Past and present pop culture is being preserved in a University of Florida library

Past and present pop culture is being preserved in a University of Florida library
Past and present pop culture is being preserved in a University of Florida library(WCJB)
Published: Aug. 4, 2022 at 7:15 AM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - What began in the 1950′s as a dance archive by late UF librarian and historian Sarah Yancey Belknap, has evolved into what is now the popular culture collection at the George A. Smathers library.

“It’s amazing what you will find in this collection,” said Jim Liversidge who is now the collection’s curator.

He said that 20 years ago he decided, with his colleagues, to expand Belknap’s collection to add pop culture elements.

“It is alive, this collection, and I am pleased to be a part of it,” said Liversidge.

They have the largest collection of theater playbills and programs in the southeast that date back to the 1700′s.

“Here is Bells Are Ringing, the popular broadway show from the early 50′s with Judy Holliday. There are amateur productions. Professional productions, comedy, dramas, and musicals and it is the entire length of this range” said Liversidge.

The collection has 15,000 comic books and Liversidge is currently working on 10,000 more.

“Some people just come in to see the comic book collection. It was something they were interested in when they were younger. Or the younger students now want to see it. We pull up to 5 boxes at a time. They can take their time in the grand reading room. Look at the material or do research. It can be special interest or research” said Liversidge.

You can also find unique costumes seen on the big screen.

“This is the segment of the spider man costume that is part of the Toby McGuire trilogy of the 1990′s. It is a segment that was worn by his stunt double” said Liversidge.

Liversidge has his very own collection as part of the larger pop culture collection.

It includes about 180 boxes full of items focused on current events and politics.

The collection is open to students, faculty, researchers, and the general public on weekdays.

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