Online Research Resources

(last updated November 2019)

This resource page is intended as a helpful guide to information relating to Historic Preservation, Art Deco and South Florida.  We have provided links to online sources that provide data digitally. Much more material is available in printed form at many local libraries. Each site is responsible for its own content and MDPL does not take responsibility for the accuracy of any information on an outside site, although we have reviewed these sources and believe them to be of a high quality.

If you have suggestions for additions or alterations to this page please e-mail

Historic Preservation

Florida Dept. of State, Division of Historical Resources:

In this site you will find a publication: Economic Impacts of Historic Preservation in Florida

1000 Friends of Florida

1000 Friends of Florida is a statewide nonprofit organization founded in 1986 to help build better communities and save special places.

National Trust for Historic Preservation

The National Trust is a privately funded nonprofit organization that works to save America’s historic places.

National Register of Historic Places

The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation’s historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service’s National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America’s historic and archeological resources.

20th Century Architecture

Architecture and Interior Design for 20th Century America

American Library of Congress

The Gottscho-Schleisner Collection is comprised of over 29,000 images primarily of architectural subjects, including interiors and exteriors of homes, stores, offices, factories, historic buildings, and other structures. Subjects are concentrated chiefly in the northeastern United States, especially the New York City area, and Florida. Included are the homes of notable Americans, such as Raymond Loewy, and of several U.S. presidents, as well as color images of the 1939-40 New York World’s Fair.

Historic American Buildings Survey/Historic American Engineering Record (HABS/HAER)

The Historic American Buildings Survey/Historic American Engineering Record (HABS/HAER) (photographs, measured drawings, and/or textual information for more than 35,000 structures and sites, ca. 1933-present) began with a proposal by architect Charles E. Peterson of the National Park Service to put a thousand unemployed architects to work for ten weeks documenting what he called “America’s antique buildings.”

Preservation Directory
The online resource for historic preservation, building restoration and cultural resource management in the United States & Canada.


Old Florida Maps

Sanborn Fire Insurance of Florida maps: Digitized maps from the University of Florida

In the Search collection line type “Miami Beach” and you will see a page with maps for Miami, Miami Beach. Any questions about these contact the UF library.

Miami Dade County Property Appraiser

This site allows for viewing the public tax records of properties in Miami-Dade County on a satellite image map. These records are not used for purposes of historic documentation, but are useful in viewing property boundaries and determining official addresses.

Miami Dade County e-Maps

Historic Property Databases

MDPL Art Deco Historic District Database

City of Miami BeachMiami Beach Historic Property Viewer (new version released November 2019)

City of Miami Historic Sites and Districts

New York City Art Deco Building registry

Oak Park, Illinois Historic Resources Catalog

Abilene, Texas Historic Resources Catalog

Art Deco


Archive of Art Deco architecture photographs

Royal Institute of British Architects: Art Deco Triumphant Exhibit

The ‘Exposition Internationale des Arts Decoratifs et Industriels Modernes’ in Paris was the exhibition that was to give Art Deco its name and helped to launch the style onto the world stage. Discover here, through material from the British Architectural Library, the work of artists and architects on show in 1925.

The Victoria & Albert Museum: Art Deco Collection

Chicago Art Deco Society

The current issue of the Chicago Art Deco Society magazine is available online.

University of Chicago Library: 1933-1934 World’s Fair Collection


South Florida

Miami Metropolitan Archive

The Miami Metropolitan Archive is a digital library of important source materials relating to Miami-Dade County history, management, development, and culture.

University of Miami Libraries, Digital Collection

The Digital Collections feature unique items from the University of Miami Libraries, including the Cuban Heritage Collection, Special Collections, and the University Archives, as well as distinctive collections developed in collaboration with non-library partners.

HistoryMiami Museum

Online Research sources

Online Catalog: This catalog contains records for a variety of materials in the archives collections, such as books, manuscripts, maps, music, prints and photographs. To limit your search to digital images, include “graphic” in the Title field.

HistoryMiami Archives–research-center2/

Tequesta: South Florida History Journal

The scholarly journal Tequesta has been published annually since 1941. It contains articles about the history of South Florida, especially of the Miami area, the Florida Keys and the Everglades.

South Florida Studies and Reports Online

This guide is a gathering of reports, studies, and other documentation about the Everglades, the Keys, and South Florida organization by county and city.

Miami Millions

1936 book written about the 1925 Miami Land Boom

Florida History

Gleason Romer Collection

The Romer Collection is an important collection of over 17,000 negatives and prints housed in the Helen Muir Florida Collection at Main Library. Gleason Waite Romer photographed people, events, places, and architecture all over Florida from 1925 until the early 1950s.

Once you are on the Library homepage (, click on the “Library Catalog” button on the column on the left side of the page. Click inside the search box and type in “Romer Collection” AND any other term you need. To see photographs of Miami Beach one would search for “Miami Beach Romer Collection.” More than 1000 images have been scanned to date.

Florida Memory

The State Archives of Florida is the central repository for the records of Florida State Government. The Archives is mandated by law to collect, preserve, and make available for research the records of the State of Florida, as well as private manuscripts, local government records, photographs, and other materials that complement official State records.

Florida Heritage Collection

The Florida Heritage Collection is an ongoing cooperative project of the State University System (SUS) of Florida to digitize and provide online access to materials broadly representing Florida’s history, culture, arts, literature, sciences and social sciences.



Climate Change in South Florida

Florida is particularly vulnerable to the effects of sea level rise because of its low topography. This guide focuses on reports about Florida and adjacent areas.

Everglades before drainage and development

This guide features sources of information about South Florida, mostly south of Lake Okeechobee, which describe or show what the natural landscape was before people starting digging it up. Historical accounts are also included.

Miami Crime History

1947 Grand Jury Report on Crime in Dade County

Investigation of Organized Crime in Interstate Commerce, Miami (1950)


South Florida Tourism History

Miami Heritage: A Visual History of South Florida Tourism

Miami Heritage is a visual history of South Florida tourism and is produced by volunteer bloggers who share an interest in the “Golden Age of Travel” as it relates to Miami.

Travel, Tourism, and Urban Growth in Greater Miami, A Digital Archive

This digital archive is maintained by the University of Miami Library and includes many documents from the University’s Otto G. Richter Library’s Archives and Special Collections. These materials relate to the promotion of South Florida as a tourist destination. Many vintage postcards are available through this source.

Planning your vacation in Florida: Miami, Dade County, including Miami Beach and Coral Gables (1941)

A vacation planning guide created in 1941 by the Work Progress Administration (WPA) in the State of Florida

Album of Florida and West Indies Hotels (1938)

Go to the FIU library catalog:

In the search box type the words:  Album of Florida and West Indies hotels

There is only one result. Click on the link to the full text – Electronic Resource (PDF or JPEG) and the page you see click on the image thumbnail on the left side to be able to view the book.

General Resources

Internet Archive

The Internet Archive is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that was founded to build an Internet library. Its purposes include offering permanent access for researchers, historians, scholars, people with disabilities, and the general public to historical collections that exist in digital format. Full books are available.

Library of Congress

The Library of Congress is the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution and serves as the research arm of Congress. It is also the largest library in the world, with millions of books, recordings, photographs, maps and manuscripts in its collections.

Florida International University Digital Collections Center

Many of the resources in the Center relate to South Florida.

U.S. Census

The U.S. Census Bureau is the leading source of quality data about the nation’s people and economy

Latest Blog Post