Florida Citrus Archives

Florida Citrus Archives


The Florida Citrus Archives Story

Growing slowly over many years, Professor Mack's collection of citrus-related materials formed the basis of an archives unique to the field of citrus.

In 1988, the inclusion of a special room to house the collection in the Jack Berry Citrus Building brought about more rapid growth. The Thomas B. Mack Citrus Archives became the official archives of several citrus organizations over the next fourteen years.

As of May 4th, 2001, the State of Florida declared the Thomas B. Mack Citrus Archives collection to be the official archives of the Florida citrus industry. And now we have moved into larger quarters to serve our patrons better.

Florida Southern College generously donated an antique home on the campus to be the new home of the Florida Citrus Archives. Work was begun raising the money to renovate the house, and to date, we have received many contributions. We still need contributions to cover the cost of needed upgrades of our equipment, however the renovation of the house is complete now.

We moved in during the first part of June, and our Open House as held on Wednesday, June 19, 2002.The public was invited to attend from 2:00 pm until 5:00 pm.

We are busy these days digitizing the collection for greater preservation and more accessibility. Professor Mack wrote the Documented History of the Florida Citrus Archives, and there is a copy on hand in the archives for visitors to read. So many people have wanted a copy to keep, we must add that since we produce this book in house, we cannot spend the time printing and assembling one for less than a $500 donation to cover our costs and justify our time spent printing and assembling it.

Our current project is to raise enough money for the Endowment to keep our facility open and running into the future, since completion of the accession of the large influx of materials over the past three years and the digitizing of the entire collection will involve a long-term commitment and many labor-intensive hours by a trained archivist as well as volunteers and competent student assistants.



The mission of the Florida Citrus Archives is to gather, collect, procure, accept, and properly prepare for storage: historical data, writings and publications, printed materials, books, periodicals, pictures, photographs, maps, graphs, films, and various other manner of citrus memorabilia of significance.

It is the further purpose of the Florida Citrus Archives to digitize these materials on CDs, as much as is possible, for research both here and remotely, far into the future, and to physically store these materials in such a manner as to make them available to researchers for many years to come, and to make these materials available to the general public as much as is practical given our current financial status.


What we do in the Florida Citrus Archives

Donations of citrus-related materials are evaluated, inventoried, digitized, prepared for storage in acid-free sleeves, folders and boxes, listed, cataloged, preserved for posterity and made available for use by those researching the history of the Florida citrus industry.

What we have in the Florida Citrus Archives

The types of materials that we collect are those things that contributed to the history of the citrus industry in Florida: Letters, photos, newspaper clippings, documents, memos, invoices, bills of lading, letterheads, envelopes, notes, diaries, maps, newsletters, drawings and citrus crate labels.

The time frame represented covers that period from early history to the present, but the great majority of our materials fall between 1885 and the present (and most of those span the period from 1920 to the present). Naturally, the more recent history is much more completely represented than the earlier years'.

A Partial List of Individuals
and Organizations in the Citrus Archives

  • Dr. John Attaway
  • Dr. O. C. Bryan
  • Dr. Robert Carter
  • Citrus Industry Magazine
  • Citrus Research & Education Center
  • Emory Cocke
  • Davenport Collection
  • James P. Drane
  • Dr. William Drew
  • Florida Citrus Exchange
  • Florida Grower Magazine
  • Florida Citrus Mutual
  • Florida Citrus Packers
  • Florida Citrus Processors Assn.
  • Florida Citrus Reporter
  • Florida Citrus Showcase
  • Florida Department of Citrus
  • Julian Fussell
  • Dr. Bill Grierson
  • Walter Hawkins
  • Robin Hooker
  • Holly Hill
  • Roy Hunter
  • Indian River Citrus League
  • Warren Johnson
  • Dr. James Kesterson
  • Robert E. Leahy Studio Films
  • James Morton
  • Bert Roper
  • Gordon Smith, Citrus & Vegetable Magazine
  • C. Howard Sweatt
  • Dr. Tommy Thompson
  • Tropicana Products, Inc.
  • USDA
  • Waverly CGA
  • Wilson-Toomer Fertilizer Co.
  • Vaughan Woods

Before you discard old files, photos and other materials, think of the Florida Citrus Archives. If you have trouble deciding what could be used by the archives, let us decide.

Donations to Florida Southern College's Florida Citrus Archives are tax-deductible. Simply assign a value to your donation and our Advancement Office will issue an official gift-in-kind receipt for your tax purposes.

The Florida Citrus Archives is located in the McKay Archives Center on the campus of Florida Southern College.

Florida Citrus Archives
McKay Archives Center
Florida Southern College
111 Lake Hollingsworth Drive
Lakeland, FL 33801-5698

Questions? Contact

McKay Archives


In Memoriam

In 1947 when Professor Mack began working in citrus at the Lake Alfred Experiment Station, he began his citrus collection.

Any kind of citrus-based information, citrus industry related photography, books, or films were reviewed and filed carefully away for safe keeping. Although collecting was a passion, it was also necessary; Professor Mack was a gifted writer, and the information was used for references in the hundreds of articles he wrote over the years. When he began teaching at Florida Southern College in 1951 his files grew faster. As time went on friends and colleagues discovered his treasure trove and cheerfully added to his collection of all things citrus. By the mid-seventies he no longer had just files. Perhaps in self defense, Florida Southern College provided a room in the Berry Citrus Building and an archivist to help manage storage and retrieval of all the information. Then retiring friends and colleagues began to donate their research work files and personal collections. Professor Mack’s collection grew at an even faster pace.

On May 4, 2001, the State of Florida declared the collection to be the official archives of the Florida citrus industry. Florida Southern College wisely provided a home for this wonderful collection of materials at 901 Callahan Court, on the extended campus of the college in Lakeland, Florida. This honor did in fact make one of Professor Mack’s fondest dreams a reality.

Just past midnight on December 18, 2004, Professor Mack, my friend and mentor, slipped away quietly in his sleep. He left behind a legacy of caring enough to go above and beyond the ordinary in order to collect and preserve the history of this dynamic industry, and of finding the answers to questions asked by anyone interested in studying citrus.

Thomas Mack

Thomas B. Mack (1914-2004)
B.S.A. M.Ed.
University of Florida
Professor Emeritus
Director, Florida Citrus Archives