Online Exhibits


Track Changes

Long before a canal cut across the Isthmus of Panama, the first transcontinental railroad charted a similar path between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Built 1850-1855, the Panama Railroad transformed the country’s physical and economic landscape. It propelled Panama into a future of exponential importance as a global crossroad and a tumultuous relationship with the United States that lasted 150 years. The impacts, for better and worse, were profound.

A Panama Railroad train emitting smoke while traveling through a grassy area

Guts & Ambition: 50 Years of the Independent Florida Alligator

The Alligator began publishing in 1906 as The University News, a student-owned newspaper founded to serve the UF campus. In 1912, the paper became part of the UF administration and changed its name to The Florida Alligator. Though it experienced managerial changes, The Alligator continued as a UF-run publication. In 1973, it once again became an independent, student-run newspaper and moved off-campus. It has been The Independent Florida Alligator ever since. 

Anthropomorphic alligator drawing leaning on orange newspaper box. The alligator wears a Florida Gators Fighting Albert shirt, and blue shorts. He is waving a small triangular flag that reads FLORIDA.

Yo misma fui mi ruta

This exhibit, inspired by Julia de Burgos’ poem “Yo misma fui mi ruta,” represents various aspects that have contributed to the construction of Puerto Rican women’s image. With images of everyday life, articles about forced sterilizations, and the struggles of Puerto Rican political leaders, this exhibit seeks to create meaningful conversations about Puerto Rican women’s fight against systematic oppression.

Illustration of La Borinqueña with text that states "Somos todos Boricuas"

Zora Neale Hurston’s St. Augustine

Author and anthropologist Zora Neale Hurston spent a great part of her life in Florida collecting folklore and telling stories. The pull of her adopted home-state brought her back again and again – including to the historic streets of St. Augustine.

A portrait of Zora Neale Hurston

The Cutting Edge

As built, the Panama Canal is an extraordinary achievement that would have been impossible to create just a few decades earlier. Recent advancements and innovations in concrete, dredging, electricity, equipment, engines, dynamite, railroads, and many others, meant the difference between success and failure. Individuals and industries capitalized on these improvements and invented solutions to complete an awe-inspiring engineering project in a time frame that pushed the limits of possibility.

Panama Canal workers using an unloader to move rock and dirt

Pura Belpré, Bringing Boricua Stories to the Bookshelf

Pura Teresa Belpré made significant contributions to librarianship and children’s literature through her 40+ years of activism as a writer, scholar, and the first Black Puerto Rican librarian for the New York Public Libraries (NYPL). Belpré believed in the universality of childhood and dedicated herself to serving children from Puerto Rican and BIPOC (Black Indigenous People of Color) communities. It is crucial to look at her legacy, as her activism is one that many can learn from and is still relevant to the present day. 

Pura Belpré performing a story in front of a group of children

Presence/Erasure: Black History in St. Augustine

Over 450 years of Black history fill the streets of St. Augustine. Yet, the changing tides of history, colonial powers, and racial prejudices buried many of their stories. The experiences of Black St. Augustinians are vast and expansive and are a necessary part of U.S. history, as they have and continue to contribute to shaping this land and nation.

Civil Rights marchers protesting with signs through the streets of St. Augustine, Florida.

The Digging is the Least Thing of All: Health & Medicine at the Panama Canal

The tremendous public health infrastructure necessary before and during Panama Canal construction evolved into an equally monumental and vital system designed to protect the Canal’s functioning and keep the people operating it safe from injury and disease. Individuals living at the Canal had typical healthcare needs, but they also faced unique and significant challenges brought on by their location at the crossroads of global trade.

Nurse Nelly Ibarra tending to a patient

Lost Communities of Florida

Lost Communities of Florida looks back at some of the once thriving Florida communities that have now faded or disappeared. It examines the broad social, economic, and political trends, as well as natural disasters and new technologies, that contributed to their rise and fall.

Black and white palm trees next to house

Freedom is Not Free: Ax Handle Saturday

Beginning August 13, the NAACP Youth Council organized sit-ins at segregated lunch counters in downtown Jacksonville. On August 27, white Ku Klux Klan (KKK) members attacked Black people in downtown Jacksonville. Although often overlooked, Ax Handle Saturday is a significant part of Florida and American history that mirrors and expands the national civil rights movement.

Individuals crowded around with reporters conversing with Alton Yates and Rodney Hurst

Let’s Talk About Sex

Children’s literature illustrates the changing attitudes towards sex education over time. Increased sex education has grown young people’s sexual knowledge, awareness, and autonomy. It has also improved their attitudes towards sexual and reproductive health and behaviors while affirming the position of sex education within a larger framework of human rights.

Illustration of person with heart around face

40 years 40 objects The Price Library of Judaica

This exhibition celebrates forty years of the Isser and Rae Price Library of Judaica at the University of Florida by showcasing forty of its special items. A sample of the many riches within, it includes printed books from the 15th – 20th centuries, unique scrolls, manuscripts, and works of art. As well as periodicals, a map, cookbook, rare children’s book, musical score, and other distinctive items that capture moments of Jewish history in various unexpected ways.

40 years 40 objects The Price Library of Judaica

The Haitian American Dream

The Haitian American Dream examines the events and the forgotten stories of Haitian immigrants in the United States. In so doing, it explains the reasons behind the different waves of Haitian migration, its ongoing impacts, and upheavals.

Flag of Haiti

Black Thursday: UF’s Black Campus Movement

Organized by the UF Black Student Union, 70 students marched into President Stephen O’Connell’s office April 15, 1971. They demanded equal and fair treatment for UF’s Black students and employees. This exhibit honors those Black students who were at the forefront of social and racial justice activism.

Black students prepare to enter Tigert Hall.