Supporting the Jacksonville Historical Society

September 24, 2012 3 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

The Jacksonville Historical Society is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that has been serving the community since 1929, dedicated to preserving the history of Northeast Florida and educating citizens about culture, architecture and history of the area. It produces books, television programs, oral histories, and numerous public presentations to achieve these goals. For both researchers and the public, the society's archives provides access to the largest repository of historical records, photographs, documents, and objects in this region.

Last week's Jacksonville Historical Society's presentation of the Streetcar Strike of 1912.

This is a first for me, reaching out to friends and colleagues for support in a group that I find invaluable to the Jacksonville community.  The organization is the Jacksonville Historical Society.
I have served on the Board of Directors for the past year.  During that time we have been attempting to purchase Old St. Luke’s Hospital and the adjacent three story Florida Casket Factory.  These buildings are of high importance for use by the Jacksonville Historical Society, mostly for the Archive Collection that has provided invaluable information about the history of Jacksonville.
The purchase involves a matching grant from the City of Jacksonville up to $250,000.  We are committing most of the Society’s current resources to the purchase leaving us with a very small margin to maintain the programs that keep history in the minds of those involved.
I am asking each of you to consider a membership in the Jacksonville Historical Society at any level possible.  Corporate memberships or higher would allow more flexibility in the purchase and programs, but please look at the levels and choose one that suits your interests.

The former St. Luke's Hospital.  Image courtesy of the State Archives of Florida.

Inside the former Florida Casket Factory Company.

A New Historical Museum and Archives Center for Jacksonville

In 2010, the Jacksonville Historical Society announced plans to purchase the buildings and develop these facilities as a center for Jacksonville history and archival space, for the preservation, exhibition and study of all aspects of the history of Northeast Florida. The hospital would become a museum and education center, while the warehouse would house the Society's archives and serve as a research facility in partnership with the Southern Genealogist's Exchange Society.

The mission of the Society’s new history center is to dramatically increase public awareness and appreciation of all aspects of Jacksonville history by providing one location for citizens and educators to access a wide range of local archives, and by providing instructions on the proper means of preserving public and private records.

The critical need for such a facility is due to the growth of the Society’s archives which are used regularly by the public and scholars to study our extensive collection of significant material dealing with Jacksonville’s history.  The Society will use the new history center at the Old St. Luke’s property to:

- consolidate the Society’s extensive but scattered archives

- partner with the area’s premier genealogist society, Southern Genealogist’s Exchange Society

- present permanent and rotating exhibits on local history

- operate an on-site oral history program with recording studio

- provide classes to the public on preserving family records

- work with colleges to develop internship programs in museum and archive management

- act as a reference center for other collections in Jacksonville

- interact with local public and private schools to teach local history

- provide archival services and supplies to individuals and organizations

The St. Luke's Hospital building.

How to Join the Jacksonville Historical Society

To consider joining or donating the preservation efforts of the Jacksonville Historical Society,Click Here!

For additional information, feel free to check out the historical society's website at .

Thank you so much for your consideration.
Ennis Davis
Metro Jacksonville