Postcard and Brochure Collections

Sample Brochure Covers Out of the Ephemera Collection: a late 1920s railroad brochure; a 1925 brochure for Miami; and a brochure for Jacksonville showing C. Adrian Pillars’ sculpture of “Spiritualized Life – Winged Victory” from 1924.

About Our Tourism Materials

Tourism is well represented in the graphic arts of our postcard and brochure collections.

The Yonge Library holds some 13,700 postcards organized into four sets: the  general Florida collection (11 boxes, @ 5,225 cards); the Lee Harrison Collection on Sarasota (2,400 cards); the Jerry Chicone Jr. Collection on Orlando (@ 1,200 cards); and the Gary Monroe Florida Collection (4,889 cards).  In addition, the William Slayton Collection (263 items) features views of Gainesville and the University of Florida.

Our  tourism brochures, known as the Florida Tourism Ephemera Collection, number some 8,000 individually-labeled items organized under general subject headings. 

Florida East Coast 1910

Brochures and related promotional or souvenir materials range in date from 1854 to 1979 and are arranged in the following categories:  Cities (99 binders, 2,502 items);  Railroads, Hotels, Steamships and Bus Lines (including the Florida East Coast and Plant systems) (25 binders, 700 items); State Publications on Tourism, Immigration and Agriculture (16 binders, 260 items); Guides, Maps, View Books, Postcards, Letters (15 binders, 950 items); Hotels, Motels and Restaurants (9 binders, 823 items); Attractions (17 binders, 1,789 items); Illustrated Adventure Stories (1 binder, 13 items); and Government Documents and Miscellaneous Materials (10 binders, no count).  An online spreadsheet provides an index to contents, with textual descriptions of items, their identification numbers, and dates of publication.

Tip Top Weekly 1901
Tip Top Weekly 1901 (#4752)

Both the postcards and the brochures are wonderful examples of commercial art chronicling the rise of  Florida’s agricultural industries, land booms, railroads and transportation networks, and vacation-related businesses.   Items from the collection have appeared in Jeff Hurd’s Come on Down: Pitching Paradise During the Roaring ’20s (Sarasota Alliance for Historic Preservation, Inc., 1995) and in John Margolis’s and Eric Baker’s See the U.S.A., The Art of the American Travel Brochure (Chronicle Books, San Francisco, 2000).  Some two hundred items are also featured in the Adam Matthews’ online database Leisure, Travel, and Mass Culture: A History of Tourism.

Other publications related to tourism can be found throughout the book collection in County and City Histories (Call Number F.2), Travel and Description (Call Number F.091 thru F.094).