Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Great turnout at the Harlem Branch Library History Roadshow!

The Library History Roadshow for the Harlem Branch Library was a great success!  Many thanks to the LHJ Law Firm for providing refreshments, to the Ada T. Payne Friends of the Urban Libraries and to everyone who came out to support the effort to collect memories of the Harlem Branch Library.  Check out the photos from the event!

There is little documentation of this historic African American library. Thus every audio and video recording that we collect is really special.  The only known image of the interior of the library and of Librarian Ada T. Payne is from a 1950 Tampa Tribune article (right).
Here is a list of our most wanted Harlem Branch Library items :
  •  Photo of the exterior of the library location at 1404 Central Avenue (1925-1969)
  • Invitation to the opening reception for the Central Avenue location.
  • Photograph of the Harlem Branch Librarians:  Ada T. Payne, Lizzie Buttler Dansey, Henrietta Maddox, Cancerina Martin, Adelle Samuel, and Jettie Mae Brown.
  • Harlem Branch Library card.
 If you or someone you know has any such of these items, please contact the library at 813-273-3652.  In the meantime, check back soon as we will post some of the video histories that were recorded!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Coming up next: Harlem Branch Library (1919-1969)

The next stop for the Library History Roadshow will honor the Harlem Branch Library, also known as the East Branch Library.  

Harlem Branch Library at the Tampa Urban League
February 23, 2013
10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Robert W. Saunders, Sr. Public Library
1505 Nebraska Ave.
Tampa, FL

The Harlem Branch of the Tampa Public Library opened in 1919 in the Harlem Academy and later, in 1923, at the Tampa Urban League building. This branch library closed when the Central Library on Ashley Drive opened in 1968 in downtown Tampa. 

We are interested in getting in contact with anyone who has any memories of the Harlem/East Branch Library.  It is the aim of the Library History Roadshow to collect and to preserve the historical cultural heritage of our community libraries, past and present. 

We will be recording video and oral histories, as well as digitizing your library memories and memorabilia for inclusion into the Tampa-Hillsborough Public Library History archival collection, Tampa-Hillsborough County Treasures.  Please, come and share your story! 

Tampa-Hillsborough County Treasures, an online digital local history collection, will be unveiled for public access for the Centennial Celebration of the Tampa-Hillsborough Public Library system on January 1st, 2014.  Save the date!

For more information, call 813-273-3652 or visit