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Flipping Through History: The Broward County Library Helps Us Learn From Our Past

December 30, 2021

“Those that do not learn history are doomed to repeat it.” Those words were first spoken by George Santayana and they are still very relevant today because of how true they are. History gives us the opportunity to learn from past mistakes.

It helps us understand the many reasons why people may behave the way they do. As a result, it helps us become more compassionate as people and more impartial as decision makers.

It goes without saying that change can be a difficult concept to understand and in today's world change is happening at a rapid pace. Each of us has a different experience than the rest of our fellow citizens – an experience shaped by societal norms, cultural differences, personal experiences and more. History helps us better understand how, when and why change occurs on a larger scale.

Good citizens are always informed citizens, and no one can consider himself to be an informed citizen without a working knowledge of history. This is the case whether we’re talking about our role in our local community or in regards to our nation on the whole. History helps us become better voters and more effective members of any type of society. It helps put us in a position to better inform others as well.

It is in this spirit that The Broward County Library is working to help residents learn from the past with the Broward County Library Digital Archives project. The BCL Digital Archives project supports community-based and scholarly research on a variety of topics that range from a global scope to the scale of local neighborhoods. The BCL Digital Archives collections contain thousands of select image, audio, and video files that represent just a small portion of the material holdings in the three Special Collections areas. Here are a few of the collections available online.

Broward Legacy at Florida Online Journals
The Broward Legacy is published online in a collaborative partnership between Florida Atlantic University Digital Library and the Broward County Libraries Division. This historical journal, published by the Broward County Historical Commission between 1976 and 2013, is a significant resource for discovering Florida heritage.

The Broward Legacy can be read for free at:

The Broward County Library maintains an in-house Digitization Team. The Digitization Team works with metadata specialists and the Special Collections staff to digitize the unique and rare materials in BCL Special Collections available online in digital formats. The Digitization Team has also partnered with local organizations such as the Hollywood Historical Society in order to digitize and make available research materials. One part of this project is digitizing past publications such as the Hollywood Sun-Tattler.

Hollywood Sun-Tattler Collection
The Hollywood Sun-Tattler’s history began with the 1932 publication of the South Broward Tattler. Just three years later in 1935, a competing weekly, the Hollywood Sun, started distribution. With the purchase of the City’s first newspaper, the Hollywood News (established in 1924), Wallace Stevens, the owner of the South Broward Tattler, stopped printing the Hollywood News and orchestrated a merge of the South Broward Tattler and the Hollywood Sun. He then produced the new weekly, the Hollywood Sun-Tattler, in 1942. In 1952 the Hollywood Sun-Tattler became a twice-weekly newspaper. By 1957 it was published three times a week. E. W. Scripps Co. purchased the paper in 1965 and in 1983 renamed it the Sun-Tattler. In 1989, the Sun-Tattler became the Hollywood Sun upon its acquisition by DTH Media Inc. The paper ceased publication in 1991. Even though the publication is no longer in print with efforts from the Broward County Library Digital Archives project these decades of local history can now live again and found on-line.

So no matter the reason, if you are interested in a bit of local history or just to see how much a supermarket item cost in the past you can check out the digitization site the Broward County Library has put together. Here are a few links for some of the resources they have created to save some of the past from being forgotten.

All Collections:

Broward Legacy:

Hollywood Sun-Tattler Collection:

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