Special Collections


African American History Collection

Image of the artist Augusta Savage with her sculpture, photo is part of the African American History Collection at the Jacksonville Public Library

Discover the rich cultural influence of African Americans living in Northeast Florida.  Through books, pamphlets, photographs, newspapers, documents, microforms, and multimedia, the African American History Collection brings to life the historical, social, civic, religious, economic and cultural life of African Americans.

Delius Collection

Frederick Delius, c.1907 from a postcard in the Grainger Museum

The prodigious British composer Frederick Delius began his musical career on the St. Johns River when he traveled from England to Jacksonville to learn how to cultivate oranges for his businessman father.  Away from the disapproving eye of his family, Delius secretly studied musical theory and composition.  One of the composer's early and more popular works, Florida Suite, was inspired by the life and sounds found on his plantation.

Digital Collections

Hemming Park aerial view

Go beyond the four walls of our physical space and access our Digital Collections – where unique, rare, and fragile materials are available 24/7, right at your fingertips By digitizing selected materials, the citizens of Jacksonville (and individuals throughout the world) have unlimited access to books and other materials that would otherwise be restricted because of their scarcity and fragile nature.

Florida Collection

Illustration of Ponce de Leon arriving in Florida.  Part of the Florida Collection at the Library.

Curious about the 1901 fire that destroyed downtown?  Want to find out the name of the first motion picture studio opened in Jacksonville?  Ever wonder about the namesakes of our many bridges?

Florida's history comes to life at the Main Library, where you'll find thousands of books and pamphlets, photographs, postcards, periodicals, microfilm, and documents, some dating back to the 1600s.

Florida Times-Union Editorial Archive Collection

Cover of the Times-Union paper from Jacksonville Florida on the event of the moon landing, part of the Special Collections at the Jacksonville Public Library

This collection contains over 130,000 vertical files. Vertical file materials were collected and organized by the Times-Union staff and include periodical clippings & photocopies, brochures, pamphlets, photographs, and news releases used as source material for subject and biographical data in developing news items that appeared in the Times-Union newspaper. The collection also includes over 1 million original photos and negatives.

Genealogy Collection

Genealogy images

The Genealogy Collection houses material relating to Florida and the southeastern United States, with a growing body of material on the Mid-Atlantic states and reference materials for the original 13 colonies.

Resources for both the novice and the expert family history researcher are gathered in one place with specially trained library staff ready to help you in your research.

Holocaust Collection

Entrance to Auschwitz

The Holocaust Collection is a selection of resources documenting one of the most horrific events in human history.  The collection catalogues the history, events and aftermath of the Holocaust through books, recordings, films and other materials, including eyewitness accounts from 16 local Holocaust survivors.  Testimonials are available on DVD.

Located in Special Collections on the 4th floor of Main Library, the Holocaust Collection is made possible in partnership with Remembering for the Future Community Holocaust Initiative.

Lewis Ansbacher Map Collection

Ansbacher Map Room at the Main Library, Jacksonville Public Library

It all started with the gift of an antique map from his son.  After that, local attorney Lewis Ansbacher collected historical maps for years to come.  The Lewis Ansbacher Map Collection features more than 240 antiquarian maps from around the world, in addition to historical views and plates focusing on North Florida.

Book a One-on-One Appointment

The Library is closed on Sundays and holidays listed on the Locations & Hours page.

Get a Library Card

Jacksonville Public Library card

Memory Lab

Reel to reel machine for digitizing media

Do you have boxes of old photographs in storage? Home movies on VHS or film? Mixed tapes on cassette or favorite records? Have you ever wanted to convert them to an easily stored and sharable digital format?

Read Jax logo