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Lakeland History Room


Mon - Thurs. - 9 am - 7 pm
Fri - Sat: 9 am - 5 pm
Sun: 1:30 pm - 5 pm

Lakeland History Room Librarian Supervisor: LuAnn Mims
Ph: 863.834.4269
Email: luann.mims@lakelandgov.net

  • Using the Lakeland History Room


    • Research assistance with local history 
    • House/property records research 
    • Family Genealogy, Newspapers and Obituaries — please contact LuAnn Mims at 863.834.4269 or email LuAnn.Mims@lakelandgov.net
    • DIY Digitize Lab — guided assistance by appointment only to reformat analog materials to digital formats (excluding film). Please contact Rebecca Whalon to schedule an appointment in the DIY workspace at 863.834.4212 or email Rebecca.Whalon@lakelandgov.net


  • Digital Collections

    The Lakeland History Room collection features a variety of materials—documents, photographs, maps, building plans, audio/visual media, and scrapbooks with specialty items like citrus crate labels, artwork, yearbooks, posters, and postcards. There are also 8000+ images viewable online via our Digital Collection on CONTENTdm.

    Click on the icons below to explore digital collections, photo albums, and story maps of Lakeland history:

    Digital Photo Collection                    Library Flickr Albums

    Lakeland Story Maps                      Vanished Lakeland History Pin


  • In-Person Classes and Self-Paced Learning

    In-Person Classes 


    • Generators – meets the first Monday of each month @6pm- is an ad hoc group that discusses genealogical topics of interest
    • Beginning Genealogy – offered twice a year – basic introduction to researching your family history
    • Get Started with Ancestry.com – offered twice a year – guided tour through the premier genealogical database
    • Focus on Family Search – offered twice a year – step by step look at this FREE family history resources


    • Photograph Preservation instruction offered in person twice a year to introduce reformatting from analog to digital concepts

    Self-Paced Learning: Organizing and Preserving Your Materials

    Trying to get your personal memorabilia better organized?  Start with the Personal Archiving at Home video series. These short videos give detailed instruction on how to take care of your treasured memorabilia – photographs, slides, negatives, papers, audio and video tapes and more. Topics include preservation, storage, digitization, standard formatting, organization tips and adding to your family archives.

    Part I: Historic Preservation
    Part II: Organization & Maintenance
    Part III: Digitization


  • History Tours

    Lakeland History Room Staff host historical walking tours for the public featuring Lakeland history, as well as providing curated exhibit tours of the Lakeland History and Culture Center.

    • Stories and Stones – Saturdays (check dates/registration) monthly walk and talk biographical tours of Lakeland’s oldest cemeteries – Roselawn, Tigers Flowers and Lake View
    • Green Hat and White Gloves – Second Tuesdays monthly (check dates and registration) walking tour of Lake Mirror with “Serena Bailey” Lakeland’s first librarian (1929-1959)
    • Ties that Bind, 1880-1925 – Lakeland’s Formative Years – curated exhibit tour available by appointment


    For more information contact, LuAnn Mims: 863.834.4269, LuAnn.Mims@lakelandgov.net 

  • Lakeland History & Culture Center

    Opened on September 8, 2022, the Lakeland History and Culture Center features a 1400 square foot exhibit space dedicated to telling the many stories of our community.

    The current exhibit, Ties That Bind: 1880-1925, Lakeland's Formative Years, showcases the early days of Lakeland's founding and incorporation, as well as the role of the railroads in helping to build and develop the area.

    Learn more about the Lakeland History & Culture Center.

Popular at the Lakeland History Room

  • Ancestry.com logo green leaf with link to ancestry.com login


    Start your family history search here at the library! Ancestry.com offers free access to all library patrons. (In library only)

  • Postcard print of Munn Park lawn and bandstand with groups gathered for the Horseshoe and Checked Club circa 1934; link to Lakeland Public Library "Playgrounds, Parks, Fields, and Gardens" Flickr album

    Playgrounds, Parks, Fields, and Gardens

    Our story begins with you...what better way to tell the many stories of Lakeland and its history, than visually by showcasing highlights from our Flickr Digital Collection.   

    Check out our featured album:

    Playgrounds, Parks, Fields, and Gardens

    Enjoy this photographic stroll through some of Lakeland's outdoor (and indoor) spaces to enjoy, imagine, reflect, and relax.

  • Button with illustration of alligator wearing an eyepatch and text "Meet Blinky in Wonder-Full Lakeland, Florida" on green background with text "Blinky, the Alligator!"; link to Lakeland Public Library "Blinky, the alligator!" story map

    Lakeland Stories Feature: Blinky, the Alligator!

    Discover more about Lakeland’s History through Stories! 

    Blinky: the alligator who wanted to live in the city. Dating back to the 1930s, the Lakeland newspaper noted a one-eyed alligator dubbed “One-Eyed Joe” in and around Lake Mirror. By the 1970s, this gator, or possibly another one-eyed alligator – approximately 11- foot long, 400 pounds, would be known as Blinky. He became a legend in the downtown and served as the town’s unofficial mascot due to his somewhat friendly demeanor.


As a convenience and for informational purposes only, the City of Lakeland provides external hyperlinks on its website, directing website users towards certain outside sites; links to these websites do not constitute the City of Lakeland’s endorsement or approval of linked websites, or the information, products or services contained therein. All links the City of Lakeland Provides are consistent with the mission of its website. However, the City of Lakeland exercises no editorial control over the information website users may find on external websites. The City of Lakeland also cannot attest to the accuracy or appropriateness of information provided by external websites and organizations.