Room. Leave all food and drink items at the front desk and dispose of gum before your appointment.
Please be on time for your appointment. If you cannot make your appointment, email email@example.com as soon as possible to reschedule.
Silence your cell phone.
You may use your cell phone to take reference images of collection items. Disable the flash before taking any pictures.
ArchivesSpace is the database that contains descriptions of the University Archives and Special Collections held at Florida Gulf Coast University’s Bradshaw Library. Some of these collections include university founding documents, past issues of EagleNews, manuscript and artifact collections, and organizational and business records represented in two repositories: University Archives and Special Collections. The navigation menu on the left-hand side of the page will guide researchers through how to navigate and search ArchivesSpace, as well as how to read a collection record.
ArchivesSpace's navigation bar is on the top of each page and allows users to browse the database by Repository, Collection, Digital Objects, Accession, Subject, Name, or Classification. Users can also navigate back to the home page by clicking the "Home" button on the navigation bar.
Repositories - Browse records created by a specific repository.
Collections - Browse an alphabetical list of collections in ArchivesSpace.
Magnifying Glass - Search the archives.
The records described in ArchivesSpace are located in two different repositories. Collections can be identified by the repository that they are located in either on the search results page or the collections finding aid.
Once a user has identified the collection that they would like to work with, the finding aid will provide more information regarding what is in the collection. The collection overview provides descriptions, dates, and historical or biographical information. The collection record page also will allow users to generate a citation and search in the individual collection.
Items and materials in larger collections are typically organized into a series that groups relevant files or items together.
Accession: the materials physically and officially transferred to a repository as a unit at a single time. Accessions may be unprocessed, and portions of accession may not be immediately available for research. If you would like access to an accession, we recommend you contact staff at the University Archives and Special Collections by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Collection: a set of archival or manuscript materials that were aggregated in some way. A collection can represent a grouping of materials assembled by a person, organization, or repository from a variety of sources. A collection can also be composed of materials that are topically or temporally related, or they may share no relation other than the individual or organization that gathered them together.
Collection Number: a unique number is given to a collection for identification purposes.
File: related documents that are kept together in a folder.
Finding Aid: a resource that places archival materials in context by consolidating information about the collection. Examples of information typically found in a finding aid include: important dates; how the collection was acquired and processed; where the collection came from; a biographical note about the individual or organization relevant to the collection; the scope of the collection; subject headings related to the information topics within the collection; and an inventory of the materials within the collection, organized by boxes or folders. The finding aid can also give information about where the items in the collection are physically located.
Item: a thing that is complete in itself.
Repository: the place where collections are stored and cared for. A collection's repository refers to the physical location where the collection is housed.
Series: a group of similar records that are related in some way. Often they are grouped together as the result of being created, received, or used in the same activity.
Subseries: A body of documents within a series readily distinguished from the whole by filing arrangement, type, form, or content.
Source: SAA Dictionary of Archives Terminology
Keywords are what we use to search databases, but rarely does a single keyword produce perfect or complete results. Resources may not be described how you expect, and this is why approaching a search with multiple terms will produce the best outcome.
When formulating keywords, focus on:
Research Question: What is the history of the Everglades and how are they a unique ecosystem?
Keywords: Everglades, Florida, swamp, marsh, wetlands, mangroves, ecosystem, flood control, Lake Okeechobee, Florida Bay, cypress, Miami, manatees, alligators, sawgrass, Kissimmee River, biodiversity, coastal prairie, aquifer, environmental restoration
After running a search, users can filter the returned results by using the facets on the right-hand side of the window.
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