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Annual Meeting

Fifty-fourth Annual Meeting
Society for the History of Discoveries
October 31 – November 3, 2013
Tampa, Florida

SHD Annual Meeting 2013
Daily Program
Annual Meeting Photos

Happy Birthday Florida!

The Society for the History of Discoveries (SHD) held its 54th Annual Meeting October 31 - November 3, 2013 in Tampa, Florida at the new and very impressive building of the Tampa Bay History Center (TBHC).  All of Florida history forms the scope of the TBHC.  Of special interest to members of SHD were the permanent exhibits on the pre-Columbian and first contact era tribes of the Tampa area and the European exploration of Florida during the sixteenth century.  Furthermore, our conference coincided with the 500th anniversary of the European discovery of Florida.  The TBHC hosted a special exhibit Charting the Land of Flowers: 500 Years of Florida Maps from September 2013 - February 2014.  As the members of SHD have come to expect and to enjoy, this year’s program committee organized an outstanding array of papers and sessions. 

Central Ybor Streetcars Passing

Tampa Bay History Center

Pre-Conference Tour (Optional) Excursion (ca. 3 hours, on Thursday AFTERNOON, October 31

The Tampa Bay History Center’s curator of history, Rodney Kite-Powell, led an afternoon driving and walking tour of two of Tampa’s oldest neighborhoods – Hyde Park and Ybor City. Hyde Park was developed in the mid-1880s and is home to a variety of architectural styles, including stately wood-frame Victorian Homes, spacious bungalows, and Mediterranean style homes. Ybor City was built exclusively as a company town for the cigar industry.  Today, Ybor City is a national landmark historic district as well as a local historic district.

Post-Conference Tour (Optional) Excursion (FULL-DAY, on Sunday, November 3)

After the SHD annual meeting, Rodney Kite-Powell accompanied delegates to two true Floridian gems– the Ringling Museum complex in Sarasota and the De Soto National Memorial. The Ringling Museum complex includes the Ringling Museum of Art, Ca ’d’Zan (John and Mabel Ringling’s estate), and the Ringling Circus Museum, plus the lush gardens and grounds surrounding the museums.

The De Soto National Memorial, at the south side of Tampa Bay and operated by the National Park Service, commemorates the 1539 landing of Spanish conquistador Hernando de Soto and over 600 people, including women, soldiers, priests, and slaves. Though the exact location of De Soto’s landfall is disputed by some historians, many believe that the explorers arrived somewhere along the southern shore of Tampa Bay. The visit to the De Soto Memorial included a guided tour of the visitor center by park service ranger as well as time to explore the grounds – and lush shoreline!

Tampa Bay Times Forum


The 54th Annual Meeting conference hotel was The Embassy Suites Hotel-Downtown Convention Center.

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