Temporary Exhibits

Gateways to the Caribbean: Mapping the Florida-Cuba Connection
July 1, 2017 – Jan. 28, 2018

For some, the connections between Florida and Cuba begin with Fidel Castro’s takeover in 1959. For others, especially in Tampa, they begin 70 years earlier with the arrival of the cigar industry and the founding of Ybor City in 1886. Or, maybe it was back in the 1850s when the McKay family started shipping cattle from Tampa’s Ballast Point to Havana.

However, in “Gateways to the Caribbean: Mapping the Florida-Cuba Connection,” you’ll find an unbroken thread between the Sunshine State and the island nation dating back nearly 500 years.

On view through January 28, “Gateways to the Caribbean” charts five centuries of connections and interaction between Florida and Cuba through rare and original maps, lithographs and other documents.

In total, the more than 50 maps that make up “Gateways to the Caribbean” highlight the Spanish and British occupations of Cuba and Florida in the 15th and 18th centuries, the development of rail and steam ship lines that fostered trade and travel in the 19th and early 20th centuries, and tourist maps of Cuba printed both in the 1930s and as recently as 2016.

Also included in the exhibit are a collection of color lithographs depicting the British attack on Havana in 1762, in which they seized control of the island and wrested Florida away from Spain; a print by Cuban artist Ibrahim Miranda, created at the University of South Florida’s Graphics Studio in 2012; and several tourists and travel maps, on loan to the History Center from HistoryMiami in South Florida.

Tampa’s Own USCGC Tampa
Pageantry, Protection and Patriotism

Crew of the USS Tampa

From 1913 – 1917, she sailed alongside the ship Jose Gasparilla, firing her cannons to the delight of Tampa parade-goers. During WWI, she escorted 18 convoys in the North Atlantic, and, in 1918, was sunk in Bristol Channel with more than 100 crew members ‒ 24 from Tampa ‒ aboard. Despite this storied history, few bay area residents know about the US Coast Guard Cutter Tampa.

Tampa’s Own tells the story of the Tampa and her crew as we approach the centennial of the end WWI, and the anniversary, on September 26, of her sinking.

Tampa’s Own includes the only remaining piece of the Tampa, a brass nameplate that washed ashore in northern England, six years after the ship’s sinking. Also included are original photos of the ship and crew taken in 1918, and correspondence written by crew members and sent to family members living in Tampa.

Tampa’s Own is on view through March 5 in the History Center’s TECO Learning Center.

American Flags: The Stars and Stripes in American History and Culture
Presented by Bank of America
February – July 2018

For many generations prior to 1960, the United States flag was an ever-evolving symbol that reflected the growth of the nation. The American flag’s history includes iconic moments of revolution, union, war, protest, and patriotism. Based on one of the preeminent collections in the world that was assembled over more than 30 years, this inspiring exhibition of textiles, artwork, and related memorabilia explores the history and context of the American flag.


The History of Conservation – A Bird’s Eye View
August 2018 – January 2019

This exhibit, the first of its kind for the region, will present the history of natural resource conservation with a focus on Tampa Bay’s avifauna; prepared by Audubon Florida’s Florida Coastal Islands Sanctuaries office with many partner organizations. Wall and free-standing displays, video and sound projections will relay Tampa Bay’s natural history, human impacts on wading and shore bird populations, the pivotal people who initiated bird conservation activities, and the subsequent actions that are restoring and protecting Tampa Bay’s environs and its internationally recognized breeding bird colonies.

January 28 – March 5, 2017

Celebrating Our Heritage: 30 Years of Hispanic Themed Art from the Tampa Hispanic Heritage Archive

What began in 1986 as a small sketch for an event invitation has grown into a celebration of Tampa’s vibrant Hispanic heritage. Indeed, each year for three decades and counting, the Tampa Hispanic Heritage, Inc. Poster Contest celebrates Tampa’s Hispanic culture and traditions.

Celebrating Our Heritage: Thirty Years of Hispanic Themed Art features 30 original works of art from the organization’s archive.

The colorful originals are all past winners of Tampa Hispanic Heritage, Inc.’s annual poster contest.


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Preserving Eden: The Florida Photographs of Clyde Butcher September 3, 2016 – January 8, 2017


Preserving Eden explores the breadth of Florida’s landscape, from wetlands to dunes, coastal hammocks to inland swamps. The exhibit depicts Florida’s rich natural beauty and geographic diversity while highlighting the state’s unique natural history. Butcher’s powerful compositions draw us into the depth of Florida’s River of Grass and transport us to the serenity of the Sunshine State’s tropical waters.

Preserving Eden also highlights Florida’s indigenous flora and fauna, and spotlights the state’s early naturalists such as Marjory Stoneman Douglas.

After nearly 50 years of photographing the natural landscapes of North America, Butcher continues to employ traditional “analog” photography methods, using a variety of vintage large-format view cameras and a custom-built darkroom to produce his award-winning images.



Re-placing Fort Brooke February 20 – October 30, 2016


Established on January 22, 1824 and first known simply as the “camp on the Hillsborough River,” Fort Brooke is arguably the genesis of modern-day Tampa. Presented in partnership with the Florida Public Archaeology Network and the History Center, this exhibit showed the fort, and with it the evolution of downtown Tampa, as you’ve had never seen it. Displays included digitally-rectified overlays of the original fort, early maps and plans for Tampa’s Garrison District, and artifacts recovered from the site during the 1970s and 1980s.



C. Penguin Random House, LLC.

Golden Legacy: Original Art from 65 Years of Golden Books June 4- August 14, 2016


Whether it was the Poky Little Puppy sneaking off to play or Scuffy the Tug Boat sailing down the river, there’s a good chance Little Golden Books were part of your childhood. Indeed, more than 2 billion copies of Little Golden Books have been sold since 1942, making it one of the most popular children’s book series of all time. This exhibit featured one of the most extensive public showings of original illustration art from one of American publishing’s best-loved and most consequential picture book lines, Little Golden Books.


Bringing Home the Sunshine: Collecting Florida Souvenirs January 16 – April 17, 2016


Souvenirs are the tangible reminder of a vacation well-enjoyed. Countless numbers of people have traveled to Florida since the late 1800s to escape the cold, the crowding, and diseases of the northern states. Florida’s place as a tourist mecca was well-established years before air conditioning and Mickey Mouse were ever-present. Natural Florida and the enduring sunshine were enough to entice visitors from across the country and around the world.



St. Augustine at 450: A Look at the Oldest European City in the U.S. May 23, 2015 – February 7, 2016


By the time the first Pilgrims set foot in New England, Spanish settlers had been strolling the cobblestone-lined streets of St. Augustine for five decades. St. Augustine at 450: A Look at the Oldest European City in the U.S. featured more than 40 original maps, charts and color lithographs of the city, which was originally settled by Pedro Menéndez de Avilés in 1565. The exhibit also featured early 19th century lithographs depicting street scenes of the Spanish settlement.


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Florida’s Got the Blues September 12 – January 3, 2016


‪Did you know that Hudson Whittaker ― better known as Tampa Red ― released more 78 rpm records than any other blues artist? Or that Ray Charles refined his signature rhythm and blues piano style while playing night clubs on Tampa’s Central Avenue? Did you know that Blind Blake – one of the greatest ragtime and blues guitarists – is connected with Jacksonville, Florida? Curated by the Museum of Florida History, Florida’s Got the Blues highlighted Florida’s blues music legacy, showcasing the artists who played juke joints and night clubs from the panhandle to Miami, through photos and interactive audio recordings. In addition to Florida’s Got the Blues, the show included a collection of rock-n-roll photography from the archives of the Tampa Bay Times featuring performers who have played on stages across Tampa Bay including Elvis, Tom Petty, The Ramones and U2.


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Patios, Pools, and the Invention of the American Backyard June 20 – August 30, 2015


In the 1950s, Americans abandoned the front porch swings and stoops of the city in favor of the wide-open suburbs and spacious backyards. Through rare photographs, historic drawings and period advertisements, Patios, Pools, & the Invention of the American Backyard explored the mid-century backyard of the 1950s from the rise of the suburbs, tract houses and the beauty of postwar garden design to the birth of the environmental movement.



Repurposed DooDad Art/Sculpture Competition May 4 – May 31, 2015


The annual Doodad Competition challenges all K through 12 students in Hillsborough County to create three-dimensional sculptures that re-purpose common household objects. For the 2014-2015 school year, each sculpture had to include at least 1 recyclable plastic bottle and at least one necklace of Gasparilla throw beads.



Operation Drumbeat: Nazi Threat in the Gulf December 7, 2014 – May 10, 2015


While Allied Forces clashed on the battlefields of Europe and the Pacific, a threat was brewing closer to home. German submarines lurked beneath the waters of the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic, just a few miles from the Florida coast. Operation Drumbeat: Nazi Threat in the Gulf, featured a 30-foot replica of a two-man WWII-era German Seehund “midget” submarine which was constructed by local exhibit designers Creative Arts as part of H2’s new reality show, Museum Men. You can watch the episode featuring the Tampa Bay History Center here. WWII-era artifacts recovered by local deep-ocean shipwreck exploration company Odyssey Marine Exploration from the SS Gairsoppa shipwreck were also featured in the exhibition.



The Art of Piracy: Pirates in Modern Culture January 24 – April 26, 2015


The Art of Piracy: Pirates in Modern Culture examined the role of art in shaping the popular and iconic images associated with 17th and 18th century pirates in and around the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and Atlantic seaboard. The exhibition featured original paintings from current, award-winning artists such as Don Maitz, Rick Reeves and Alberto DeLama, plus original and reproduction works from famed 19th and early 20th century artists. Also included were early illustrations that led to the original Tampa Bay Buccaneers logo, original sketches of early Gasparilla parade floats, and decorative invitations and dance cards from the first two decades of Tampa’s Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla, founders of the Gasparilla festival, which began in 1904.



Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown November 1, 2014 – January 11, 2015


During its nearly 50 year history, the Peanuts comic strip grew to have a strong connection with the winter season, especially Christmas. Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown celebrated the holiday season as explored in the Peanuts comic strip and presented a behind-the-scenes history of the making of the animated classic, A Charlie Brown Christmas. This seasonal exhibition featured reproduction comic strips, quotes by Schulz, photos from his boyhood, artifacts from A Charlie Brown Christmas special, and seasonal novelties.


TBHC - Rio Vista 4-18-14A

More Than Dots on a Map: Florida Cities and Towns May – November 2014


General maps of the state of Florida, like most maps that cover large geographic areas, usually resort to showing cities and towns in the most basic ways, sometimes represented only by dots on the map. However, More Than Dots on a Map: Florida Cities and Towns offered a more nuanced perspective, featuring maps devoted exclusively to cities, towns and neighborhoods.



Spirited: Prohibition in America September 1 – October 20, 2014


Adapted from the National Constitution Center’s flagship exhibition, Spirited explored the history of Prohibition, from the dawn of the temperance movement to the unprecedented repeal of a constitutional amendment in 1933. What made the country go “dry” and how did America change during this period in history? Visitors to Spirited learned about the amendment process, the role of liquor in American culture, the cultural revolution of the roaring ‘20s and how current liquor laws vary from state to state today.



Against All Odds: The Art of the Highwaymen June 14 – August 17, 2014


When they began selling their artwork along Florida’s roadways during the Jim Crow era of the 1950s, Harold Newton, Alfred Hair, Roy McLendon, James Gibson, and other African American artists in Fort Pierce, Fla., were just trying to make a living. Today, The Highwaymen are enshrined in the Florida Artists Hall of Fame, their work featured in galleries and private collections all over the world. On loan from the Orange County Regional History Center in Orlando, Against All Odds: The Art of the Highwaymen featured a rare look at the work of all 26 Florida Highwaymen.



Repurposed DooDad Art/Sculpture Competition May 5 – June 1, 2014


What would you do with 3,000 cigar boxes? Visitors found out when hundreds of art students from Hillsborough County public schools unveiled their creations at the 3rd Annual Repurposed DooDad Art & Sculpture Competition. Participating art classes were provided up to 20 cigar boxes – symbols of Tampa’s unique history − and were asked to transform them into works of art, all while learning the importance of repurposing and recycling objects to create something new.



Suited for Space February 1 – April 27, 2014


Suited for Space, an exhibition from the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) and the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum explored the history and technology used to design NASA’s spacesuits. This one-of-kind exhibition took visitors on a journey through nearly a century of spacesuit design and development, from the earliest high-altitude pressure suites to the iconic white suites of the Apollo mission.



Charting the Land of Flowers: 500 Years of Florida Maps September 21, 2013 – April 13, 2014


One of the most comprehensive exhibitions of Florida cartography ever presented, Charting the Land of Flowers traced six centuries of Florida history, bringing together maps from museum and library collections around the world, many of which were on view to the public for the first time. The exhibit offered viewers an opportunity to see the world as early European explorers saw it, and to see the peninsula that would become one of the South’s most populous states evolve before their eyes. Together with atlases, city maps, nautical charts, and satellite images, the maps charted 500 years of exploration, settlement, and growth in The Land of Flowers.



JFK in Tampa: The Exhibition November 8, 2013 – January 12, 2014


JFK in Tampa: The Exhibition, captured the tension and joy of Kennedy’s 1963 Tampa visit. The exhibit featured exclusive, rare film footage of Kennedy in Tampa, the podium he used while delivering a speech at the International Inn, as well as photographs, home movies, newspaper headlines, and oral histories from Tampa residents who saw and visited with the President. The exhibition also included uniforms and badges from the Tampa Police Museum and notes from the Secret Service “Kennedy Detail” which were used while escorting the President around the city.



Circus: The Photographs of Frederick W. Glasier May 25 – August 4, 2013


On loan from the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, the collection of more than 60 rare black and white photographs captured the working life of circus performers in the early 20th century, from ticket takers and sideshow performers, to contortionists, clowns, and acrobats.Photographer Frederick W. Glasier traveled with Ringling Bros., the Sparks Circus, and the Buffalo Bill Wild West Show during the early 1900s through the 1930s, documenting the behind-the-scenes lives and work of traveling showmen and entertainers. His lens captures the humanity and spectacle of the American circus during its heyday.


Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition

Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition: The Photographs of Carlton Ward Jr. February 23 – May 5, 2013


By foot, kayak, and horseback, the expedition team journeyed north from Everglades National Park, through the Big Cypress National Preserve, up the Kissimmee River to Lake Wales Ridge, through the Ocala National Forest, and, finally, to the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge in southern Georgia. When their journey was complete, conservation photographer Carlton Ward Jr., documentarian Elam Stolzfus, conservationist Mallory Lykes Dimmitt, and bear biologist Joe Guthrie had traveled 1,000 miles in 100 days. Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition: The Photographs of Carlton Ward Jr. took visitors on a virtual expedition from the Everglades to the Okefenokee. The exhibition featured a collection of large-format images taken by Ward, along with maps, video footage, audio clips, news reports, and equipment used by team members during the expedition.



The Big Picture: A Selection of Cirkut Photographs from the Burgert Brothers Collection January 17 – October 20, 2013


The Big Picture: A Selection of Cirkut Photographs from the Burgert Brothers Collection featured rarely-seen panoramic photos and other images from the Burgert Brothers Photographic Collection. Cirkut prints ― an early form of panoramic photography ― form the heart of the History Center’s exhibition.The History Center’s exhibition also included a slideshow by local photographer Bryan Weinstein, who “re-photographed” locations where several original Burgert Brothers photos were taken. His methodical recreations of the historic photographs offered a striking before-and-after effect, underscoring how much the places have changed or, in some cases, remained almost exactly the same.The exhibition also included ledgers, glass-plate negatives, and other ephemera from the Burgert Brothers Studio.



Coffee: The World in Your Cup October 6, 2012 – January 6, 2013


Coffee: The World in Your Cup serves up an overview of the powerful influence of coffee on environments, human cultures, and economies worldwide. Visitors Learned about coffee’s early controversial reputation as a “revolutionary drink” and the culture that surrounds coffee in the 21st century.



Spies, Traitors, Saboteurs: Fear and Freedom in America February 4 – June 24, 2012


On loan from the world-famous International Spy Museum in Washington, D.C., Spies, Traitors and Saboteurs revisited long-forgotten events in our nation’s history, from the capture of the White House in 1814, to the bombing of the U.S. Capitol building in 1971 to recent events such as the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing and the September 11 attacks of 2001. The exhibition dramatically illustrated the challenges of securing our nation against internal threats without compromising the civil liberties upon which it was founded, and reflects on how responses to domestic attacks continue to affect our everyday lives.



Out of This World: Extraordinary Costumes from Film and Television October 1, 2011 – January 7, 2012


Out of This World: Extraordinary Costumes from Film and Television featured more than 30 costumes and related objects from science fiction films and television programs such as Star Wars, Blade Runner, Terminator, Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica and Batman. The exhibition allowed visitors to examine how costume design incorporates color, style, scale, materials, historical traditions and cultural cues to help performers and audiences engage, in new or accepted ways, with the characters being portrayed.



Sports in Tampa Bay: Through the Eyes of Lamar Sparkman June 18 – September 12, 2011


Sports in Tampa Bay recounted teams and players from Tampa’s past, highlighting Spring Training stars, Super Bowl champions and college stand-outs. Tampa Bay’s modern sports franchises were also celebrated, with memorabilia from the Tampa Bay Rays, Lightning and Buccaneers, as well as personal items from some of Tampa’s home-grown sports heroes. Perhaps best known as the creator of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ original swashbuckling logo, which fans labeled “Bucco Bruce,” Sparkman’s drawings of professional and amateur athletes span more than 40 years. In 2010, the Sparkman family donated more than 200 original drawings by the late cartoonist to the Tampa Bay History Center. Those drawings, along with objects from Tampa’s professional, collegiate and amateur teams, tell the story of Sports in Tampa Bay: Through the Eyes of Lamar Sparkman.



Blue and Gray in Tampa Bay: The Civil War on Florida’s Gulf Coast January 10 – May 30, 2011


In Florida, the third state to secede from the Union in 1861, confrontations between Confederate and Union troops raged along the Gulf Coast. During Blue and Gray in Tampa Bay: The Civil War on Florida’s West Coast, visitors learned about stealthy Confederate blockade runners and Florida’s “Cow Cavalry,” plus how the War Between the States affected Secessionists, Unionists, slaves and women in the Tampa Bay area. Civil War-era maps, weaponry, photographs and reproduction uniforms were included in the exhibit. “The opening date of January 10th is significant,” said the History Center’s Saunders Foundation Curator of History, Rodney Kite-Powell. “Florida seceded from the Union exactly 150 years ago, on January 10, 1861.”



From the Orange Blossom Special to High Speed Rail: Train Travel in Tampa Bay October 8 – December 31, 2010


This exhibition focused on the history of trains and rail travel in Florida including the arrival in the 1860s of various rail lines, the legacies of Henry Plant and Henry Flagler, tourism and Tampa’s electric streetcar system. It featured a train schedule for the Atlantic Coast Line where trip times between St. Petersburg and New York were entered in chalk. An old railroad lantern and oiling can were are part of the display, along with numerous photos and system maps.



Obscured by Time: The Magic of Florida, featuring the art of Hermann Trappman July 10 – September 26, 2010


Obscured by Time: The Magic of Florida, featuring the art of Hermann Trappman, detailed the natural history of Florida through Trappman’s compelling paintings, artifact replicas, fossils, and examples of the resources utilized by ancient Native Americans. This exhibit offered a glimpse of early Florida, its native peoples and geography prior to European contact in the 1500s. A self-taught artist, Trappman’s work explores the life of Florida’s early peoples and is based on artifacts, fossils and other archaeological evidence found along the shores of Florida.



Shades of Greatness: Art Inspired by Negro Leagues Baseball February 1 – April 25, 2010


On loan from the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, Shades of Greatness: Art Inspired by the Negro Leagues Baseball, featured the work of 27 national artists working in a variety of mediums, from cubist paintings of Satchel Paige and James “Cool Papa” Bell, to bronze sculptures of batters’ hands. Some works focused on individuals, like Jackie Robinson or Effa Manley, the owner of the Newark Eagles. Others were symbolic, representing Negro Leaguers and their experiences.



Florida Cattle Ranching: Five Centuries of Tradition September 19 – December 19, 2009


Florida Cattle Ranching chronicles the history and culture of one of Florida’s oldest industries. Southern pioneers, Florida “Crackers” and Florida Seminoles all play a part in Florida’s ranching legacy, which began when Spanish explorers brought cattle and horses to Florida in the 16th century. To date, cattle ranching remains an integral part of the state’s economy. This exhibit featured oral histories, Florida folk music, cowboy art and documentary footage.


The Community Case is a 14-foot long exhibit case located on the second floor gallery that places groups front and center in our 60,000 square foot facility for a 3 month period. You can find out more about the Community case or booking for your group here.


Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tampa Bay

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tampa Bay helps children succeed in life by providing caring adult mentors. The children (called ‘Littles’) are paired with volunteers (called ‘Bigs’), and visitors who stopped by the display got a better idea of how the mentoring program has made an impact over the past 50 years.

The non-profit got its start in 1964 as two separate organizations, one that focused on helping boys, the other on girls. In the early years, the agency served 35 children per year. Fifty years later, the agency serves nearly 2,000 boys and girls every year in Hillsborogh, Pasco and Polk counties. The display included a timeline and historical pictures featuring former Littles who are now adults, as well stories from several Tampa notables.

Abe Brown MinistriesAbe Brown Ministries

Abe Brown Ministries

Abe Brown Ministries’ Live the Brown LegacyTM display used personal artifacts and other materials to tell the story of Rev. Abraham Brown’s journey from Coach… to Educator… to Founder and CEO of Prison Crusade Ministries (now Abe Brown Ministries).Abe Brown Ministries (ABM), is a faith and community based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that was founded in the State of Florida in 1976. Its mission is to compassionately assist offenders, ex-offenders and their families to achieve productive and fulfilling lives. ABM does this through carrying the message of HOPE into prisons, providing transitional housing and supportive services to former offenders returning to Tampa Bay communities, training clients in life skills and job skills, assisting clients in job placement, and reunifying children and families with their incarcerated parents.

Clearwater Stamp Club

Clearwater Stamp Club

This philatelic exhibit was presented by the Clearwater Stamp Club to celebrate the Quincentennial of Florida’s discovery in 1513. It was assembled by John Hayner, a member of the club, and first shown at BAYPEX, a Bay area Philatelic Exhibition, in February of 2013. He is honored and privileged to share this four-frame exhibit with the viewing public at the Tampa Bay History Center as part of its celebration of Florida’s 500th anniversary of discovery.

Congregation Schaarai Zedek

Congregation Schaarai Zedek

Founded in 1894, congregation Schaarai Zedek is the third oldest synagogue in Florida. It is also the largest synagogue in Florida outside of the lower east coast, numbering more than one thousand families.

The goal of this exhibit was to tell the history of Congregation Schaarai Zedek, to show the impact of members of the congregation on the economic and political life of Tampa, to highlight the congregation’s role in religious and charitable efforts in Tampa, and to show the important role of The Temple in Tampa’s cultural diversity. Panels were created using historical photos and documents, replicas of the Schaarai Zedek stained glass windows found in the synagogue were displayed, and the religious heritage of the Jewish people was presented using ceremonial objects.

Tampa Woman's Club

Tampa Woman’s Club

The GFWC Tampa Woman’s Club was organized in 1900 by 10 members as a cultural and social organization meeting regularly for literary discussions and refreshments at what is now the University of Tampa. As membership grew, their interests widened and in 1913 the Club was accepted into the GFWC Florida Federation of Woman’s Clubs (GFWC Florida). Educational and welfare projects became part of the members’ concerns.

Friends of Plant Park

Friends of Plant Park

Three existing panels at the Tampa Bay History Center displayed information and images depicting the histories of Henry B. Plant Park, the Friends of Plant Park and GreenFest. FoPP is honored to share its story in this state-of-the-art interactive museum.

The mission of Friends of Plant Park is to(a) assist with the restoration, preservation and maintenance of the Henry B. Plant Park, Tampa, Florida, as a botanical garden open to the general public, (b) research and publicize the Victorian history of the Henry B. Plant Park and (c) educate the public and cultivate community interest in and support for the forgoing activities.

Girl Scouts of West Central Florida

Girl Scouts of West Central Florida

Girl Scouts of West Central Florida’s display celebrated the rich 100-year history of Girl Scouts, both locally and nationally. The first Girl Scout troop in the nation was founded by Juliette Gordon Low in Savannah, GA in 1912; locally, Girl Scouts of West Central Florida is home to the second Girl Scout troop in the nation which was founded at Hyde Park United Methodist Church in Tampa in 1913. The display featured an array of Girl Scout artifacts and uniforms spanning several decades and guided visitors through the 100-year evolution of the largest girl-serving organization in the nation.

Girl Scouting builds girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. Girl Scouts of West Central Florida serves nearly 21,000 girls in grades K-12 and nearly 10,000 adult members in Citrus, Hernando, Hillsborough, Marion, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk and Sumter counties.

Tampa Catholic

Tampa Catholic High School

Tampa Catholic High School history display was used to celebrate the school’s 50th Anniversary since its opening on September 4, 1962. TC opened its doors to educate students of Hillsborough, and surrounding counties and was and still is the only co-educational Catholic diocesan high school in the area. The community case was used to showcase the first five decades of TC history. The display was designed around five narrative panels and many wonderful artifacts including the school’s first computers, vintage uniforms and clothing, and historic memorabilia.

Nursing Heroes

Nursing Heroes

As the first exhibit to tell the story of local nurses who have shaped the delivery of health care, Nursing Heroes: Caring for the Community honored the rich and unique history of nursing in Tampa Bay. “This is nurses time to shine,” said Linda Hankins, exhibit committee chair, “Nurses tend to be invisible. They are behind the scenes, doing the work and getting it done. They typically don’t take the time to appreciate and recognize one another’s contributions.”

Curated by Julia Gorzka Freeman, the exhibit featured the stories of 5 nurses who took risks to break through gender and racial barriers to serve their country, save lives, and improve the health of all citizens. From opening the first hospital in Tampa to care for Black patients, pioneering midwifery training to improve survival rates of mothers and infants, and developing a scientific theory of nursing practice to improve patient care, these nursing heroes took on historic challenges that transformed the delivery of health care. Visitors also experienced the diverse ways in which today’s registered nurses, who comprise the largest health care profession, are working to improve health care. From flight nursing at 15,000 to 30,000 feet in the air to bedside nursing in hospitals and long-term care facilities to the halls of research institutions, state legislatures, and Congress, the depth and breadth of the nursing profession continues to evolve to meet the health care needs of our community.

Ruskin Woman's Club

Ruskin Woman’s Club

The exhibit contained photographs and documents as well as tools and implements highlighting the community’s most recent century and touching on its pre-historic era prior to arrival of the massive 1539 Hernando de Soto expedition.

Started in 1912, the Ruskin Woman’s Club is actively engaged in volunteer community service. Their main objective is college scholarships, although they donate to the Ruskin Library, the South Shore Regional Library, The Mary and Martha House, Camp Bayou Learning Center, Keep Hillsborough Beautiful, Hoby, Firehouse Cultural Center and other organizations. In 1919, The Club joined the Florida Federation of Women’s Clubs becoming the 19th in Florida. Their Club House was built in 1910 as the home of George Miller, President of the Ruskin College, and in 1940 the Miller Family deeded their family home to the Ruskin Woman’s Club. Since that time the house preservation and grounds maintenance have been the responsibility of the Ruskin Woman’s Club and through fundraising and donations from the community-at-large, they continue to restore this grand piece of history.

Moffitt Cancer Center

Moffitt Cancer Center

On Oct. 27, 2011, Moffitt celebrated 25 years dedicated to one mission: to contribute to the prevention and cure of cancer. A slice of Moffitt life was featured in the Community Case at the Tampa Bay History Center. It told the story of Moffitt’s bold beginning, groundbreaking research and exceptional patient care.

Junior League of Tampa

The Junior League of Tampa

Whether it’s distributing more than 20,000 books each year to children in Title 1 schools or donating nearly 30,000 pounds of food annually to needy families, The Junior League of Tampa has been a positive force in the Tampa area since the 1920s. To commemorate the group’s enduring history, an exhibit was produced by The Junior League of Tampa and MarketingDirection.com which donated more than 45 hours of creative services time to complete the displays within the exhibit.

Christy Vogel, president of MarketingDirection.com said the project was a learning experience for her. “As a League member since the early 90’s I thought I knew about all of the contributions the Junior League of Tampa has made, but there were a few I didn’t know about, such as the League providing tuberculosis care in 1920’s.” Junior League of Tampa President Betsy Graham said the biggest challenge of the project was to figure out how to put 85 years of history in one display. “We wanted to include everything, but had to focus on a few highlights throughout the years.”

Tampa Bay Ship Model Society

Tampa Bay Ship Model Society

Standing on the deck of an aircraft carrier, one can hardly grasp the whole, whereas viewing a model, it is within reach. This display is simply a collection of models made by members, who choose subjects that interest them individually. Often they take commercial kits and through deep research, modify them to portray a particular date or event with far greater historical accuracy than the kit can do. Others build from raw materials and plans to create solid images of vessels that might never have been seen in scale. New facts come to light on ships that are well known, and so, modelers can represent these, adding to the public knowledge when these models are displayed and/or published. Finally, it is only in model-makers that many of the skills of our maritime past reside.

Historic Old Northeast Neighborhood Association

Historic Old Northeast Neighborhood Association

The Historic old Northeast Neighborhood Association was the first organization outside of Tampa to have an exhibit in the Community Case. The exhibit was on display from Nov. 24th, 2010, through February 2011. It was based on a book published by the Association (Souvenir of St. Petersburg, Views from the Vinoy) to promote appreciation for the neighborhood which celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2011. (Fifty copies of the book were donated to every elementary school in St. Petersburg.)

The mission of the Historic Old Northeast Neighborhood Association is to promote, preserve, and protect quality of life in our unique corner of the world. Located adjacent to burgeoning downtown, the neighborhood is characterized by a diversity of architectural styles, waterfront greenspace, brick streets, granite curbs, hexblock sidewalks, and front porches. An enveloping street tree canopy reinforces the pedestrian quality of the neighborhood. The Association sponsors Porch Parties, the December Candlelight Tour of Homes and many other activities which foster engagement and participation by residents.

Panama Canal Museum

Panama Canal Museum

The story of one of the greatest engineering feats of the 20th century, the construction of the Panama Canal, came to life in the Panama Canal Museum’s Community Case exhibit. This exhibited featured photographs of the Canal’s construction and other artifacts.In 1906, the United States Congress declared that Tampa be the first city to celebrate the building of the Panama Canal, requesting that President Theodore Roosevelt hold a naval review in the waters of Tampa Bay. “By reason of its being further to the southward and nearer to said Canal than any other city in the country, having a deep and commodious harbor, reached by ample railroad facilities, as also on account of its salubrious climate and spirit of American progress among its citizens manifest in the rapid growth and development of the city and her commerce affords a suitable place for celebration of the work done in the construction of the Panama Canal.”

Port Tampa

City of Port Tampa Civic Association

The City of Port Tampa Civic Association has installed a display at the Tampa Bay History Center Community Case. This wonderful little port community located just west of The MacDill Air Force Base was first settled in the late 1800’s when Henry Plant extended his railroad line southwest from Tampa. Chartered as an independent City in 1893, Port Tampa was annexed by the City of Tampa in 1961. The display contains a few rare artifacts, photos and postcards, and a little history of the area.

AIA Tampa Bay

AIA Tampa Bay

The Tampa Bay Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), is proud to host 80 Years and Counting, an exhibit highlighting significant architecture in the Tampa Bay area.

To commemorate their 80th year, the AIA Community Case exhibit depicted significant landmarks in the Tampa Bay area such as the Palace Hotel on Davis Islands, Rivergate Tower, located on the corner of Ashley Street and Kennedy Boulevard, and the Skypoint condominium building in downtown Tampa.