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.
The USF Libraries’ Special Collections department is determined to expand its collection of historically significant lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) materials in monographic, audio-visual, ephemeral, and archival formats. Our focus is on collecting materials that document LGBT history, culture, politics, community relations, and public health. While the Tampa Bay region remains an important focus, these collections are international in scope. USF Libraries LGBT collections provide valuable research material for scholars across disciplines—History, Law, Sociology, Political Science, American Studies etc.
Watch this video by USF Mass Communications student Sierra Glasscock. In the video, Sierra uses her video production talent to help Special Collections spread awareness to the LGBT Collections.
Queer Literature Collection
Description: Thanks to a generous donation from former USF Libraries Dean William Garrison, the Queer Literature collection was established in 2012. This collection contains works of popular fiction, poetry, scholarly monographs relating to LGBT issues, and assorted periodicals. USF Libraries’ Special Collections is committed to growing this collection based on the research interests of faculty, staff, students, and the community.
Asian Male Nude Collection
Extent: 53 boxes
Description:The collection contains magazines, news clippings, photographs, ephemera, and audio/visual materials that document the historical rarity of the Asian male nude and the transition from the rarity of the Asian male nude to the more common proliferation of materials that can be found in later years. Even now when male Asian nudes are appearing with a limited frequency, the Asian body is portrayed in racial stereotypes, as being unworthy, lacking sexual endowment, or being submissive or passive. The collection illustrates the historical reality of this racial stereotype and the rarity of the nude Asian male in gay imagery in art as well as Western pornography. The gradual emergence from a near total absence from male imagery to the presently more widespread use of the Asian male nude is traced in detail. Also included in the collection are series on Asian body building, including martial arts, and Asian adult film stars Jordan Young and Brandon Lee. Click here to see the collection’s finding aid »
Gay Surfer Collection
Extent: 28 boxes
Description: This collection contains numerous magazines, news clippings, and other ephemera relating to the gay surfer image in printed form. Beginning in 1936, the collection documents the increasingly visible appearance of surfers and its connection with gay men and women through nude photographs, all male physique magazines, and eventually to overtly gay lifestyle publications and advertisements. Click here to access the collection’s finding aid »
Edith Daly/ Women’s Energy Bank Collection
Extent: 8.75 linear foot (24 boxes)
Description: The Edith Daly/ Women’s Energy Bank collection consists of Daly’s personal correspondence; documents and clippings centered on gay and lesbian rights, feminism and environmental activism; and anti-war and anti-violence resource packets and handbooks. Of particular interest are editions of Womyn’s Words, the Women’s Energy Bank’s monthly publication, and programs from the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival, both of which have been cataloged separately. Click here to access the collection’s finding aid »
LGBT Ephemera Collection
Extent: 13 boxes
Description: This ever-growing collection contains magazines, ephemera, pamphlets, buttons, stickers, photographs and clothing items relating to the Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgendered community from the United States and Europe. The collection also contains pamphlets, magazines and other items relating to HIV/AIDS/STDs and public health. Click here to access the collection’s finding aid »
Equality Florida Collection
Extent: 32 boxes
Description: This collection is primarily comprised of documents relating to the day-to-day operations of Equality Florida, formerly known as the Human Rights Task Force, as well as documents regarding projects conducted by Equality Florida. Also in the collection are research articles on a variety of topics related to the LGBT community, including the several Human Rights Ordinances put forth in the Tampa Bay area, Youth Lobby Days, the 1999 LGBT Rights Rally held in Tallahassee, Safe Schools Summits, and Equality Florida’s work on the SAVE Dade project. The collection also contains miscellaneous documents such as news articles dealing with Equality Florida’s many projects and press releases, photographs, scrapbooks, and audio/visual materials. Click here to access the collection’s finding aid »
St. Pete Pride Collection
Extent: 2 boxes
Description: This collection contains programs, fliers, corporate sponsorship package documents, proclamations and posters relating to various St. Pete Pride events from 2003 – 2013. Included in the collection are event programs from previous pride celebrations, photographs, signed posters and other ephemeral items that illuminate the rich history of this LGBT organization in the Pinellas County, Florida area. Click here to access the collection’s finding aid »
USF PRIDE Alliance Collection
Extent: 2 boxes
Description: The University of South Florida PRIDE Alliance (People Respecting Individual Diversity and Equality) provides an on-campus support system through which, by interaction with their peers, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender students, and their allies may realize their full potential. In addition, the Alliance educates the University of South Florida community by serving as an information reception and dispersal source in order to dispel myths and stereotypes often associated with gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people. The Alliance, formerly known as the Gay Coalition, was founded in 1974, and is the oldest continuously funded gay campus-based organization in the state of Florida. Over the course of its history, the Alliance expanded to welcome lesbians, bisexuals, and transgender people. Click here to access the collection’s finding aid »
National Center for Lesbian Rights
Extent: 9 boxes
Description: This collection contains corporate documents that include annual reports, major gift campaigns, and grant materials. Also included in the collection are documents regarding projects done solely by NCLR and those done with Equality Florida. These include the Sports Project and the Dignity for All Students Act. The collection also contains: materials detailing research conducted on several Florida municipalities in regards to human rights ordinances; articles, pamphlets and correspondence; information on domestic partnerships and civil unions; Florida adoption policies; and custody cases. Publications include newsletters and pamphlets. Miscellaneous documents include an album from the 20th anniversary and two multi-media discs. Click here to access the collection’s finding aid »
Eunice M. Fisher Collection
Extent: 3 boxes
Description: Born in 1936 in Milwaukee, WI, Eunice Fisher came into LGBT activism after her move to the Tampa Bay area in 1992. After becoming aware of the local LGBT community, Fisher became active in the Human Rights Task Force and the Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Tampa Bay, while working as a librarian at the Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library. Fisher was married in 1968, and in 1988, she came out openly as a lesbian and her marriage ended. Fisher then became involved with Anne “Mickie” Howell, and entered into a Holy Union with her. After four years together, Mickie died of lung cancer, and two years later, Fisher wrote her autobiography Christian AND Lesbian: A Life in Progress (2006). Fisher’s LGBT activism has been influenced greatly by her Christian faith, which remains an important aspect of her life. Click here to access the collection’s finding aid »
Extent: 5 boxes
Description: The Dignity Collection contains both local, regional, and national materials related to the Dignity organization. This organization focuses on providing religious, social, and support services for LGBT Catholics. As an activist group, Dignity campaigns for greater awareness of LGBT rights and concerns. This collection contains writings and records from Dignity Suncoast or Tampa Bay, Dignity Region IV, and DignityUSA. Examples of items include: manuscripts, newsletters, correspondence, pamphlets and some cassettes discussing LGBT issues. Click here to access the collection’s finding aid »
Donald L. Bentz Collection
Extent: 11 boxes
Description: In 2007, University of South Florida alum Donald L. Bentz donated a collection of materials highlighting numerous Bay area events and organizations developed and sponsored by Tampa’s LGBT community. Consisting of items from local organization Greater Tampa Bay Pride Organization, Inc. and such events as “Pillage and Plunder” and “Wet Party,” the Donald L. Bentz Collection primarily includes administrative documents, posters, photographs and other items from the early 1990s to the early 2000s. Click here to access the collection’s finding aid »
Daddy Wayne Koon Collection of Realia and Moving Images
Extent: 1 box
Description: Wayne Koon, “Daddy Wayne,” was a gay male bartender in Tampa, Florida. He worked at the well known bar, La Goya, located at 1403 E. Seventh Ave in Ybor City. La Goya was popular for its gay night life and drag queen shows. In the 1970’s- 1980’s the location was named Tracks. This collection primarily consists of realia that belonged to Daddy Wayne and moving images pertaining to the El Goya where he worked as a bartender. Click here to access the collection’s finding aid »
Lee Ann Wojtkowski (“Oak”) Collection
Extent: 1 box
This collection consists of pamphlets, booklets, newspaper clippings, and personal notes. The majority of the materials are personal notations from the donor regarding feminism and/or lesbianism consciousness and activism. Click here to access the collection’s finding aid »
LGBT Oral History Project
Description: This USF Libraries Oral History Project provides primary source material that emphasizes sexuality and gender identity-based cultures. The oral histories include first-hand experiences, everyday life, community, and common use terminologies. This is an open collection that will continue to be added to over time. Click here to access the collection online »
Rex Maniscalco Collection
Extent: 6 boxes
Description: This collection contains photographs, negatives, and VHS recordings pertaining to Tampa GLBT culture and community and reflects the growing national visibility of gay and lesbian lives throughout the 1990s and early 2000s more generally. This collection is comprised of photographs of the GLBT community taken by Rex Maniscalco from the 1980s to 2000s. Captured in the images within this collection are Tampa Bay’s early Pride picnics to full scale Pride Festivals in downtown Tampa and Ybor City, the Tampa Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, the Tampa AIDSwalk, other major gay events such as Southern Decadence in New Orleans, LA and Beach Fest in Daytona, protests and rallies, and many other social gatherings and political events. This collection also contains video recordings of major political events and organizations in Tampa including County Commission and City Council vote to include sexual orientation in the city’s human rights ordinance in 1991, the 1993 March on Washington, organizational meetings of the Human Rights Task Force. Maniscalco’s collection also includes video recordings of local and national talk shows and television shows.
Rex Maniscalco Collection of Bobby Smith Photographs
Extent: 6 boxes
Description: The Rex Maniscalco Collection of Bobby Smith Photographs consists of photographs taken by Bobby Smith in the 1950’s-1970’s and videos of GLBT events within the years of 1993 -2000 as well as serials and programs printed during 1972-2007. The photographs are a rare set of images taken by the late Bobby Smith. The first female “messenger boy,” and co-founder of the Metropolitan Community Church in Tampa, Bobby Smith’s personal and professional photographs include both portraits and “everyday” shots of the GLBT community.The collection consists of nearly 450 photographs documenting Tampa’s Gay and Lesbian communities from the 1950s to the 1970s. Images of popular hang-outs, such as Jack’s Place, Knotty Pine, Jimmie White’s Tavern and the Brass Rail, are included.
Click here to access the collection’s finding aid; click here to access select photographs from the collection online »
The International Bathhouse Collection
Extent: 3 boxes
Description: Bathhouses are a major cultural institution for the gay male community. Historically these were spaces where men were able to find community and seek out sexual encounters with other men. This collection contains travel articles and ephemera pertaining to bathhouses in the United States and abroad. The bulk of the collection is comprised of advertisements, magazine clippings, and brochures for various bathhouses for many major cities, from Key West, Florida to Paris, France.
World AIDS Day Collection
Extent: 4 boxes
Description: Collection is comprised of emails, flyers, announcements, participation forms, and other documents pertaining to the planning and implementation of on-campus activities for World AIDS Day at University of South Florida.
Metro Wellness Collection of Photographs
Extent: 5 boxes
Description: This photograph collection is comprised of hundreds of images that document the social, cultural, and political activities of the LGBT community. It contains images related to AIDS activism and remembrance, gay and lesbian choruses, pride parades, film festivals, 1993 March on Washington, the Tampa Bay Business Guild, and many more subjects. This photograph collection covers the greater Tampa Bay area, including St. Petersburg.
Sex in Advertising Collection
Extent: 3 boxes
Description: This collection contains advertisements that depict women, men, and bodies. These ads were clipped by the donor from magazines, newspapers, and catalogs, and selected for their portrayal of sexuality or sex. In this collection, a researcher will find popularized advertisements for brands such as Calvin Klein, Diesel, Gap, and many luxury brands. This collection also includes some advertisements from men’s fitness magazines and magazines for gay men.
Matthias Herrmann collection of self photographs
Extent: 2 boxes
Description: The collection contains photographs, books, articles and other items relating to the myriad works of photographer Matthias Herrmann. Matthias Herrmann (b. Dec 4, 1963) was originally trained as a ballet dancer, but later decided that his career was taking him in new directions and he eventually settled on photography. His photographic practice deals with questions of identity and desire, often choosing artists books as the main carrier of his works. From 2006 – 2012, Herrmann was a Professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, Austria. He has had exhibitions at the Museum der Moderne in Salzburg, Museum Ludwig in Budapest, Betonsalon in Paris, and Muzeum Sztuki/Galeria Potocki in Krakow, Poland. In 2013, he was awared the Otto Breicha/Rupertinum Preis fur Fotografie award and in 2012 the Kunstpreis furkunstlerishe Fotographie by the Republic of Austria.