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Guide to basic historical research resources.

FSU Special Collections

FSU Libraries' Division of Special Collections and Archives has several divisions:

  • The main Special Collections Department and Reading Room in Strozier Library (which houses unique manuscripts, historic maps, rare books, photographs, among other formats.  Strengths of the collections include Napoleon and the French Revolution, poetry, the history of Florida, and Southern business history.  Through frequent exhibitions, programs, instructional sessions, and hands-on research assistance, the division supports active learning and engagement.
  • The Heritage Protocol, dedicated to identifying, acquiring, cataloging, and preserving items related to the institutional history and cultural heritage of Florida State University and its predecessor institutions
  • The Claude Pepper Library, the official repository fo the a unique and multi-faceted collection of manuscripts, photographs, audio/video recordings, and memorabilia by and about U.S. Congressman Claude Pepper (1900-1989).
  • The Digital Library Center (under construction)

Searching for Special Collections Materials

In addition to the main libraries' catalog (accessed by clicking on "Find books, Journals, and More..." on the Libraries' homepage), materials in FSU's Special Collections are currently organized, represented, and accessed through two different systems. 

1. PALMM (A Content Management System for Digital Objects): The first of these, which can be accessed from FSU Libraries' Special Collections webpage by clicking on Collections > Digital Collections > and finally, FSU Digital Collections is the system that many institutions of higher education in the state of Florida have been using for many years to manage their digital content (which can include digitized finding aids and digitized materials: books, photographs, manuscripts, interviews, etc., alike).  To search for FSU material only within this broader, Florida-state-wide collection (called PALMM: (Publication of Archival, Library & Museum Materials), which is a program of the libraries of the Florida Board of Education's Division of Colleges and Universities (DCU) designed to provide support to individual and cooperative digital library initiatives), select Florida State University from the drop-down, "Select Collection" menu. 

To search within FSU Materials only, use the "Contains" radio button.  To search within all of PALMM, use the "exact" radio button.

2. FSU's Finding Aids Database: The second system for identifying and accessing FSU special collections resources, which can be accessed from FSU Libraries' Special Collections webpage by clicking on Research > Finding Aids is the system used more recently at FSU to create finding aids that can help researchers identify particular materials in particular collections related to their research.  The way this works is that all of the finding aids are in one database that researchers can search with keywords.

3. FSU Digital Library: A newly launched system and interface for FSU's Digital Collections.

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