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Image of the Jacksonville Free Public Library

The Photograph Collection is small but strong. We have nearly 1200 photographs, primarily of Jacksonville and Florida. The images date back to the late 19th century and run up to the present day. The collection is a combination of original prints, copies, and reproductions.

We own items in many photographic processes including albumen, photogravure, and tintypes. Some of the more interesting images come from people's vacations through Florida in the 19th century. There are also many pictures of unidentified individuals--perhaps even someone related to you!

Our strongest concentration of material, as one would expect, is on Jacksonville. You can see the city growing through the ages - from before the fire of 1901 to the modern metropolis it is today. Most of our Jacksonville photographs are from the early 20th century. Our collection of images from St. Augustine is notable as well. Other strong points of the collection include other cities and counties in Florida and portaits of several Florida governors.

Many of the later 20th century prints we own come from various news agencies and were primarily intended for newspapers to use as promotional pieces. This portion of the collection was originally acquired to provide a contemporary view of places and events making the news in Florida, but now it provides an interesting view of the past. Those images are primarily from the 1950s and '60s.