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A place of magic cities, boom towns, beaches, and lush, tropical landscapes, South Florida appears to reverberate with culture and development from its outset in pictures from the Florida Photograph Collection. Photographs tell visual stories of urban planning, tourism and land cultivation. Unique aspects of Coconut Grove, Miami Beach, Coral Gables, and Miami are distinguishable in images of historic street scenes, exotic foliage, unusual architecture, and yet unsettled panoramas. The past, in all its romance and tragedy, lives on in these lasting images. The photographs identify iconic locations and capture defining moments in the birth and growth of South Florida.

The Florida Photograph Collection depicts scenery, nature, infrastructure, people, landmarks, housing, commerce, and tourism in Florida from the 1880s through the 1950s. The photographs document Miami, Miami Beach, Coconut Grove, St. Augustine, Key West, and Coral Gables, in addition to Seminole Indians and lower income African-American housing in Overtown (Miami) in the 1940s.

Selected photographs featuring Miami, Miami Beach, Coral Gables, Overtown, the Biltmore Hotel, the Everglades, and the 1926 hurricane have been digitized and are available online.