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N. Curtis Peterson Papers

Identifier: Ms 220

Scope and Content

The Peterson Papers include legislation, correspondence and other materials created or collected by Peterson during his tenure in the Florida Senate. The collection, which spans 1969-1990, is arranged into four groups, or series: Legislative Files, Correspondence - Chronological, Correspondence - Regional, and Correspondence - Subject Files. Two subjects, education and the state budget, are particularly well represented because of Peterson's activities on the Education and Appropriations committees. Other major topics include agriculture, phosphate, citrus, Polk County, Pasco County, and transportation. In addition to correspondence and legislation, the collection includes campaign material, press releases, news clippings, speeches and 12 scrapbooks.


  • 1969-1990



The collection is open for research. The presence of constituent mail in this collection requires mediated access. Researchers must consult with Special Collections staff before using the collection and must agree in writing to the following conditions: Congressional constituent mail is considered a type of privileged correspondence. Reproduction of constituent mail in any format is prohibited. Further, researchers using constituent mail must agree not to divulge the names or addresses of constituents or provide information that could conceivably identify constituents.

Biographical/Historical Note

N. Curtis Peterson was born on August 23, 1922, in Lakeland, Florida. In 1940 he began attending George Washington University in Washington, D.C. While in school he served as intern in the House of Representatives for his uncle, J. Hardin Peterson. When the U.S. entered World War II, he enlisted in the Coast Guard and remained in the service until the end of the war. He married his wife, Ethel, while stationed in Tampa in 1944. After the war, Peterson attended Florida Southern College and then began working for his family's Peterson's Nursery.

In 1970, Peterson campaigned as a Democrat for the Florida House of Representatives. He lost the election, but was successful in 1972 when he ran for the Florida Senate in a special election. He remained in the Florida Senate until 1990, serving as President for two years starting in 1982. After his retirement, he lived in Lakeland until his death on July 19, 1996.


26.5 Linear feet (59 boxes; 12 volumes)

Language of Materials



Legislative files and correspondence of Florida State Senator, N. Curtis Peterson.


The N. Curtis Peterson Papers are divided into five records series.

Physical Location

University of Florida Smathers Library Building

Related Material

The Lakeland Public Library holds a collection of Curtis Peterson papers, dated 1970-1991, which consists of campaign literature, news clippings, photographs, and other materials.

Processing Information

This finding aid was revised in August 2022. Recognizing that historical terms do not always completely or directly map to contemporary terms, that historical terms can be offensive or inaccurately describe a person or group, and that the presence of both historical and contemporary terms may be useful for researcher discovery, the archivist has attempted to employ historical terms as they originally appear in the context of the collection, in the description, along with contemporary terms in brackets.

A Guide to the N. Curtis Peterson Papers
Finding aid created by Dept. Staff
August 2007
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