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History of the FMHI Research Library

FMHI LibraryThe Florida Mental Health Institute Research Library has been an established resource for information on mental and behavioral health research, policy and treatment for over 35 years. Conceived by W.D. Rogers, former Director of Florida’s Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services, and E. Arthur Larson, former Coordinator of the Division of Mental Health, as a “professional library which will… [house] various library materials of specific subject matter,” the Library officially opened in 1974 under the direction of the Florida Mental Health Institute (FMHI) and the Florida Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services (HRS). In 1981, FMHI was transferred from HRS to the University of South Florida (USF), thereby placing the Research Library within the USF Libraries.

Over the years, the Research Library has grown to not only include monographs and serials but also electronic and archival resources. Collections of significance have included the following:

  • Autism collection, developed from the FMHI’s Center on Autism and Related Disabilities and a grant from the John Maxwell Biasco Foundation;
  • Multicultural and Mental Health Training Program materials;
  • Disaster mental health resources;
  • HIV/AIDS collection, supported by the Center for HIV Education and Research;
  • Papers of Dr. Charles S. Mahan, Colleen Bevis and the Florida Commission on Mental Health and Substance Abuse;
  • FMHI Institute Archives

Collaborative work with FMHI and FMHI-affiliated faculty, staff and researchers continues to lead the development of both collections and research services. The original vision of the Library to “contain materials whose scope will range from neurophysiology and psychology through social welfare and sociology to religion and philosophy as well as materials on psychosomatic medicine,” has been streamlined by FMHI Librarians to enhance the resources and services provided at the Library.

Today, the FMHI Research Library is staffed by professional librarians serving the research and teaching needs of the University community, with particular emphasis on FMHI faculty, staff, students and researchers.

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