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Dena Snodgrass Collection

Identifier: Ms 156

Scope and Content

Correspondence, photographs, journals, and research files. The collection primarily consists of material related to her research of Jacksonville history, as well as the history of Northeast Florida and South Georgia. The bulk of the collection is comprised of subject files containing articles, news clippings, copies of legal documents, notes, interviews, as well as correspondence with the family and friends of the subjects being researched. Also included are a small amount of original documents created by the subjects themselves (e.g., correspondence, speeches, deeds, writings). Although most of the research conducted by Snodgrass spans the 1940s to the 1990s, these original documents and copies of original documents date as far back as 1812.

Of particular interest is her correspondence with other historians and authors, such as Canter Brown, Eugenia Price, Richard A. Martin, and Rembert Patrick. For example, there is a great deal of correspondence and historical material related to Price's writings and research on the Fleming Family plantation, Hibernia. Other prominent persons, families, and locations include the Clinch Family, Ft. Clinch, William J. Mills, Ft. George, Z. Kingsley, Fernandina, T. Frederick Davis, W.T. Cash, Charles MacNeill (McNeill), the Summerlin Family, John H. McIntosh, Ortega, and I.D. Hart. Other topics covered include the Civil War, the Jacksonville fire of 1901, the Florida Historical Society, American Indians, the Haile Plantation at Kanapaha, Kissimmee and Orlando, and Spanish land grants.

In addition to the correspondence and subject files, the collection includes a small number of her personal journals, covering 1974 to 1992. There are also numerous photographs, negatives, and slides, primarily covering the same subjects and dates as are covered in the correspondence and research files.


  • Creation: 1812-1996



The collection is open for research.

Biographical/Historical Note

Historian, economic researcher. Dena Snodgrass was born March 25, 1906, in Thomasville, Georgia, and raised in Kissimmee, Florida. She earned a Bachelor of Science in History with a minor in Economics from Florida State College for Women (Florida State University) in 1929.

After a period of graduate study at George Washington University and New York University, she returned to Florida as a public school teacher and principal in Chipley, Lake City, Holopaw, and Orlando. From 1944 to 1971, she was employed in Jacksonville as Director of Economic Research for the Florida State Chamber of Commerce. Beginning in 1956, she served as a correspondent for the Kiplinger Letter.

She was a Past President and first woman president of the Florida Historical Society (1956), as well as a Past President and longtime Historian of the Jacksonville Historical Society. She was a charter member of the Historic Preservation Council of the Jacksonville-Duval Area Planning Board, and was appointed in 1971 as a charter member of the Jacksonville Historical and Cultural Conservation Commission (now the Historic Landmarks Commission).

A frequent publisher and speaker on Florida and Jacksonville history, she became known as the "First Lady of Jacksonville History." She also served as a member of the Florida Library Council and as a longtime member of the Advisory Council for state parks in Northeast Florida.


3.25 Linear feet (8 Boxes)

Language of Materials



Correspondence, photographs, journals, and research files of historian Dena Snodgrass, primarily related to her research of Jacksonville history, as well as the history of Northeast Florida and South Georgia.

Physical Location

University of Florida Smathers Library Building

Acquisition Information

The collection was donated by Dena Snodgrass.

Processing Notes

The majority of this collection was processed prior to 2004. However, several correspondence and subject files included photographs and negatives. In 2004, these items were separated and placed into a photograph group.

A Guide to the Dena Snodgrass Collection
Finding aid prepared by John R. Nemmers
August 2004
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