Center for Florida History

The Lawton M. Chiles Center for Florida History strives to enhance the teaching, study, and writing of Florida history.

Founded in 2001, the Center seeks to preserve the state’s past through cooperative efforts with historical societies, preservation groups, museums, public programs, media, and interested persons.

As such, the Center’s long-term goals are to:

  • Expand and upgrade the Florida Lecture Series.
  • Offer training in Florida history for public and private school teachers.
  • Work with and advise historical associations in the collection and preservation of historical artifacts, including oral histories, photographs, and manuscripts.
  • Hold symposia on special topics in Florida history.
  • Host a visiting scholar in Florida history.
  • Publish new and out-of-print works of Florida history.
  • Continue and add to our Oral History Collection.

This unique center, housed in the Sarah D. and L. Kirk McKay, Jr., Archives Center is a source of continuing information created to increase appreciation for Florida history.

Florida Lecture Series

The Florida Lecture Series is a forum that brings speakers to the Florida Southern College campus who explore Florida life and culture.

The lecture series covers a wide range of disciplines, including history, public affairs, law, sociology, criminology, anthropology, literature, and art. The overall objective of the series is to bring members of the community, the faculty, and the student body together to interact with and learn from leading scholars in their fields.

2018-2019 Florida Lecture Series Schedule

The 2018-2019 Lecture Series has concluded.

Join our mailing list for information regarding the Florida Lecture Series 

Past Florida Lecture Series and Speakers

Among our Series speakers have been distinguished leaders, historians, writers, and public officials such a Reubin Askew, Bob Graham, Janet Reno, Douglas Brinkley, H.W. Brands, and Robert V. Remini. | Learn more about our past series and speakers »

Recent Publications

Book: None Can Have Richer Memories Polk County, Florida, 1940-2000

None Can Have Richer Memories Polk County, Florida, 1940-2000
Canter Brown, Jr.
Polk County Historical Association

Book: Echoes from a Distant FrontierThe Brown Sisters' Correspondence from Antebellum Florida

Echoes from a Distant Frontier
The Brown Sisters' Correspondence from Antebellum Florida

Edited by:
James M. Denham
Keith L. Huneycutt

Book: In the Midst of All That Makes Life Worth Living:Polk County, Florida, to 1940

In the Midst of All That Makes Life Worth Living:
Polk County, Florida, to 1940

Canter Brown, Jr.
Commissioned by the Polk County Historical Association

Book: "A Rogue's Paradise"Crime and Punishment in Antebellum Florida,1821-1861

"A Rogue's Paradise"
Crime and Punishment in Antebellum Florida,
1821-1861

James M. Denham

Book: Cracker Times and Pioneer Lives, The Florida Reminiscences of George Gillett Keen and Sarah Pamela Williams

Cracker Times and Pioneer Lives, The Florida Reminiscences of George Gillett Keen and Sarah Pamela Williams
Edited by:
James M. Denham
Canter Brown, Jr.

Book: Florida Sheriffs: A History 1821-1945

Florida Sheriffs: A History 1821-1945
William Warren Rogers
James M. Denham

Supporting the Center for Florida History

Individuals, corporations, and foundations provide the funds for an endowment and to pay for the operations and programs. If you are interested in supporting the Center for Florida History and its various initiatives, you can contact the Center or the FSC Advancement Office for a pledge card, or you may easily make a gift online .

You can also sign up to receive newsletters and announcements concerning the center as well as invitations to lectures and symposia.

Your interest and support of Florida history is appreciated.

Questions? Contact

Photo of Dr. James Denham

James M. Denham, Ph.D.

Executive Director - Center for Florida History
863.680.4312