HistoryMiami Museum collects, preserves, and provides access to materials that document the Miami region, South Florida, and the Caribbean.

The Research Center houses HistoryMiami’s Special Collections and non-circulating library, offering a reading room in which researchers may consult the Special and Object collections. If you are interested in donating materials to the Research Center, kindly click here for more information.

Research Tools

The Research Center staff are the most valuable and effective tool available to researchers and are ready to help make your research experience a success. Please contact us at 305-375-1623 or archives@historymiami.org for assistance

Researchers can learn more about our holdings using the following digital search tools:

Finding Aids

Primary source guides for archival materials such as manuscripts, personal and family papers, business and organizational records, photographs, maps, architectural records, prints, recordings, and ephemera.

ESPANOLA WAY. Spanish Village Street, June 17, 1926. HistoryMiami Museum, Matlack collection 182-14, 1975-80-2 and 1995-277-4115
Online Catalog

Catalog records for materials such as books, magazines, recordings, and digital photographs. For optimum performance, please use Safari, Microsoft Edge, or Firefox.

Tequesta magazine cover page
Journals & Magazines

HistoryMiami’s publications—Tequesta, Update, South Florida History—tell South Florida’s story.

historic black and white image of Flagler street in downtown Miami with a trolley car and pedestrians crossing
Digital Library

View digital materials, such as photographs and manuscripts, ​curated from our archival collections.

For optimum performance, please use Safari, Microsoft Edge, or Firefox. 

Research Center Hours

  • Open by appointment only.
  • To make an appointment please visit our online booking page.
  • Appointments can be made during the following hours:
    • Wednesday – Friday, 12:00pm – 4:00pm

HistoryMiami Museum and the Research Center are closed on select holidays.

Book Appointment
Research center shelves

Interested in purchasing a digital image?

The Research Center offers hi-resolution digital reproductions to meet your personal, display, publication, and advertising needs. Please book an appointment or contact us at 305-375-1623 or archives@historymiami.org for assistance. For more information on the costs associated with obtaining and licensing images, please refer to the following price sheets:

Collection Highlights

collections collage

Charlton W. Tebeau Library

The Research Center houses a non-circulating library pertaining to South Florida and the Caribbean. It holds books, pamphlets, brochures, city directories, yearbooks, ephemera, magazines, and newspapers, including a selection of scarce local newspapers. The library was named in 1976 in honor of Florida historian Dr. Charlton W. Tebeau, in recognition of his many years in support of local history research.

Woodrow W. Wilkins Archives of Architectural Records

The Wilkins Archives contain archival records, especially architectural drawings, pertaining to the built environment of Miami-Dade County. The Wilkins Archives is a joint project of several local organizations, including Dade Heritage Trust. It is named in honor of professor Woody Wilkins, who taught many to appreciate southeast Florida’s architectural heritage.

Visual Materials

Visual resources are a signature feature of the Research Center. The picture archives contains more than two million historical photograph prints and negatives of southeast Florida, the entire state, and the Caribbean dating from 1883 to the present. Additional visual holdings include maps, prints, posters, and postcards.

Archives & Manuscripts

The manuscripts collections contain the papers of individuals and families and the records of organizations and businesses in the Miami region and Florida. Some examples are family letters, diaries, minutes, personal correspondence, and oral history tapes and transcripts.

Museum Artifacts

HistoryMiami’s Object Collection consists of three-dimensional artifacts related to South Florida. The collection contains artifacts ranging from pre-Colombian pieces to contemporary items, such as tools, furniture, boats, aviation materials, clothing, musical instruments and religious objects. The collection includes over 37,000 items, mostly from the twentieth century, and an additional 550 cubic feet of archaeological material. Significant sub-collections are listed below. If you are interested in donating artifacts to HistoryMiami Museum’s collections, please click here for more information.

Researching and consulting artifacts requires advanced notice and will depend on the size, location, and condition of the objects. HistoryMiami Museum reserves the right to limit or deny access to an artifact should such access be deemed detrimental to the object. Please contact us at objects@historymiami.org for more information.

Seminole cloth doll

Archaeology Collection

History Miami is the official repository for all archaeological materials collected by Miami-Dade County and also houses artifacts collected from archaeological sites in Broward, Collier, Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties.

Seminole Collection

The Seminole Indian artifacts include patchwork, dolls, beads, silverwork, basketry and wooden dugout canoes.

Technology and Home Furnishings Collection

This collection includes a cross-section of early to mid 20th century objects that reflect typical furnishings and appliances in South Florida homes, as well as tools and equipment used in businesses and trades in Miami.

Aviation Collection

HistoryMiami houses one of the largest collections of Pan American Airways material in the U.S. The collection includes airplane models, uniforms, dinnerware, uniform insignia and airplane radio equipment. Other airlines represented in the collection include Eastern Airlines and National Airlines. A selection of artifacts in the collection can be found here. Digitization of the items was made possible thanks to a partnership with the University of Miami Libraries (UML) and through a 2018 Digitizing Hidden Collections grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources. These items are also available in the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) “Cleared For Takeoff: Explore Commercial Aviation” portal created by HistoryMiami Museum in partnership with UML, Duke University, and DPLA. 

Maritime Collection

This unique collection includes motors and motorboats used for outboard motor racing in the region, dugout canoes, an early 20th century Bahamian sloop and rafts and boats used by Haitian and Cuban immigrants to travel to South Florida.

Community Life

HistoryMiami has been documenting the traditional culture of the region for over 25 years. This collection contains, among other things, large holdings in musical instruments, ritual items and accompanying documentation related to the Afro-Cuban Orisha religion (Santería) and the Haitian religion of Vodou, as practiced in Miami.

Donating to HistoryMiami Museum’s Collections

Donate to the Collection


Consultation of artifacts require advanced notice and will depend on the size, location, and condition of the objects. HistoryMiami Museum reserves the right to limit or deny access to an artifact should such access be deemed detrimental to the object. Please contact us for more information.

HMM Statement on Harmful Content within the Collection

HistoryMiami Museum’s Research Center offers public access to a wide range of information, including historical materials, that may contain offensive language, imagery, beliefs, or stereotypes. For example, users may encounter language or content that is misogynistic, racist, transphobic, homophobic, xenophobic, classist, aggrandizing, anti-Semitic, or imperialist. HistoryMiami Museum does not endorse the views expressed in such materials but preserves them for their historical significance.    

Our collections staff chooses what language to use when describing materials. We re-use language provided by creators or former owners of the material as language that comes from an original item can provide information about the people who created it and important context, but can also reflect biases and prejudices. In such cases, we leave the original language but engage in ongoing work to provide additional context. Some of this additional description was written many years ago, using language that was accepted at the time. In addition, our descriptions often include a standardized set of terms, such as the Library of Congress Subject Headings. Some of these terms are outdated, offensive, or insensitive.

We strive to describe materials in a manner that is accurate and respectful to the individuals and communities who create, use, and are represented within the collections we manage. We are working to update existing descriptions of materials and recognize that efforts to create respectful and inclusive descriptions must be ongoing. If you encounter problematic description, please contact us at archives@historymiami.org