houses rare, fragile, and unique materials ranging from a 4,000 year old Sumerian tablet to early printed books, photographs and prints, sheet music, ephemera, and history and literature collections. Explore our major collecting areas and policies.
The Special Collections Department of the University of South Florida Tampa Library supports the research and teaching missions of the University of South Florida by acquiring, preserving, and providing access to select and targeted monographs, manuscripts, illustrations, maps, sheet music, photographs, archival materials, and printed ephemera, as well as audio/video, images, and text in select digital formats. Collections are intended for use by the university community as well as the general public according to the policies and procedures established by the Department. Today, the Special Collections Department focuses its efforts on acquiring physical and digital materials around eight collection areas.
We offer a variety of options for reproductions of our materials. Patrons may take pictures with their personal cameras and cell phones, though the camera’s flash may not be used. We also offer a self-service Bookeye scanner. We no longer provide photocopies.
Digital Collections provide online access to many of our materials.
Focused efforts on acquiring materials in eight major areas:
The Jan K. Platt Environmental Lands Acquisition and Protection Program (ELAPP) is a citizen-led effort to preserve natural areas in Hillsborough County, Florida. It began as a local response to rapid development and habitat loss, and continues to preserve wildlife corridors in a highly urbanized region.
ELAPP was born in a 1987 referendum, when county voters overwhelmingly chose to dedicate funding to purchase environmentally sensitive lands. The program is non-regulatory and only acquires parcels from willing sellers. Anyone can nominate a property for ELAPP consideration, which triggers a review by county staff and the public ELAPP committee.
Voters chose to expand the program in 1990 and 2008, enabling Hillsborough County to protect more than 61,000 acres by ELAPP’s 30th anniversary. Many of these nature preserves were purchased in collaboration with other agencies, leveraging nearly one-third of the funds for acquisition from non-ELAPP sources and major restoration efforts with partners such as the Southwest Florida Water Management District.