Gulf Beaches Historical Museum/St. Pete Beach Public Library Partnership

In 2017, the Honors College launched a partnership with the Gulf Beaches Historical Museum, a small community museum housed in a 100 year-old structure just one block from the Gulf of Mexico. The museum's collection was threatened by sea level rise and extreme weather events when Honors College students stepped in to assist this vulnerable institution. Through an Honors capstone course, students are working to digitize the most significant items in the museum's collection and safely store the digital files on the Pinellas Memory Project, an online archive run by the Pinellas Public Library Cooperative that is free and accessible to researchers and the general public. Through this partnership, students are also gaining hands-on experience in telling the history of contemporary times, by recording oral histories, producing documentary photography, digitizing visual and print artifacts, cataloguing and creating a historical archive, and developing an exhibition at the museum. Outstanding student work on this project has been lauded by the Tampa Bay Library Consortium, the Online Computer Library Center, and the mayor of St. Pete Beach.