About Us

The P.K. Yonge Library of Florida History –

is dedicated to preserving and expanding the mission started by the Yonge family in the 1890s in Pensacola: to build historical resources on Florida from prehistory to the present and promote their use. Processing and digitization of new collections, books, and other materials is ongoing. P.K. Yonge has unmatched holdings in Florida newspapers, colonial records, Second Seminole War memoirs, and many other areas.

Florida as butterfly

Contact Information

JAMES G. CUSICK, Collection Curator

P.K. Yonge Library of Florida History
Smathers Library
University of Florida
Gainesville, FL 32611

(352) 273-2778 / jgcusick@ufl.edu

BRIDGET BIHM-MANUEL, Coordinator for Florida History

P.K. Yonge Library of Florida History
Smathers Library
University of Florida
Gainesville, FL 32611

(352) 294-1052 / bmbm@ufl.edu

Collection Overview

The P.K. Yonge Library of Florida History is one of the state’s most important archives for preserving and documenting Florida’s past.  At the core of the Florida collection are the private libraries of Philip Keyes Yonge and Julien Chandler Yonge. P.K. Yonge, a prominent Pensacola lumber magnate and civic leader, was a long time member of the Board of Control that set up Florida’s public university system. His eldest son, Julien, took an early interest in the colonial history of Florida, based in his family’s own colonial heritage that could be traced back to Henry Yonge, surveyor general for Georgia in the 1700s. An avid collector of books and historic documents, Julien built up the family’s private library in the early 1900s, corresponding with book dealers around the country in pursuit of Florida materials. He donated the library to the University of Florida in 1945 and became the first curator.

Subsequent curators augmented the library with the addition of nearly 2000 reels of colonial records on microfilm, an ongoing Florida newspaper project, a historical map collection, and a major collection of Florida tourism brochures, promotional materials, and graphic arts. The Yonge Library’s holdings of original manuscripts and papers are especially strong in 19th-century Florida, the Second Seminole War, the Civil War, Florida politics, Florida literature and writers, agriculture, and environmental and conservation issues. Additions to the collection are made each year through a combination of purchase and donation. 

The P.K. Yonge Library is supported by the Dr. William and Joan Mendenhall Book Fund and the Todd C. Prosser Memorial and Ted C. Prosser, III Book Fund. Additional support comes from Stewards of Florida History, the Florida Agricultural History Fund, and the Chase Family Award in support of graduate student travel grants. The Yonge Library organizes and hosts the annual Michael Gannon Lecture.

Current Collection Size

25,000+ volumes (books)

400 linear feet (approx.) of diaries, letters, and other manuscripts

5,000 reels of microfilm

2,000 stereoview images

3,000 citrus crate labels

5,000 photographs

10,000 tourism brochures and souvenir memorabilia

24,500 postcards

2,000 maps and map facsimiles (housed in the Maps & Imagery Library)