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The Florida Citrus Archives Story

The archival materials related to citrus have grown slowly but steadily over the years at Florida Southern College. Faculty and students moved to Lakeland in 1922, to the site of a citrus grove. Florida Southern College's Citrus Institute was founded in 1947 and offered the first classes in grove management for the state of Florida. Professor Thomas B. Mack began teaching at the college in 1951 and brought his interest in all things citrus, as well as his burgeoning collection of which he continue to grow after his retirement in 1999. While he passed away in 2004, the collections he started continued to grow.

Finding Aids for our Processed Collections

The Florida Citrus Archives are housed in the Sarah D. and L. Kirk McKay, Jr. Archives Center. Materials accepted for donation include business papers related to grove management as well as documents and photographs related to individuals involved in the industry. Materials are preserved for the future and are made available to researchers and the public. The time frame represented in the current collection covers from the 1920s to the present. We are actively looking for the records of defunct groves.

Finding Aids

Florida Citrus Hall of Fame Fellowship Program

In 2008, the Florida Citrus Hall of Fame Fellowship Program was created to provide an engaged learning opportunity for FSC students and to expose them to a part of Florida history they may know little about. When the Archives Center opened in 2009, we proudly began displaying the Florida Citrus Hall of Fame Wall of Honorees. Each year, more names are added to the wall, and information about these winners is available in the archives and on the Florida Citrus Hall of Fame website. Together, the archives staff and Florida Citrus Hall of Fame Fellows have scanned labels and photographs, arranged and described collections, and created digital exhibits.

Crate Label Collection

The Fruit and Vegetable Label Collection at Florida Southern College contains digitized crate labels primarily from Thomas Mack, James Ellis, Jerry Chicone, and Anthony Whiting. Used primarily in the 1920s-1950s, these colorful labels were used for marketing the different groves and growers.

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Canning Label Collection

The Fruit and Vegetable Label Collection at Florida Southern College contains digitized canning labels from C. Howard Sweatt and Brenda Eubanks Burnette. Most of the labels date from the mid-1950s into the 1970s. 

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Florida Citrus Postcards Collection

The Florida Citrus Postcard Collection, 1900-1960, highlights postcards collected by Brenda Eubanks Burnette, Donald Ball, Jerry Chicone, and Brian and Richard Weaver. While postcards were originally intended to serve as souvenirs and keepsakes, now these postcards help depict the citrus industry's history. In addition to fruits, groves, and citrus related equipment, the postcards contain pictures of railroads, packing houses, and fruit stands.

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Florida Citrus Photographs Collection

The Florida Citrus Photographs Collection, 1900-1960, highlights photographs from the Florida Citrus Archives collections. Of especial interest are pictures of fruit, trees, groves, equipment, packing houses, workers, and fruit stands.

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