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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


  • Lakeland History and Culture Center Lecture Series

    American Girl airplane on map background with text: Ruth Elder, American Girl, Transatlantic Flight, with LuAnn Mims, Special Collections Librarian, Thursday, March 21st at 5:30 PMRuth Elder: American Girl 
    with speaker LuAnn Mims, Special Collections Librarian Supervisor
    Lakeland Public Library 
    March 21st at 5:30 PM 

    Join us at the Lakeland Public Library on Thursday, March 21st at 5:30 PM as Special Collections Librarian Supervisor LuAnn Mims presents the story of Ruth Elder, a pilot and actress who was also known as "Miss America of Aviation."

    Ruth Elder was the first woman to attempt a flight across the Atlantic from the United States to Europe, just five months after Charles Lindbergh crossed the Atlantic. Her airplane was a new Stinson 'Detroiter' - a single-engine, high-wing monoplane - that she called “American Girl.” On October 11, 1927, she and her co-pilot, Captain George Haldeman, took off for Paris from Roosevelt Field on Long Island, New York.  The duo trained in Lakeland for this adventure and created a media stir leading up to their departure.  

    Find out more information about "Ruth Elder: American Girl."  No registration is required.

    This event is made possible by Geico Philanthropic Foundation.

  • 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)

  • Work crews ready a hangar at the Lakeland Municipal Airport to be moved in 1940

    Magnificent Flyers

    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:

    Magnificent Flyers

    Between the two World Wars, Civilian Aviation was a big part of Lakeland's history. Great flying weather, flat surfaces, progressive economy, and a developing culture of "air-mindedness" poised Lakeland to be the center of aviation in Florida between 1920-1940.

    Enjoy this photographic stroll through Lakeland's aviation history.