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RICHES is an umbrella program housing interdisciplinary public history projects that bring together different departments at UCF with profit and non-profit sectors of the community.The Public History program at UCF links many projects under one initiative to promote the collection and preservation of Central Florida history.

By facilitating research that records and presents the stories of communities, businesses, and institutions in Florida, RICHES seeks to provide the region with a deeper sense of its heritage.

As of the summer of 2016, RICHES has collected nearly 4,000 items in its database. Items include photographs, newspaper articles, pamphlets and brochures, report cards, oral history recordings, and various other types of media. Some of our largest collections include:

Sanford Collection
The Sanford Collection features a number of subcollections of photographs, oral history recordings, and other items centered on various buildings, people, and subjects in Sanford. The collection also includes several subcollections: Churches of Sanford CollectionCreative Sanford, Inc. CollectionGeorgetown Collection (including subcollections Marie Jones Francis CollectionSanford Avenue Collection), Goldsboro CollectionHenry L. DeForest CollectionHotel Forrest Lake CollectionIce Houses of Sanford CollectionMilane Theatre CollectionNaval Air Station Sanford CollectionSanford Baseball CollectionSanford Cigar CollectionSanford Riverfront Collection, and Sanford State Farmers’ Market Collection.

Chase Collection
The Chase Collection include letters, photographs, pamphlets, and censuses produced by the Chase brothers and their associates. Chase & Company was established by brothers Joshua Coffin Chase and Sydney Octavius Chase in 1884. The company was known mainly for its agricultural interests and maintained a series of citrus groves throughout Central Florida. The company was based out of Sanford and became one of the city’s largest employers into the early 20th century. This collection also has several subcollections: Celery CollectionCitrus Collection (with subcollections  Belair Grove CollectionFlorida Citrus Exchange Collection, and Isleworth Grove Collection), and Sanford Collection (with subcollections: Holy Cross Episcopal Church Collection and Sanford Country Club and Golf Course Collection).

Student Museum and UCF Public History Center Collection
The Student Museum and UCF Public History Center Collection encompasses photographs, payroll reports, certificates, report cards, yearbooks, oral history recordings, student work, newspaper articles, programs, letters, and other school documents related to the history of the schools in Seminole County, the Sanford community through the years, and the history of teaching and learning. The Student Museum and Center for the Social Studies has collaborated with the University of Central Florida and established the UCF Public History Center (PHC) with the goal of promoting access to history through ground-breaking research connecting local to global, providing cutting-edge hands-on educational programs for students and visitors, and engaging the community in contributing to and learning from history. This digital collection consists of two subcollections: General Photographic Collection and Seminole County Public Schools Collection. UCF graduate student David Morton curated much of the General Photographic Collection and designed a digital exhibit titled Origins of Celery City (1877-1913).

Thomas Cook Collection
This collection consists of photographs, postcards, brochures, road maps, booklets, school newspapers, and other documents donated by Thomas Cook, a local photographer. The collection mostly features artifacts centered around Downtown Orlando, but also includes items related to Cypress Gardens, Lake Wales, Longwood, Silver Springs, the Space Coast, Weeki Wachee, and Winter Park.

Central Florida Music History Collection
This collection features audio recordings, short documentaries, photographs, ticket stubs, and newspaper articles related to the history of music in Central Florida. Central Florida’s musical heritage is as rich as it is diverse, dating back to the Spanish settlers of the 16th century. Over the next 500 years, the region became a melting pot of Anglo-American folk and country music, African-American blues and jazz, Cuban and Latin music, traditional Native American music, gospel, rock, classical, pop, reggae, punk, metal, hip hop, and dance music. This collection includes a number of subcollections: Blues CollectionClassical Collection (with subcollection: Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra Collection), Folk CollectionJazz Collection, and Rock Collection. This collection was curated primarily by UCF graduate student Geoffrey Cravero.

Henry Shelton Sanford Papers Collection
This collection includes select letters, photographs, advertisements, bank checks, receipts, and business documents from the Henry Shelton Sanford Papers, housed at the Sanford Museum. Henry Shelton Sanford (1823-1891) was an American diplomat, lawyer, and businessman. He made several real estate investments in Florida in the late 1860s and early 1870s. The most notable purchase was the Sanford Grant, which would later serve as the location of the City of Sanford. Henry Sanford also developed several experimental citrus groves, including St. Gertrude’s Grove and Belair Grove, which was later purchased and operated by the Chase Brothers. The Sanford Papers Collection includes several subcollections: Belair Grove CollectionHenry Shelton Sanford Accounts CollectionWilliam MacKinnon Collection, and Florida Land Colonization Company Collection. This collection was curated by UCF graduate student Drew M. Fedorka.

History Harvest Collection
The History Harvest Collection includes photographs, oral history recordings, birth certificates, property deeds, newspaper articles, letters, report cards, and programs collected during History Harvests sponsored by RICHES of Central Florida, in partnership with Celery Soup: Florida’s Folk Life Play, the Oviedo Historical Society, and the UCF Public History Center. Each History Harvest has its own subcollection: Celery Soup: Florida’s Folk Life Play Collection, Oviedo Historical Society Collection (coming soon!), and Seminole County Schools Collection.

RICHES Podcast Documentaries Collection
This collection consists of podcasts produced by UCF history professor Dr. Robert A. Cassanello. RICHES Podcast Documentaries are short form narrative documentaries that explore Central Florida history and involve the participation or cooperation of local area partners. This collection also includes a subcollection, A History of Central Florida Collection, which is a follow-up series that explores Central Florida’s history through the artifacts found in local area museums and historical societies.

Dr. Calvin Fowler Collection
This collection includes photographs, newspaper articles, certificates, and letters related to the space program in Brevard County. Dr. Calvin “Cal” Fowler donated these artifacts to the Florida Space Coast History Project, which then shared the items with RICHES. Dr. Fowler was the manager of the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Launch Complex 14 during the final three launches of Project Mercury. The Dr. Fowler Collection is a subcollection of the Florida Space Coast History Project Collection.

Patricia Black Collection
The Patricia Black Collection consists of photographs, newspaper articles, payroll records, property deeds, birth certificates, invoices, and other documents donated by Patricia Ann Black. The majority of the artifacts feature Patricia, as well as her father, Pilgrim Black, who was a migrant worker in Sanford and Upstate New York.

Orlando Collection
The Orlando Collections features a variety of photographs and postcards donated by the University of Central Florida Special Collections, the Orange County Regional History Center, and the Cepero family (Ray, Nancy, and Laura).

Central Florida Railroad Depots Collection
The Central Florida Railroad Depots Collections consists of photographs of railroad depots in Central Florida, both past and present. These photographs were gathered by UCF undergraduate students of Dr. Connie L. Lester’s American Economic History course in the spring of 2014.

UCF Community Veterans History Project Collection
This collection features select oral histories of veterans conducted by the UCF Community Veterans History Project. The collection also includes subcollections: Lone Sailor Navy Memorial History Project CollectionVietnam War CollectionWar in Afghanistan Collection, and World War II Collection. The Lone Sailor Navy Memorial History Project Collection also includes a number of photographs of the Naval Training Center (NTC) Orlando. This collection was curated by UCF graduate student Mark Barnes, in partnership with the Lone Sailor Navy Memorial History Project. Barnes also designed a digital exhibit, Transformation: From Civilians to Sailors (coming soon!), which examines how the Recruit Training Center (RTC) Orlando transformed raw recruits into highly effective sailors.

Winter Garden Heritage Foundation Collection
This collection includes photographs, both past and present, from the Winter Garden Heritage Foundation. The collection also includes a subcollection, Up From the Ashes Collection, which depicts the history of Winter Garden’s business district following two devastating fires in 1909 and 1912. Photographs from these collections are featured in Up From the Ashes, a digital exhibit designed by UCF undergraduate student Katherine Bowers.

Maitland Historical Museum Collection
This collection includes letters, newspaper articles, invitations, programs, bank checks, and receipts from the Maitland Historical Museum‘s Vanderpool Collection. The Vanderpools were one of the original families in Maitland, with Isaac Vanderpool, the patriarch of the family, buying 160 acres of land in the 1870. Isaac Vanderpool was part of the first committee to help incorporate the Town of Lake Maitland. The Vanderpool family was also heavily involved in civic affairs which included the establishment of the Town of Eatonville by Isaac Vanderpool and Josiah Eaton. In 1887, Isaac became the Mayor of Maitland.

U.S. Census Collection
The U.S. Census Collection consists of spreadsheets that highlighted the Census records for various counties in Central Florida: Brevard County, Flagler County, Lake County, Marion County, Orange County, Osceola County, Seminole County, St. Lucie County, and Volusia County. The census data was compiled by UCF graduate student Ella Gibson.

Lou Frey Institute of Politics & Government Collection
This collection consists of newsletters, legislation, newspaper articles, letters, and other government documents from the Lou Frey Institute of Politics & Government. Congressman Lou Frey, Jr. (1934- ) served in the House of Representatives from 1969 to 1979. He was on several committees during his time in office, including the Select Committee on Narcotics Abuse and Control and the Science and Technology Committee. He was also the chairman of the Young Republicans of Florida.

Carol E. Mundy Collection
The Carol E. Mundy Collection, housed at the University of Central Florida Special Collections, consists of hundreds of 19th- and 20th-century African-American memorabilia from the Apopka. This digital collection provides a snapshot into life within the African-American business community and also challenges our preconceived notions of how African-American communities lived in this time period. The Carol E. Mundy Collection includes property deeds, letters, and business documents, which are also featured in Vibrant African-American Community in the 1920s and 1930s, a digital exhibit designed by RICHES director and UCF history professor Dr. Connie L. Lester, RICHES programmer Connie Harper, and UCF graduate student Drew M. Fedorka.

Central Florida Monuments Collection
This collection includes photographs of monuments and memorials in Central Florida, both past and present, as well as various newspaper articles and government documents. The Central Florida Monuments Collection was a project facilitated by UCF history professor Dr. Anne Lindsay for her undergraduate course, Public History: Principles and Techniques, in the fall of 2013. Dr. Lindsay’s class also designed a digital exhibit titled Hidden in Plain Sight: A Selection of Central Florida Monuments.

RICHES also has a number of smaller collections. For a full listing of collections, please see our Collection Tree. RICHES is also accepting additional donations. To donate an item, please see our Contribute feature.