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East Florida Seminary Records

Identifier: Series 164

Scope and Content

Series 164 contains student grade records and miscellaneous documents and memorabilia of the East Florida Seminary. Included are grade books for 1876-1905, five commencement programs, memorabilia of the Eléve Association, and other records. Of special note is a program for the 1861 commencement. This was the last EFS commencement held in Ocala. The program depicts songs and oratory related to Florida's entrance into the Confederacy and participation of seminary students in the Civil War.


  • 1861-1905
  • Majority of material found within 1876-1905



University Archives collections are available for research. Portions of the collections may be restricted due to the requirements of applicable state and federal laws, including but not limited to FERPA and HIPAA, and in accordance with best practices as defined by the Society of American Archivists.

There are several files that are restricted because they contain sensitive materials regarding both students. Access to these closed files require permission of the Archives staff. Restricted files are indicated in this guide with the word "RESTRICTED" printed at the end of the folder tile.

Biographical / Historical

The East Florida Seminary opened in 1853 in Ocala, Florida, and was in operation until 1861, after all of the male faculty and students left to fight in the Civil War. In 1866, the Seminary was transferred to Gainesville, Florida by an act of the Florida Legislature.

From 1866-1877, the school was by and large a public school for Gainesville, with students ranging in age from four to twenty-four. After 1877, the school’s admittance age was gradually raised to thirteen. The Seminary was strictly military in its governance and organization from 1883, and its mission was to prepare boys and young men to be admitted to university or to begin an active adult life upon graduation.

In 1905, the Buckman Act reorganized higher education in the state of Florida, and four of the state’s institutions were merged to form the University of the State of Florida (now the University of Florida). The four institutions that were merged were the East Florida Seminary, the Florida Agricultural College (University of Florida at Lake City), the St. Petersburg Normal and Industrial School, and the South Florida Military College.

The Seminary’s building was used by the newly-formed University of Florida in 1905 until it was deeded to what is now the First United Methodist Church of Gainesville in 1911.


1 Linear feet (3 volumes; 1 box)

Language of Materials



Student grade records and miscellaneous documents and memorabilia of the East Florida Seminary.

Physical Location

University of Florida Smathers Library Building

A Guide to the East Florida Seminary Records
Finding aid created by Dept. Staff
February 2010
Description rules
Finding Aid Prepared Using Dacs
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida Repository

George A. Smathers Libraries
PO Box 117005
Gainesville Florida 32611-7005 United States of America