How to learn more about Tampa’s history on its 135th anniversary

Established in 1992, Archives Awareness Week provides an opportunity for local archives to come together and showcase their collections in a way that conveys the value of archives in identifying, preserving, and curating historical records.

From learning how to handle, dry, and clean up damaged heirlooms to the Burgert Re-Enactment Instagram Photo Challenge, your journey to explore Tampa’s history begins below.

The week-long celebration of Tampa’s history includes exhibits, virtual galleries, a look at Tampa’s rich cigar history and a walking tour of Ybor City.

Virtual exhibitions and galleries

Cuban trails – Tampa Bay History Center

A 30-minute tour guiding you through 500 years of Cuban history and its connections to Tampa.

Immigration and Ybor City 1886-1930 – Ybor City Museum State Park

An exhibition of immigrant groups that blends the work and social life of Cubans, Spaniards, Sicilians, Romanian Jews and Germans who helped weave the diverse tapestry that is unique to Ybor.

Kitsch Cartography: Illustrated and Illustrated Maps of Florida – Tampa Bay History Center

This exhibition presents maps with detailed illustrations due to the new printing techniques of the time, making color publishing easier and less expensive.

Stop the presses! Fake News and the War of 1898 – Museum of Plants Henry B.

This exhibit at the University of Tampa explores yellow journalism and the work of famous war correspondents such as Richard Harding Davis and Frederic Remington.

Burgert Replenishment Instagram Photo Challenge -Instagram

Visit the @TampaHillsLib Instagram and submit your photos using the hashtag #LikeABurgert. Three randomly selected winners will receive a Burgert Brothers photo print of their choice courtesy of Bob Baggett Photography. The contest runs from July 10 to July 16 at 4 p.m. Winners will be contacted after July 18.

To see more of Tampa Bay and the west coast of Florida from the late 1800s to the early 1960s, check out the Burgert Brothers Photographic Collection.


Plant’s Follies: Tampa’s casino and civic identity – Sunday, July 10, 3 p.m. at the Henry B. Plant Museum

America’s most famous entertainers appeared on the Tampa Bay hotel casino scene at the turn of the 20th century. Join Dr. Charles McGraw Groh to learn how theater programs have been used to rebuild Tampa’s place in popular entertainment history.

Photographic collection of the Burgert brothers


Hillsborough County Public Library

In the early 1900s, Ybor City was the cigar capital of the world. At its peak, an estimated 10,000 cigar rollers worked in 200 cigar factories producing up to half a billion hand-rolled cigars a year.

Changes: Ybor City in 1954 – Monday, July 11, 11 a.m. at the JC Newman Company

JC Newman Cigar Co. is now the last operating cigar factory in Tampa and acts as an ambassador for the city’s historic industry. Hear the stories of change from the Newman family during a special presentation in the cigar rolling room.

100 years ago: Tampa in 1922 – Monday, July 11, 3 p.m. at Old City Hall in Tampa

Join Tampa Bay History Center curator of black history Fred Hearns and local historian EJ Salcines to learn more about Tampa’s past. Discussion topics will include Blanche Armwood, the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Tampa Urban League and the death of Dale Mabry in 1922. Guests will receive a commemorative booklet, Tampa in 1922.

An overview of Sanborn’s historical maps – Tuesday, July 12, 5 p.m. at the Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library

Learn more about Tampa’s history through Sanborn’s fire insurance cards and their uses in this overview. • Virtual registration link

Save Your Family Treasures from the Smithsonian Institute – Wednesday, July 13 from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. at the Tampa Bay History Center • Virtual registration link

Join Smithsonian experts to learn how to handle, dry, and clean damaged heirlooms using materials available at local hardware stores.

Money Talks: How Bank Records Contextualize Florida’s History – Wednesday, July 13, 5:00 p.m. at the Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library • Virtual registration link

Learn about the origin of the Florida Banking Records collection, how the records were processed, and why they are important to understanding the history of the Tampa Bay area.

A Century of SOHO: Stories and Archives on Howard Avenue – Thursday, July 14, 11 a.m. at the Tampa Bay History Center

TECO Learning Center Howard Avenue was originally the dividing line between the city of Tampa and Hillsborough County and has been home to a vibrant commercial district for over a century. Explore the archives of the Tampa Tribune, the Burgert Brothers Collection and the Touchton Map Library to learn more about the history of Howard Avenue.

Hear the story: Governor LeRoy Collins and his pivotal speech on race, 1960 – Thursday, July 14, 2 p.m. – Virtual event

Travel back in time with USF Special Collections Curator Andy Huse, History Professor K. Stephen Prince, Ph.D., and Tampa Bay History Center Black History Curator Fred Hearns . As civil rights protests and racial violence spread across Florida, Governor LeRoy Collins’ historic speech on race relations expressed his frustrations in an unforgettable way, securing his legacy as one of the Florida’s most prominent governors. Digitized from reel-to-reel audio tape, speakers will contextualize an abridged version of the speech and provide commentary while inviting viewers to explore the speech for themselves online.

The Soul Walk Story Party – Thursday, July 14, 3:30 p.m. at the C. Blythe Andrews, Jr. Public Library.

The Soul Walk History Party invites black Tampanians to share their exciting days of yesteryear. Bring your old photographs and documents to the library for digitization. Do you have a great story? They will also record oral histories. This event will celebrate Tampa’s 135th anniversary and light refreshments will be served.

Ybor City Walking Tour – Friday, July 15, 10-11:30 a.m. at Club Cubain • Registration link

Visit Tampa’s only National Historic District and learn about Ybor City’s early inhabitants, social life, and work culture.

Tomes & Treasures of Robert W. Saunders, Sr. Public Library – Friday, July 15, 1 and 4 p.m. at the Robert W. Saunders, Sr. Public Library • 1:00 p.m. Registration link • 4:00 p.m. Registration link

Learn how the library acquired these artifacts and the archiving methods used to preserve them for public research.

Remembering the News at the C. Blythe Andrews, Jr. Public Library – Saturday, July 16, 2 p.m. at the C. Blythe Andrews, Jr. Public Library • Registration link

Visit the Florida Sentinel Bulletin Collection and learn about the history of the publication and its impact on Tampa’s African American community. View periodicals and microfilm, and more.

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